CCX Trades RGGI Contracts
Bloomfield, Conn., August 25 — The Chicago Climate Futures Exchange offered its first exchange-traded Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative earlier this month, Reuters reports. The New York Mercantile Exchange Inc. launched a similar futures contract on Aug. 24.
The CCX exchange traded 60 lots of emissions allowances under the RGGI scheme, equivalent to 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
RGGI is made up of 10 northeastern states and is seen as precursor to a federal U.S. carbon market. The initiative is expected to go online in September.
Deutsche analysts told Reuters that a carbon price of $52 or more is needed to drive utilities to shift substantially from coal to lower carbon-emitting natural gas. However, the CCX contracts settled at $5.58 per ton of avoided CO2 emissions last week.
Protegrity Firewall Application Receives Award
Stamford , Conn., August 25 - Data Security Management solutions firm, Protegrity Corporation's Defiance Threat Management System, has been selected as the winner of the 2008 Best Products and Services Award.
The solution was named as the best web application firewall (WAF) in Network Products Guide's Reader Trust Awards. Gordon Rapkin, CEO for Protegrity remarked, "We are extremely pleased to have been recognized in the Reader Trust Awards as the best web application firewall. Defiance Threat Management System is a critical part of a complete security solution that ensures customers can defend their web applications against a growing number of attacks from increasingly sophisticated hackers."
Defiance Threat Management System operates as an in-line gateway or out-of-band monitor. It can be deployed as software, a soft appliance, a hardware appliance or any combination of the three. The ability to be a completely 'green' solution, coupled with unparalleled deployment flexibility, make it an ideal choice for shared hosting and virtual server environments.
According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, over 236 million data records have been compromised since January 2005. Approximately half of those records were compromised by hacking. Today's hackers are more organized and have a clear sense of purpose -- stealing sensitive data.
Protegrity delivers centralized data security management solutions that protect sensitive information from acquisition to deletion across the enterprise. Protegrity's customers maintain complete protection over their data and business by employing software and solutions specifically designed to encrypt data, safeguard web applications, and manage and report on security policy.
Benchmark Sets Green Standard
Bloomfield, Conn., August 25 - Benchmark Hospitality International with headquarters in The Woodlands, Texas, and regional offices in New Jersey and Stamford, Connecticut, has announced a new green initiative. The resort management company is an official Partner Member of the Green Hotels Association® solidifies the company's commitment to protecting the environment through a multi-faceted, resort-wide program of water and energy-saving and waste-reducing practices, as well as other eco-friendly actions. The first resort to get a green makeover will be Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado.
"At Cheyenne Mountain Resort, we have been steadily reducing our carbon footprint by adopting such practices as buying local and organic produce, switching to energy-efficient lighting, using environmentally friendly paints, and implementing cost-effective towel and linen reuse options for multiple-night guests," said Vice President and General Manager Laura Neumann. "Now we are cementing our commitment to the environment by becoming a Partner Member of the Green Hotels Association and further expanding the measures we are taking."
Since its founding in 1993, the Green Hotels Association www.greenhotels.com has been a leading force within the lodging industry to help preserve the environment. The association has successfully moved the hospitality industry toward environmentalism through a variety of programs and messages, from showing hoteliers that conservation both saves money and is socially responsible to demonstrating that conservation is wanted and expected by today's hotel guests.
"The 'Green Hotel' flag flying at the front of the property signals to our guests that Cheyenne Mountain Resort is committed to operating an environmentally friendly resort," said Ms. Neumann. The property has put into effect a number of green practices and actions to reduce its carbon footprint.
Cheyenne Mountain Resort’s Green Practices
- One of the first in the region to offer green-friendly menus for corporate, social and wedding events, including organic wines and eco-friendly décor ranging from invitations, linens, candles, and to take-away gifts.
- Installation of recycling containers throughout the front and back of the house, including a custom millwork recycling receptacle installed in the resort’s main refreshment break station.
- Cleaning products used by the resort meet green standards, are purchased in bulk, and dispensed in reusable bottles.
- Disposable eating utensils and Styrofoam cups have been significantly reduced at the property.
- Incandescent light bulbs have been replaced with fluorescent lighting throughout the Clubhouse, Health & Fitness Center and Aquatics Center, and all guestrooms are on a schedule for changing to energy efficient, green lighting.
- All new paint supplies purchased and utilized throughout the resort are the most environmentally-friendly products available.
- A linen and towel reuse option is in place in all guestrooms.
- The resort has switched to 100% recycled facial and toilet tissues and 40% recycled paper towels.
- Copy paper used throughout the resort is now composed of a minimum of 30% recycled products.
- Large copy machines have been programmed with a default setting that automatically copies documents double sided.
Restaurant Group Introduces Local Sourced Menu
Bloomfield, Conn., August 18— Max Restaurant Group has introduced a new menu that supports local harvesting and dairy farms and fish providers while lowering the company’s carbon footprint.
According to the company’s eNewsletter sent out late last week, the Farm To Chef menu will change frequently and items will be priced in the $26-$26 range. Each menu has three courses with choices in each course. And, a portion of each check is donated to to the Connecticut Farmland Trust.
Max, one of the leading restaurant groups in the greater Hartford area with Max Downtown, Max a Mia, Max Amore, Max's Oyster Bar, Trumbull Kitchen, and Max's Tavern and Max Fish, had previously announced that Max Fish uses a water filtration system that provides customers with water bottled on site, both carbonated and still. The bottles will be recycled and eliminate the need for bottles of water to be shipped in.
Source: Max Restaurant Group
Salamander Designs Adopts Green Initiatives
Bloomfield , Conn., August 18 - Salamander Designs, Ltd., based in Bloomfield, Connecticut and a leading designer and manufacturer of modern furniture, seating and mounting products for Home Theater and A/V entertainment systems, has announced it has adopted a Green Operations initiative. The program values environmentally responsible practices in manufacturing its popular A/V cabinets and seating products, and in the way it operates its facility. The voluntary initiative also moves Salamander Designs into the front ranks of responsible corporate citizens.
“Our philosophy is that we will always strive to make green market choices,” said company president Salvatore Carrabba. “We are committed to making business decisions that are globally responsible and environmentally friendly. As alternatives present themselves, we will make every effort to take advantage of green opportunities involving packaging, parts, processes and other aspects of our business.”
Salamander’s eco-savvy Green Operations initiative encompasses a broad program affecting everything from the materials that go into its products to the practices on its assembly floor. In working to reduce its carbon footprint, Salamander Designs is also discovering the process includes such benefits as reduced energy consumption, unexpected production efficiencies, and an increasing ability to both recycle materials and employ recycled materials.
Among its new Green activities, Salamander Designs uses water-based finishes on its popular A/V cabinets whenever possible. It uses veneers and lumber that come from managed forests, an action that supports the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program, as well as low-emission core materials. The aluminum in its cabinets has a high-recycled material content, and is itself recyclable. In its packaging materials, the company uses recyclable corrugated cardboard, and has reduced the amount of packing foam inside its boxes.
Salamander has also changed all its lighting to energy-efficient bulbs, and installed motion-sensitive lighting wherever practical. The company estimates this step alone is delivering a 30 percent reduction in energy use in its 85,000 square foot facility.
Additional activities include purchasing flat components to reduce transportation requirements, and assembling products on-demand to customers’ exact specifications, further eliminating waste. The company also recycles all the white paper it uses, retains a cleaning company that uses only environmentally safe cleaning products.
Norwalk Hotel Will Get Green Makeover
Norwalk, Conn., August 18 - Last week, Dolce International unveiled a new brand strategy that officially marked the company's shift away from pure conference centers and toward full-service hotel and resort properties. Part of the strategy is a 36-point green program. The Norwalk Dolce property will be one of the first to be revamped.
At a Manhattan luncheon last week, Dolce founder, chairman, and managing director Andy Dolce introduced the company's new name, Dolce Hotels & Resorts, along with a new corporate logo, branding, and operational and customer initiatives.
"We felt the people who don't know us didn't come to us because of the 'conference center' tag," said Dolce. "Meetings will still be our sweet spot. This is our opportunity to penetrate the meetings business that go to hotels and resorts."
The 27-old-company has had a history as an IACC conference center supplier, but today its portfolio is made up of 16 hotels and resorts and eight traditional conference properties. Yesterday's announcement is the company's next evolutionary step into the much-larger hotel and resort market.
Dolce is now making $100 million in capital improvements to renovate and upgrade properties, such as Dolce Basking Ridge in New Jersey and Dolce Norwalk in Connecticut, to newly formed brand standards. (In fact, those properties already have put up the new corporate logo.)
Those standards include 300-thread-count bed linens, flat-panel, high-definition TVs, and branded bath products in all guest rooms; cybercafes; break areas with connectivity technology; executive concierges and sommeliers at all properties; more spa amenities and guest activities; more restaurants; and upgraded cuisine.
Michelin-star chef Alain Montingy, based at Dolce Chantilly outside Paris, has created an annual chef training program that will raise a la carte dining standards.
Dolce's "green" standards are a core value of the community ring. Carbon offset programs, key cards that control a guest room's power, recycling, towel and sheet reuse, low-flow showerheads, and aerators are a few of the green steps Dolce is taking. Dolce's properties aim to be "Green Certified" and the first is the new U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Gold certified conference facility, the Dorr Hosier building at Aspen Meadows. A Dolce Green Council and property based Green Teams work to develop on-site initiatives and community outreach programs including buying local products, creating in-house gardens and using EnergyStar appliances and eco-friendly furnishings.
Carrier Corp. Has Huge Role At Beijing Games
Farmington, Conn., August 13 — Carrier Corp., a unit of Hartford based United Technologies Corporation has installed nearly 70 percent of all heating, ventilating and air-conditioning contracts for the venues at the Beijing Olympic Games. Carrier supplied a full line of integrated systems to the Summer Games facilities, ranging from AquaSnap(R) air-cooled chillers with Puron(R) refrigerant to large centrifugal chillers to air-handling units, fan coil units and the Carrier Comfort Network (CCN) controls system.
Here are a few of the highlights of Carrier's technology at several venues.
The "Water Cube" National Aquatics Center, one of the major venues for the Beijing Games, utilizes four Carrier centrifugal chillers, a control network and air-side products. Carrier's innovative technology recovers more than 50 percent of the exhaust heat in the aquatics center and then uses it to warm the swimming pool.
The Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium for badminton and rhythmic gymnastics has a uniquely designed air-conditioning system that uses a water-source heat pump to employ ground water to prepare cold and hot water for air conditioning.
The "Bird's Nest" National Stadium features the first Chinese-produced HVAC product certified by EN 1886, the highest international HVAC standards. Carrier's air-handling units have air leakage rate of less then 1 percent and each unit is equipped with Carrier's new high-voltage electrostatic air cleaner to remove airborne particles which improves indoor air quality.
The Beijing Olympic Village achieved LEED(R) ND (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development) certification with design consultation support from Environmental Market Solutions, Inc. (EMSI). EMSI is an environmental and green building company owned by Carrier Corp. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) awards the venue LEED ND certification at the Gold level.
To make sure that all the HVAC systems are running smoothly, Carrier established a Remote Monitoring Center for the Games. The high-tech center can trace and analyze the data of air-conditioning system operations and release warnings.
Farm Goes For Some Solar
Rocky Hill , Conn., August 13 - The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) today announced that the solar photovoltaic (PV) array at Dove & Boar Farm in Hampton, Conn., which was funded through its On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program, is now installed and operating successfully. The 15.6-kilowatt solar array is one of the first to be installed at a working farm in Connecticut.
Farm owner Tim Huchthausen said, “Having this solar PV system enables us to implement our 5-year plan, which includes a heated greenhouse, certified kitchen, and walk-in cooler, so we can grow and sell fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, and prepared specialty foods year round.”
The 78-panel solar PV system, installed by SolarWrights Inc., is located on the rooftop of the main barn at Dove & Boar Farm and is expected to supply approximately 85 percent of the farm’s energy needs. The farm – a member of Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) – is now able to be even more earth-friendly.
Dove & Boar Farm was able to reduce its outlay for installing the system by taking advantage of both state and federal incentives. Through CCEF’s On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program the farm received a grant of $65,932, which covered approximately half of the total project cost. Additionally, the project received a $29,397 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through its Farm Grant Program.
“Farming has always been an important part of the character of our state; this installation is an excellent example of clean energy helping a Connecticut farm stabilize its energy costs and improve its bottom line. Solar PV systems like this one can help in the preservation of local farms and the local produce that benefits all Connecticut citizens,” noted Lise Dondy, CCEF’s president.
Source: Clean Energy Fund
New Program Makes Renewable Energy More Affordable
Hartford, Conn., August 13 - Governor M. Jodi Rell has announced a program to help low and moderate income residents cut their electricity expenses and build on the state’s commitment to renewable energy.
The Connecticut Solar Lease Program, the first of its kind in the nation, is a new initiative designed to eliminate the high initial costs associated with the purchase and installation of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Through the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), a combination of rebates and tax credits can be used to lower the cost of leasing solar systems, helping more residents obtain clean, renewable solar energy.
“Connecticut is a national leader in promoting clean energy in a way that makes sense, and this exciting, innovative program proves that once again,” Governor Rell said. “With the national economy in a slump, with energy prices at frankly ridiculous highs and other prices – including food prices – headed for the sky, our families are looking for alternatives. The Clean Energy Fund is making solar energy a real possibility for many more Connecticut households by combining the success of its solar rebate program with the unique characteristics of this solar leasing program."
This is the first time a ratepayer-funded organization such as CCEF has partnered with financial institutions to leverage federal tax credits in order to make renewable energy more affordable. CCEF is investing $38.6 million and hopes to help approximately 1,000 homeowners in the next three years.
Residents with qualifying credit and whose household income is less than or equal to 150 percent of the median income in their area are eligible for the program. A Hartford family of four with a total household income of less than $121,000, for example, would qualify for a complete solar photovoltaic system with no down payment required.
CT Solar Leasing, LLC, a non-bank subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, will finance the purchase and installation of the systems. By owning these systems, CT Solar Leasing can take advantage of federal business tax incentives presently unavailable to consumers. With the CCEF’s Solar PV Rebate Program and the federal tax incentives there is no need for a down payment. CT Solar Leasing’s monthly payment for a typical 5-kilowatt system is approximately $120 on a 15-year lease.
“CT Solar Lease will be an exciting addition to U.S. Bancorp’s growing portfolio of renewable energy investments,” said Matt Philpott, Vice President of Historic, New Markets and Renewable Energy Tax Credit Investments at U.S. Bancorp. “The significant equity generated by the federal investment tax credits and CCEF’s forwarding-thinking rebate program are the keys to achieving a cost effective way for homeowners to benefit from clean solar-powered electricity.”
AFC First Financial Corporation is a partner in the development of CT Solar Lease and will manage the application and approval processes for residents, as well as handle the lease payments.
Gemstone Lease Management, LLC, is also a partner in the development of CT Solar Lease. Gemstone provided leadership in the structure and capitalization of the program, and will be responsible for the day-to-day management.
For more information about this program, visit www.ctsolarlease.com
Akeena Solar Expands Into Connecticut
Bloomfield, Conn., August 7 — Akeena Solar of Los Gatos, California, has announced that it has expanded its operation into Connecticut. The company, one of the United States' leading solar installers, will move into offices located at 435 Boston Post Road, Milford, Conn. It will be the tenth office opened by Akeena nationwide.
The company already has a presence in Connecticut with more than forty installations to its credit. Responding to Connecticut's incentives and rising energy prices, Akeena sees great opportunity to capture the growing solar market here and throughout New England.
"The thriving New England solar market is proving that California isn't the only state where it makes sense to go solar. Connecticut and the tri-state area is poised to become one of the major adopters of solar power in the nation," said Barry Cinnamon, CEO of Akeena Solar. "Connecticut, like many areas around the country, has been hit with skyrocketing energy costs at home and at the pump. We look forward to helping homeowners go solar and bring down those costs with clean, renewable solar power."
Akeena uses the Andalay solar power systems which streamlines the installation processes by incorporating the external racking and electrical wiring into the panels themselves. This breakthrough design eliminates 70 percent of the parts and reduces 25 percent of rooftop penetrations necessary in the installation of ordinary rack-mounted systems. Andalay was recently honored with an Innovative Home Technology Award from TecHome Builder Magazine.
Source: Akeena Solar
Crystal Rock Celebrates New Solar Array
Watertown, Conn., August 7 - The Crystal Rock bottling plant in Watertown recently celebrated the installation of a new 300kW photovoltaic solar panel array that is expected to supply more than a quarter of the company’s power needs and sell excess power to the state’s electric grid at peak demand periods.
Governor Rell was on hand for the celebration and called the system of more than 1,660 solar panels a victory for the company, ratepayers and the environment.
“For the company, it is a ‘win-win’ on both the bottom line and its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint – this array will reduce carbon emissions by 124 metric tons a year,” Governor Rell said. “That means far fewer greenhouse gases in our air.”
The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), which is funded by electric ratepayers, contributed a $1.3 million grant toward the $2.2 million project.
Shartenberg Site Gets Green Light
Bloomfield, Conn., August 4 - The new Becker + Becker project on Chapel Street between Orange and State in New Haven where the old Shartenberg department store once stood has gained approval from the city to break ground according to the New Haven Independent. The approved version is revised and will be reduced by several stories but when complete will be one of the greenest high-rise residential projects in the state.
According to the article, delays have plagued the start of construction, including a parting of the ways with the first construction manager, the Fusco Corp; and a redesign of the project in the face of rising steel and oil prices.
Becker and Becker, submitted new plans for the project this month in quest of a building permit. The City Plan Department OK’d them earlier this week, then the building department Thursday morning, according to Livable City Initiative (LCI) chief Andy Rizzo.
The new plan lowers the complex’s defining apartment tower from 31 to 26 stories. That tower, set back from Chapel street, sits atop a wider five-story platform: one story of street-level stores and four levels of parking. So that makes the project a total of 31 stories, as opposed to the originally envisioned 36.
“I’m excited about the permit,” Becker and Becker attorney Sara Bronin said Thursday. “We’re ready to go as soon as we can fine-tune the budget.”
She said Becker and Becker had to revise its plans because of the rising steel and oil prices. The oil hikes trickle down to the prices charged by suppliers because of increased transportation costs.
Bronin said the project remains on its “green” track as well: Connecticut Innovations Inc. has approved a $985,000 grant for a 400-kilowatt fuel cell to help power all portions of the project. That grant still awaits approval from the state Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) of conditions for “submetering apartments,” according to Bronin.
Consigli Opens Enfield Office
Enfield, Conn., August 4 — Consigli Construction Co. Inc. has opened an office in Enfield at 5100 Bigelow Commons to serve its clients in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. Consigli has more than two dozen LEED projects on its resume.
Consigli Construction Co. Inc. has opened an office in Enfield in 2,800 square feet of leased space at 5100 Bigelow Commons to serve its clients in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts.
Consigli is a full-service construction manager and general contractor, with clients in the academic, healthcare, institutional, corporate and landmark restoration markets. In Connecticut, the company is overseeing a $32 million restoration and renovation of the Trinity College Long Walk, along with infrastructure upgrades to the historic buildings.
The 103-year-old business is family owned and is a leader in green building, having more than two dozen Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and sustainable projects on its resume.
In addition to the Enfield site, Consigli has offices in Milford, Mass., and Portland, Maine.
Nymex to List First U.S. Mandatory Allowances
New York, NY, August 4 - The New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) will launch Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) carbon dioxide (CO2) allowance futures and options contracts beginning in late August – the first exchange-traded contracts for a mandatory US cap-and-trade system.
December 2009 will be the first listed month for both the futures and options contracts, with additional contract months to be added, as suggested in an earlier announcement from the exchange (see Green Exchange to add RGGI contracts to suite).
Each futures contract will represent 1,000 RGGI allowances, with a minimum price fluctuation of $0.01. It will expire at the end of the third business day prior to the first business day of the contract month.
The contracts will be available for trading on the CME Globex electronic trading platform on 24 August, and over-the-counter (OTC) transactions can be submitted for clearing via Nymex ClearPort.
The RGGI options contract will be an American style option that exercises into the underlying futures contract, and will be listed from 26 August. There will be five strike prices in increments of $0.50 both above and below the at-the-money strike price. The minimum price fluctuation will be $0.01. The options will expire three business days prior to the expiration of the underlying RGGI futures contract.
The options contracts will trade on the Nymex trading floor while OTC option deals can be submitted via Nymex ClearPort.
Meanwhile, the RGGI secretariat last week released auction application materials, allowing participants to begin preparations for the first US auction of CO2 allowances, to be held on 25 September 25. The auction will offer about 12.6 million allowances, and any allowances purchased can be used by a regulated facility for compliance in any of the 10 RGGI states even if that state does not offer allowances in this auction.
RGGI, the first US regional greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system, aims to control CO2 emissions from power plants in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. From January 2009, the 10 states plan to cap emissions at 188 million short tons (171 million tonnes) of CO2. That cap is fixed until 2015, and then declines by 10% to 2019.