Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Morning greens: Clean Tech Corridor, electric car charging docks, and green power debates

sciarccomp Morning greens:

A Sci-Arc competition creates a vision of L.A.’s Clean Tech Corridor, a currently dilapidated area downtown. The winning design “envisioned mushroom-like structures that look like massive street art but are actually solar-powered evaporators,” reports the LA Times.

Plans for the Expo rail station in downtown Santa Monica get detailed. See the concept rendering at Santa Monica Mirror, which reports that “the plaza designs are of great importance to increase access for users to major hubs such as hospitals and universities.”

Malibu Lagoon could go through a major restoration. “The Coastal Commission will consider on Wednesday a $7-million fix that would temporarily drain a 12-acre section of the lagoon to re-contour it, remove sediment and replant its banks with native plants in order to improve water circulation and ecological health,” reports LA Times. The project’s supported by many environmentalists, but opposed by some as too drastic a measure.

California’s quickly adding electric car charging docks. Reports KQED’s Andrea Kissack: “Thanks to help from the federal government and local air districts, thousands of car chargers should be installed in homes, apartments and office buildings in the next few years.”

Should home solar panel owners get paid for powering the grid? LA Times reports that solar energy advocates in California are pushing for a “feed in tariff” that pays even small renewal power installations on the roofs of homes and businesses for putting extra power back into the electric grid.

In national news, Google invested in a wind power line, “a massive off-shore cable that would eventually carry power from off-shore wind farms to cities along the Atlantic seaboard,” according to NPR’s The Two-Way. NY Times has a more detailed report on the project.

Lastly and stinkily: This morning’s full of gassy news. Close to home, Pasadena company Tetratech got a $19.7 million contract from the U.S. EPA’s landfill methane outreach program. In Japan, scientists say they’ve created a stink bug repellent made of a plant fungus, according to NY Times’ Green blog. And whales fertilize the ocean with their floating dung, reports NPR.

Image of Project UMBRELLA, Winner of Sci-Arc’s Clean Tech Corridor competition, courtesy of Sci-Arc