CT Biomass Company signs deal with CL&P
April 25, Essex, Conn - Tamarack Energy, Inc., a developer of renewable energy projects based in Essex, Connecticut, announced that it has executed a long-term Energy Purchase Agreement with Connecticut’s largest electric utility, Connecticut Light & Power (“CL&P”).
Tamarack Energy is developing a 30 megawatt biomass energy generation facility in Watertown, the first of its kind in the State. The primary fuel for this facility will be waste wood generated from sound forest management practices, tree trimmings produced by utility and municipal maintenance crews, stumps and unusable wood generated from land conversion activities and clean recycled pallets. Much of this material would otherwise take up land fill capacity or be left in place where it hinders regeneration of healthy species. The Tamarack Energy facility will employ highly advanced combustion technology and emissions control systems, making it one of the cleanest of its kind. When completed, the project will deliver sufficient energy to power approximately 30,000 Connecticut residences.
This Biomass project is to be part of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund's Project 100, which is aimed at securing contracts to purchase 100 megawatts from renewable energy providers by July 2008. Under this program, Tamarack Energy will sell approximately half of the plant’s output and associated renewable energy attributes to CL&P for 15 years. The balance of the facility’s output and its renewable attributes will either be sold to other participants in the ISO New England power market or to another off-taker as part of a separate long-term contract.
“The Watertown facility will utilize state-of-the-art technology to convert clean wood chips into 30 megawatts of electricity and will serve as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel power. The construction, fuel procurement, and operation of the facility will provide hundreds of jobs in the region and significantly add to Watertown’s tax base.”, said Bill Carter, Tamarack Energy Managing Director.
The project still faces some hurdles. Among them are the need to obtain all the necessary permits and to get approval from the Connecticut Siting Council. The Council has jurisdiction over the siting of power facilities and transmission lines. Tamarack Energy hopes to begin construction in late 2008 and begin operation by the end of 2009.
Source: Tamarack Energy press release
New Haven Facility Wins National Green Award
April 21, New Haven, Conn – In honor of Earth Day 2007 the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has chosen the Whitney Water Purification Facility in New Haven, Conn. as a 2007AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten award winner.
The AIA/COTE Top Ten were chosen from 100 submissions from around the country and represent the best in class when it comes to “….addressing significant environmental challenges with designs that thoughtfully weave architecture, technology, and natural systems.” The Whitney Water Purification Facility, designed by Steven Holl Architects, has the water being purified below a 30,000-square-foot green roof, creating a public park and wetland area for migrating birds. The offices use the geothermal heat pump system of 88 wells for heating and cooling, saving 850,000 kilowatt hours annually compared with conventional heaters and coolers. The open-ended cylindrical building, made in part of recycled concrete, gives 100% of the staff space natural light.
The 11th AIA/COTE initiative was sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/ENERGY STAR®, with BuildingGreen Inc. hosting the submission and judging forms. The projects will be honored at the 2007 AIA National Convention in San Antonio, May 3-5. To read more about the Whitney Water facitilty and the other award winners, click here.
Connecticut College Named Green Power Leader
April 19, New London, Conn – In a nationwide college competition for green power purchasing, Connecticut College led the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC ) to a sixth place finish in the first ever EPA College & University Green Power Challenge. The contest was won by the Ivy League which was helped by a strong showing from Yale. Penn was the Ivy's top purchaser. The leaders were announced at the 2nd Annual Smart and Sustainable Campus Conference held earlier this week.
Connecticut College led its conference rivals by purchasing 15 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, representing 100 percent of the school´s annual purchased electricity. Connecticut College is purchasing 100 percent, Green-e® Certified, wind energy certificates from 3 Phases Energy Services, which helps to reduce the environmental impacts associated with the campus´ purchased electricity.
With students spearheading a campaign to purchase green power through a $25 student fee surcharge, Connecticut College purchased almost 6,500 MWh of renewable energy certificates during the 2003-2004 school year; 7,500 MWh, covering 50 percent of the campus’ electricity purchase in 2005-2006; and an increase to 100 percent in the 2006-2007 school year.
The other top conferences that were recognized included the Big Ten, which was led by Penn State (3) and the ACC which was led by Duke University (4).
Source: Connecticut College News
New England’s First Fuel Cell-powered Hybrid Bus Begins Service In Hartford
April 12, HARTFORD, Conn – New England’s first zero-emission fuel cell-powered hybrid bus made its debut today in ceremonies at the Connecticut Convention Center.
U.S. Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., and officials from the Federal Transit Administration, Connecticut Department of Transportation, Greater Hartford Transit District, CTTRANSIT, Capitol Region Council of Governments and UTC Power were on hand as the 40-foot hybrid electric fuel cell transit bus quietly rolled out onto the streets of Hartford.
The bus will immediately enter CTTRANSIT service and operate first on the free downtown Hartford Star Shuttle route, and then in a few months on other routes that serve the capital city and surrounding towns. This will be done to meet the project goal of testing the bus in all types of typical transit service, including low and high speeds, and routes with steep grades.
CT TRANSIT and project partners will gather and analyze data on fuel economy, maintenance costs and reliability.
The many benefits of this fuel cell-powered hybrid bus include zero harmful tailpipe emissions, smooth and quiet operation and fuel efficiency that is expected to be two times better than a standard diesel-powered bus. The clean operation means it will have an immediate positive impact on street-level emissions. These benefits are reflected in the distinctive green, leafy graphics on the sides of the bus.
"The people who live and work in Hartford and the people who visit the city are not only going to enjoy riding this quiet bus, but also will like the fact it emits nothing but water vapor, making for cleaner air for all of us to breathe,” said Jan van Dokkum, UTC Power president.
The Greater Hartford Transit District contracted last year with UTC Power for the fuel cell-powered bus and two years of program support, including the use of a hydrogen refueling station located at UTC Power’s headquarters in South Windsor, Connecticut. The bus was transferred to CTTRANSIT, Connecticut’s state-owned bus system. Operation of the bus will be funded by the Connecticut Department of Transportation.
In addition to UTC Power and CTTRANSIT, the special project partnership includes AC Transit of Oakland, California, which now has three UTC Power fuel cell-powered buses in operation; Van Hool of Belgium, one of the world’s largest bus and coach manufacturers; and ISE Corporation of Poway, California, a leading integrator of hybrid-electric and integrated fuel cell drive systems for buses. A $2.9 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to the Greater Hartford Transit District has funded the bus and infrastructure to support this and future fuel cell transportation projects in Greater Hartford.
Source: UTC Power Press Release
“Founding Father” of LEED to speak at Yale
April 6, New Haven, Conn - Robert (Rob) Watson, Chairman, CEO, and Chief Scientist at ECOTECH International, and Founding Chairman, LEED Green Building Rating System, will speak at Yale University on Thursday, April 12 at 4 p.m at 55 Hillhouse Avenue. His talk, entitled “Why LEED? Green Buildings and Competitive Advantage,” is part of the 2006/2007 Business & Environment Speaker Series, Environmental Certification and Business Competitiveness, sponsored by the Industrial Environmental Management (IEM) Program of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. The program is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the program.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, widely know as LEED and developed by the US Green Building Council, is a benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED is widely credited with catalyzed the dramatic growth in green building design and construction in the US. Watson, a leader in green building, will discuss the competitive implications of building green.
The IEM Lecture Series is supported by the Joel Omura Kurihara Fund and brings speakers from a variety of companies and organizations to the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies to discuss the relationship between business and the environment. For more information about the lecture series, please contact Valerie Petersen, program coordinator, at 203.432.6953 or email@example.com.
East Hartford Council Approves $5 million Energy Efficiency Plan
April 6, East Hartford, Conn - In hopes of wrestling down energy costs, the town plans on inking a $5 million contract to upgrade heating, lighting, and power systems in 18 town and school buildings.
The Town Council approved by a 9-0 vote on Wednesday authorizing the mayor to sign and finance the deal. The contract should be signed within a month.
The contractor, Johnson Controls, will then spend the following 10 months making a myriad of energy improvements in an effort to reduce, re-use, and better control the town's energy.
Johnson Controls is a multibillion-dollar corporation based in Milwaukee that specializes in building energy efficiency and management.
Although the deal comes with a hefty price tag, the town expects to save $500,000 to $700,000 in energy costs annually over the life of the 11-year contract.
Because of these savings, the taxpayer is not expected to pay a penny for the contract over the long- or short-term.
Johnson Controls has guaranteed these savings and will refund the town or provide in-kind services if it does not meet its goals each year.
Several council members hailed the project as a smart and innovative way to save on stifling electricity and fuel costs. "I feel very comfortable with this process," council Majority Leader Mary Alice Dwyer Hughes said at the council meeting.
"We're a community that's starting to appreciate being green," Finance Director Michael P. Walsh said after the meeting, adding that if things work out with Johnson Controls, the town will look for a second contract with them.
Source: Journal Inquirer
Union Criticizes Traffic Report for Metro Green Plan
April 6, Stamford, Conn. - A labor union trying to organize security guards at the Empire State Building has stepped up its campaign against a local development, criticizing the traffic engineering report for the project.
Local 32BJ of the Service Employees' International Union gave the city Planning Board a 17-page critique of the traffic projections for the proposed Metro Green office and housing complex.
The local represents janitors, security guards and other building service workers in New York, Connecticut and four other states.
The critique, by traffic engineer Brian Ketcham of Brooklyn, N.Y., argues that the traffic analysis for Metro Green, which would be built on 5 acres adjacent to the Stamford Transportation Center, does not account for congestion on Interstate 95 or traffic from other planned development in the South End or downtown.
Metro Green developer W&M Properties owns the Empire State Building and several other New York City buildings where the union is trying to organize security guards who work for a private contractor.
W&M co-owner Anthony Malkin accused the union of using its own flawed analysis to gain leverage for its unionization campaign.
The development's location near the Stamford train station will promote goals the city's Master Plan has espoused for decades, such as locating the most intense development within walking distance of mass transit and boosting downtown housing stock so people can live near transportation, jobs and shops, he said.
"There is an agenda here by SEIU, which is to disrupt the progress of this project because of a dispute they have with an outside security contractor at the Empire State Building," Malkin said. "They're trying to clothe themselves in a different agenda."
Source: Stamford Advocate