Olympia’s New Sea Level Rise Report

floodThe City now gets an annual report on sea level rise planning from Public Works staff. The new report, which was presented to Council a few weeks ago, is much, much soberer than previous versions. Research over the last couple of years has led staff to significantly increase their estimates of how much more tide we need to think about coping with, and about how soon we might have to deal with it. As always, we have no solution to the question of how to keep an earthquake from breaching our defenses during a high tide event, or to the question of how long this process might last and how much more water the city might face over the next century or two…

The 2016 report is available here.

District Energy for the Capitol Campus?

The state is starting to think about creating a new district energy system for the Capitol Campus, generating electricity and using the heat that would be wasted otherwise for buildings. (Councilmember Nathaniel Jones is actually the lead staff for this, as part of his day job.)

Here’s the announcement of workshops, with visiting European experts and big Seattle energy users like Amazon. There is also a public event on April 11th about carbon pricing and more general district energy issues, if you’re interested – down the page some.(It doesn’t give the time or location for that, but there’s contact info for finding out.)


Combined Heat and Power and District Energy—Overcoming the Obstacles, Realizing the Benefits

Through our April 11-12, 2016 Climate and Energy Convening of Washington State, Danish and Swedish professionals, i-SUSTAIN is providing an opportunity to do something different and meaningful — a bi-directional sharing of actionable knowledge between influential public, business and NGO leaders from Washington state, Denmark and Sweden who are pursuing climate and energy goals. Our approach is collaborative and interactive and the content reflects tangible real-life experience that is meaningful in comparison.

The convening theme is “Combined Heat and Power and District Energy—Overcoming the Obstacles, Realizing the Benefits.”

There is a great deal of interest in Washington state to utilize the efficiencies inherent in modern district energy systems; however, several hurdles have to be overcome in going from concept to implementation. i-SUSTAIN is organizing a series of “roll up the sleeves” invitation-only workshops and site visits from April 11-12, 2016, in which high-level, influential professionals from Washington state, Denmark, Sweden, and other regions come together to work through issues related to financing, management of the conversion of steam to hot water, system expansion, and operations. Our efforts during these days will be based on projects under serious consideration, including the University of Washington campus and the redevelopment of the Washington state capitol campus, along with district energy for smaller communities.

Two free open-to-the-public events will also be offered—see below.

Workshop Content (invitation-only)

A series of workshops in Olympia (April 11), Seattle (April 12), and possibly other Washington state cities will include the following:

*Making the case—how to explain cost/benefits of district energy
*Understanding financing options, including public/private partnerships
*Modernizing existing systems to utilize water instead of steam
*Policy and technical aspects of integration of district energy into the grid
*Expanding campus systems into nearby neighborhoods
*Converting combined heat and power plants from fossil fuels to biofuels
*The impacts of using natural water sources in district energy
*Community economic development through PUD ownership of district energy systems

Site Visits (invitation only)
*Amazon campus
*The Washington state capitol campus

Public Events in Olympia/April 11 and Seattle/April 12
*How carbon pricing built the district energy industry in Denmark
*Which is better for the climate, for the economy, and for people? Maximizing building performance or district energy infrastructure for heating and cooling? Experts on both sides will debate this question.

Without the contributions of our partners, participants and supporters, this convening would not be possible. We thank you for your input and assistance.

Partial List of Participants
*Embassy of Denmark
*University of British Columbia
*University of Washington
*University Mechanical Contractors Inc.
*City of Olympia
*Vulcan Inc.
*Isoplus Piping Systems

Please express your interest to partner or participate to
sandy@i-sustain.com and patricia@i-sustain.com

About i-SUSTAIN: i-SUSTAIN is an urban strategy firm. Since 2003, we have researched and documented global best practices in urban sustainability. Through a combination of professional research missions, compelling research and communication projects, and innovative events, i-SUSTAIN has had a significant impact in the Pacific Northwest cities of Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. In 2012, i-SUSTAIN opened an office in Washington, DC to facilitate working with more U.S. cities.

i-SUSTAIN’S clients include elected officials, public agency staff as well as real estate developers, architecture and landscape architecture firms, engineering firms, planning firms, and more. By exposing these influential and involved urban professionals to global best practices, i-SUSTAIN has helped to provide them with the information and knowledge they need to create policies and implement projects that increase the sustainability of their cities.

Address: i-SUSTAIN, 1018 E. Capitol Street, NE, No. 6,
Washington, DC-20003-3932