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EGEB: US bipartisan legislators work to ban offshore drilling; world’s first ocean-powered data center, more

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • New Hampshire’s GOP governor, US House of Representatives ban offshore oil and gas drilling.
  • Scotland builds the world’s first ocean-powered data center.
  • Italian design firm Carlo Ratti experiments with orange peels as possible future biofuel.
  • St. Louis Zoo gets a seating area shaded by solar panels.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Governor Chris Sununu (R-NH) signed an offshore gas and drilling ban in New Hampshire coastal waters on Tuesday. All New England senators of coastal states co-sponsored bipartisan legislation in May that banned offshore drilling along their shorelines.

Further, the US House of Representatives yesterday approved a permanent ban of drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and a moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. However, action is unlikely in the Senate.

In March, a federal judge ruled that President Donald Trump had overstepped his authority when he called for offshore drilling in the Arctic and the Atlantic. Trump continues to push to expand offshore drilling.

World’s first ocean-powered data center

The world’s first ocean-powered data center will be built in Caithness, Scotland, according to the Construction Index. It is expected to be operable by 2024.

The data center “would be supplied with power via a private wire network from tidal turbines at the existing MeyGen site [off Scotland’s northern coast]. The MeyGen project has a seabed lease and consents secured for a further 80 MW of tidal capacity, in addition to the 6 MW operational array that has now generated more than 20,000 MWh of electricity for export to the grid.”

Tim Cornelius, CEO of Simec Atlantis Energy, who is building the project, said:

Data is being touted as the new oil. It is arguably becoming the world’s most valuable resource, and the amount of data requiring storage is increasing at a staggering pace. However, data centers are undeniably power-hungry, and the clients of data center operators are rightly demanding power be sourced from renewable and sustainable sources.

Orange juice cups today, biofuel tomorrow

Well, this is both fun and eco-friendly! As the video says, “All organic waste can become a component for producing biofuel.”

Italian innovation and design firm Carlo Ratti Associati designed an orange juice bar that turns the peels into 3D-printed recyclable, bioplastic cups from which to drink the freshly squeezed juice. It was created for the global energy company Eni.

“Feel the Peel” will tour Italy through October to demonstrate what Carlo Ratti calls “environmental circularity.”


St. Louis Zoo gets solar shade

The St. Louis Zoo has built the $1.1 million Williams Family solar pavilion (it’s named after donors). KAI Build was the general contractor, and Power UP installed the panels.

It shelters a 2,200-square-foot dining area, and the 20-degree panel slope is expected to generate 56 MWh annually.

Solar shelters aren’t new, being used in everything from bus shelters to carports to emergency shelters. But the fact that what used to be considered innovative and unusual is now becoming mainstream is a great leap forward for the integration of solar energy into everyday life.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.