States of the green nation, an online community focusing on sustainable living, released today its top green US cities for the year based on their ability to maintain healthy air, drinking water, parks and public transit systems, as well as a robust, sustainable local economy with green building, farmers markets, renewable energy and alternative fuels (yes..I admittedly just cut and paste this sentence…so sue me!).

According to the report, Portland topped the list (again) followed by San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and Oakland, California. The Rankings will be featured at the world’s first green cities and communities conference in Geneva, on October 1, 2008, said Sustainlane.

As far as state activities are concerned, most have been centered on renewable energy.Hawaiian legislatures is said to be planning on mandating solar installations in new home construction. Hawaii’s State Senate Bill 644 would require the incorporation of solar hot water systems in almost all new residential construction in Hawaii by the end of 2010, according to the solar company Sunrise Solar.

California of course is working on their Green Chemistry Initiatives but the state has been active in hydrogen research as well.

A hydrogen fuel production facility and power plant in Kern County has been proposed late last July which will be used to generate nearly 400 megawatts of base-load low-carbon electricity to power 150,000 homes in the region. Under the project proposed by Hydrogen Energy International, the carbon dioxide emitted from the plant will be captured and stored beneath the earth.

Georgia’s largest electric company, Georgia Power, meanwhile is seeking the approval of the Georgia Public Service Commission to convert its coal-fueled plant into using wood biomass. The commission is expected to rule on the proposal to convert Georgia Power’s Plant Mitchell to biomass by spring of 2009. Retrofit construction would begin by spring of 2011 and the biomass plant would likely begin operations in June 2012.

The renewable-based plant is expected to produce 96 megawatts of energy, enough electricity to power 60,000 homes, according to the utility company.

In New Mexico, a new commercial geothermal power plant – the first in the state – is being built by Raser Technologies. The plant is expected to begin producing 10 megawatts of clean renewable energy by early next year. Phase two of the project will expand the plant to 20-25 MW of power, enough to power nearly fifteen thousand homes.

Raser reaffirmed last week that the project and funding of the project is on schedule despite the fact that its investment source Merrill Lynch is being bought by Bank of America.

“Bank of America has been active in financing the energy sector, and we would expect this effort to continue with the acquisition of Merrill Lynch.”

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