Friday, July 12, 2024

Statewide: Western region, July

STATEWIDE Western Region

Where solar reigns""

It’s no palace, but this summer 34 Appalachian State University students assembled a 1,200-square-foot solar-powered house at Versailles, where Louis XIV — the Sun King of France — had his royal residence. The students are entered in an international contest to design and build a solar-powered house that is affordable, attractive and energy-efficient. The annual Solar Decathlon, started in 2002 as a U.S. Department of Energy initiative, alternates between the U.S. and Europe each year. About 50 students, along with students from a partner school in France, designed and built Maison Reciprocity to generate as much energy as it uses. It was constructed in Boone, disassembled, shipped overseas and rebuilt for competition, which began June 14 and lasts 34 days. Twenty teams representing 16 countries were chosen to compete in the event. ASU’s Team Réciprocité was one of two teams selected from the United States — the other is a collaboration of Providence, R.I.-based Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design and a German school. This is App’s second appearance in the competition. The design for the Solar Homestead, its 2011 entry, is sold by Asheville-based Deltec Homes.

MORGANTONHeritage Home Group will close its Drexel Heritage plant here by July 31, idling all 87 workers. It’s the St. Louis-based furniture company’s fourth planned factory closing in North Carolina this year. It previously announced it will close two plants in Thomasville and one in High Point, eliminating 170 jobs.

ASHEVILLENew Belgium Brewing broke ground on its 133,000-square-foot brewery here May 1. Scheduled to begin last year, construction was postponed when the company added capacity to the brewery at its Fort Collins, Colo., headquarters and is expected to be done by the end of 2015. The $175 million project, which includes a 100,000-square-foot distribution center in Enka, will employ 140.

ASHEVILLE — Moogfest 2014 lost more than $1.5 million during its five-day run in April. Expenses totaled $2.7 million, including more than $1.5 million for artists. Asheville-based Moog Music expanded the event this year from three days, (NCtrend, June), adding technology and arts to the musical acts. The maker of electronic instruments had forecast the local economic impact at $30 million, but the Asheville-Buncombe County Economic Development Coalition hasn’t calculated the amount.

ASHEVILLEThe Western North Carolina Alliance will merge with Hendersonville-based Environmental & Conservation Organization and Highlands-based Jackson-Macon Conservation Alliance to consolidate fundraising and advocacy for environmental protection. The new nonprofit will represent 23 counties in the region. The merger will be completed later this year.


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