Largest Green Residential Facility Proposed
New London, Conn., Dec. 29 — Becker + Becker, the architect and developer of Redevelopment of the Shartenberg Site at 745-807 Chapel Street in downtown New Haven will look to construct a green mixed use property that includes 460 apartments (including 50 affordable units), grocery store and other retail, parking garage, and an early childhood education center.
The projected cost of the project will be $160 Million and cover 700,000 square feet with partial funding from public funds. It will revitalize a long-underutilized 1.5-acre site in a prime downtown location, a block away from the New Haven Green and across the street from the State Street train station. It is believed to be the largest private new construction project ever built in New Haven and the greenest large-scale residential building in Connecticut.
This project has been selected to be a pilot project for the LEED Program for Neighborhood Development and will include such green features as geothermal wells, photovoltaic arrays, recycled and local materials, and fuel cell(s).
Green Luxury Resort Planned For Preston
New London, Conn., Dec. 24 — Northland Investment Corporation, the largest property owner in Hartford has announced it has proposed Preston Green, a $1 billion, mixed-use green luxury resort for Preston which will feature five-star hotels, a world-class spa, a riverfront marina, amenity retail, attractive seasonal and active adult residences, renovation and reuse of three existing historic buildings, public access to the river and a championship 18-hole golf course.
In a New London Day editorial published this past Sunday, Northland Chairman Larry Gottesdiener wrote, "Preston Green carefully crafts a mix of uses, based upon a green development approach that is designed to minimize traffic, large-scale surface parking and the impact on town services, while maximizing taxes and jobs."
The development will also incorporate tradition neighborhood design strategies by attracting the public to waterfront activities, a new town hall, an expansive Town Common and nature trails with hiking and biking paths ringing the entire development. The site will also rehab a contaminated site into a "pristine" landscape. Gottesdiener also points out that 250 acres, or 60 percent of the site, will remain as open space.
Gottesdiener concludes, "Preston Green will not be a walled-off resort. There is a better way. What we have designed in Preston Green is a resort that integrates with the community in an environmentally sustainable way. That is the future."
Fuel Cell Installation Largest in the World
Hartford, Conn., Dec. 24 — On Monday, Connecticut's Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) approved seven energy projects from around the state to receive long-term, subsidized contracts for the green electricity they'll produce. The projects are part of the State's Project 100, an program aimed at increasing alternative energy capacity. When complete the projects will generate a combined 109 megawatts of electricity.
Regulators who reviewed the RFPs, which had eleven submissions, stated they picked the seven projects based on cost, ratepayer benefit and improving electricity reliability. The proposals ranged from plants which run on chicken manure and wood to fuel cells.
One project approved was a 9-megawatt project planned for Milford. "When complete it will be the largest fuel cell installation by capacity in the world," said R. Daniel Brdar, chairman and CEO of FuelCell Energy, Inc., a Danbury-based company which will manufacture the fuel cells for three of the projects.
Source: Hartford Courant
MXenergy Introduces Project Green Gift
Stamford, Conn., Dec. 22 — Stamford-based MXenergy a seller of electricity and natural gas, has partnered with Sustainable Forestry Management Ltd. to sell carbon offsets through a program called Project Green Gift.
Using a formula of 3.89 mature hardwood trees to offset each ton of CO2 emissions, the program starts at $25 certificates for home heating which will offset four tons of CO2, while $100, the Total Lifestyle Offset forgives 19 tons. The trees will be planted on fire-ravaged reservation land in Montana by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes. Sustainable Forestry Management bought the "carbon rights" in 2001 and verifies the offsets with certificates, according to MXenergy.
MXenergy CEO Jeffrey A. Mayer in a Danbury News Times article stated, "As much as people talk about conservation, the fact is that energy (consumption) per capita is growing."
"We all have the best intentions about curtailing our use," Mayer added.
Mayer said the average household served by MXenergy dumps about 10 tons of carbon dioxide into the air each year from a combination of heat and electricity.
MXenergy buys in at the wholesale level, Mayer said, then sells the offsets to the public.
"We actually have a slight profit margin over our costs," Mayer said. "Our margin is much smaller than what every other reseller of carbon offsets is selling."
West Hartford Firm Receives Green Award
Cohoes, N.Y., Dec. 16 — WondriskaRusso, a full-service, integrated communication design firm based in West Hartford, CT, has been recognized by Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. for its sustainability initiatives. WondriskaRusso's recent work for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has earned them the Mohawk Windpower Partnership Award. This award was presented to the firm for its contribution in the fight against global warming.
"Mohawk is known for producing high-quality, environmentally-friendly papers," says Dennis Russo, President of WondriskaRusso. "The Edward Hopper Exhibition for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, lent itself to the aesthetics of an uncoated sheet that maintained the smoothness and brightness required to properly showcase the artwork. We found Via to best fit our client''s needs for a high-grade paper that worked with their budget and had less environmental impact. We''re honored to receive this award."
WondriskaRusso chose Mohawk Via 30% PCW for use in the Museum''s marketing materials, direct mail campaign, brochures and letterhead. "WondriskaRusso is contributing to a significant world-wide movement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Their specification of Mohawk Via is a step toward correcting and protecting our environment for the future," says Joseph O''Connor, Sr. Vice President Sales, Corporate Accounts. "Never let it be said that no single action can make an impact. The true difference will be made by customers who are willing to try, one order at a time," he added.
Currently, 100% of the electricity used by Mohawk Fine Papers is offset with certified windpower certificates. "Continuing to offer our customers the most environmentally conscientious papers will remain the highest priority for Mohawk," says O''Connor.
The Mohawk Windpower Partnership Award was launched nationally in 2006. This is one of many programs launched by Mohawk to raise awareness for corporate sustainability issues.
CT Company Installs Largest Solar System in New England
Dayville, CT, Dec. 15— United Natural Foods, Inc. along with Solar Works, Inc. and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), held a dedication ceremony for the installation of the largest solar electric system in New England. The 550-kilowatt STC solar photovoltaic system from SCHOTT Solar, installed at the Company's state-of- the-art distribution facility in Dayville, CT, is expected to generate approximately 600,000 kilowatt hours of clean energy annually, enough to power more than 67 average New England homes for one year. The system output will avoid over 14 million pounds (over 6,350 metric tons) of carbon dioxide over the 25-year life of the system.
"We're very pleased to partner with CCEF and Solar Works in such a worthwhile endeavor," said Michael Funk, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Natural Foods. "This project is just the latest initiative in United Natural Foods' commitment to Environmentally Responsible Initiatives, helping to create a greener environment by utilizing clean, renewable energy." In October 2007, United Natural Foods installed a one megawatt solar electric system at its natural foods distribution facility in Rocklin, CA. Combined, the two solar power systems are expected to power approximately 190 average American households for a year and reduce CO2 emissions by 854 metric tons annually.
The Dayville, CT distribution facility serves as both United Natural Foods' corporate headquarters, as well as a regional distribution center in the Company's nationwide distribution network. The facility employs more than 500 people and serves customers in both the New England and New York areas. United Natural Foods has the largest warehouse capacity of any distributor in the natural products industry and currently has more than 5.4 million square feet of space at 21 distribution centers nationwide.
The Hartford To Build New Green Data Center
Boulder, CO, Dec. 14 — The Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) said it would spend $100 million with IBM on a backup data center in Boulder, according to a report in the Hartford Courant Tuesday.
IBM announced it would build a new energy-efficient $86 million "green" data center earlier this year, and spokesman Dan Willis confirmed that Hartford is the client of the new project.
Hartford spokeswoman Shannon Lapierre said the company signed a five-year service agreement with IBM to provide backup data services in Boulder. IBM also manages Hartford's main data center in Connecticut, which will continue operations. Lapierre said the migration of backup data to the new data center is expected to be complete in two years.
Earlier this year IBM announced its Big Green initiative, which would include a new energy-efficient, 80,000-square-foot data center at its Boulder campus. At that time, IBM said it had signed a $480 million, five-year agreement for the green data center with an unnamed U.S. customer.
IBM will receive a $100,000 rebate of local fees and taxes from the city of Boulder for the project. It will also receive $632,000 from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.
Source: Hartford Courant
Enfield Firm Gets $2.4 million For Solar Technology
Enfield, Conn., Dec. 11 — A local company has received $2.4 million in federal funding to enhance its production of solar technology used in military equipment that assists soldiers on the battlefield.
The company, Specialized Technology Resources Inc., located at 10 Water St., received the funds in the 2008 Defense Appropriations Bill, U.S. Rep. Joseph D. Courtney, D-2nd District, said Friday.
The funds will help STR increase production of its solar cell encapsulants, used in military equipment, by expanding its facility in Somers.
STR, which developed the technology in the 1970s, is the only domestic manufacturer of photovoltaic solar cell encapsulants, according to Bob Yorgensen, president of STR's manufacturing division.
The encapsulants are a key component in the production of advanced solar cells, which provide power for a variety of military field equipment, such as telecommunications and even laptops and weaponry, which would otherwise rely on petroleum fuels, heavy battery packs, or grid power.
"It's critical for us," Yorgensen said Friday of the funding. "The demand in the marketplace is so very strong," he said, and therefore the company needs more capital to keep up with the demands.
STR, which has 150 employees in Enfield, has leased a 50,000-square-foot building on Scitico Road and will add three more production lines to the existing one, Yorgensen said.
About 180 manufacturing jobs will be added to the Scitico Road facility over a period of time, he added.
STR has received federal funding because its product has been deemed important to national security by the federal government, Yorgensen said. He said that the company had previously received $1.2 million in the 2007 Defense Appropriations Bill.
Source: Journal Inquirer
Several CT Companies Sign Bali Agreement
Hartford, Conn., Dec. 11 — Hartford-based United Technologies Corp. and Unilever with facilities in Clinton and Trumbull are among the more than 150 that signed the Prince of Wales' Bali Communiqu before the United Nations' Climate Change Conference. Other companies from Connecticut include General Electric Co., PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Diageo.
The Communiqu states: "The scientific evidence is now overwhelming. Climate change presents very serious global, social, environmental and economic risks and it demands an urgent global response."
The business leaders support a "comprehensive, legally-binding United Nations agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions." They also support setting reduction targets and that the greatest effort to cut green house gas emissions should fall on developed nations, including the United States.
The Bali Conference is expected to set the framework for a 2009 meeting in Copenhagen, which will update the Kyoto Protocol.
Travelers To Cut Greenhouse Gases
Hartford, Conn., Dec. 8 — The Travelers Cos. Inc. has pledged to reduce its total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent from 2006 to 2011, through such steps as improving efficiency of office systems and equipment.
The pledge Wednesday results from the company's participation in Climate Leaders, the industry-government partnership of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop climate change strategies.
Travelers said that its energy-efficiency initiatives — some already underway — include fine-tuning the heating and air-conditioning systems, installing more efficient lighting, adjusting lighting and heating and cooling systems to better match hours of operation and upgrading certain other equipment.
Travelers' largest offices — Hartford and St. Paul, Minn. — have received the EPA's Energy Star label for energy efficiency.
Source: Hartford Courant
Direct Energy Launches Contest
Stamford, Conn., Dec. 6 - In what may be a first for utilities doing business in Connecticut, a Houston energy supplier has launched a sweepstakes in which the winner will receive $10,000 to use for energy-efficiency upgrades and related repairs.
"The move by Direct Energy is designed to raise the company’s profile in Connecticut, where it began marketing itself as an electric supplier to residential customers Nov. 12," said Lisa Dornan, a company spokeswoman.
Entering the contest doesn’t require individuals to change their electric supplier to Direct Energy, Dornan said.
Residential consumers interested in finding out more or entering can visit www.directenergymakeover.com and filling out an online registration form.
The contest deadline is Feb. 15
Sources: Direct Energy and New Haven Register
Solar Energy Curriculum for 100 CT Teacher
Hartford, Conn., Dec. 5 — Common Ground High School of New Haven today hosted the launch of a solar energy curriculum program for teachers. Designed by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), Learning for Clean Energy Innovation (LCEI) will focus initially on solar energy education and will later be expanded to cover fuel cell and wind energy. LCEI professional development sessions will incorporate a specially designed curriculum aligned with the Connecticut Department of Education’s Science Frameworks, and will be offered to 9th-grade teachers from the 61 towns in the state who are participating in the 20% by 2010 Campaign.
“Common Ground has modeled environmental practices on site for a decade,” said Oliver Barton, director, Common Ground High School New Haven Ecology Project. “This collaboration with CCEF adds solar electricity production and monitoring to our campus and provides schools across the state with real-time data for energy research with students. Like the carbon-offset value of the photovoltaic system, the education value now extends well beyond the walls of this school.”
LCEI’s launch at Common Ground High School was held in conjunction with the dedication of a 2-kW solar array installed by Pioneer Valley PhotoVoltaics (PV Squared) on the school’s roof. A monitoring system developed by Heliotronics, Inc., will provide solar energy data, making the LCEI solar energy education unit the first in the state to use real-time information from solar arrays located on school buildings in Connecticut Clean Energy Communities.
“The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund has developed a phenomenal education program. Utilizing state-of-the-art data displays, this program teaches science and math in the timely and highly relevant context of renewable energy,” said Clayton Handleman, president and chief executive officer of Heliotronics, Inc. “Heliotronics is thrilled to have been chosen as the provider of software and Internet displays for this well-crafted, innovative program.”
In the coming year, a total of 100 teachers from 61 towns statewide will receive training in the use of the LCEI solar energy curriculum.
Source: CT Clean Energy Fund
UTC Funds China Reforestation Project
Hartford, Conn., Dec. 5 — United Technologies Corp. today expanded its partnership with Conservation International (CI) in restoring forests in the environmentally critical Mountains of Southwest China, a biodiversity hotspot. UTC's reforestation investment now totals $500,000.
UTC's latest grant of $300,000 - which follows a donation of $200,000 announced last year - enables CI to restore more than 120 hectares, or roughly 300 acres, of degraded lands inside one of the world's biodiversity "hotspots" for imperiled species.
UTC's contribution to CI's Forest Restoration for Climate, Community and Biodiversity (FCCB) initiative is expected to offset 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide, a leading contributor to global warming, during the 30-year life of the forest. Restoration of the degraded land using native trees also helps protect the nearby Ma An Shan Nature Reserve in southern Sichuan province, China -- home to many critically endangered species, including the giant panda and elusive clouded leopard.
"CI's on the ground work and progress toward restoring this critically important forest relies on support from forward thinking companies like UTC," said Lu Zhi, Ph.D., Director, CI-Shan Shui Center for Nature and Society, CI's China affiliate. "We are so pleased that UTC places such a premium on this project and continues to support such a worthy investment."
The Mountains of Southwest China stretches over 262,000 square kilometers characterized by complex topography ranging from valleys to mountains. The region encompasses a wide variety of ecosystems, including broad-leaved and coniferous forests, bamboo groves, scrub communities, alpine meadow, freshwater wetlands, and alpine scrub and screen communities.
The region has been identified as one of the world's 34 biodiversity " hotspots" -- places where 75 percent of the planet's most threatened mammals, birds and amphibians survive in just 2.3 percent of the Earth's surface - a space roughly equal to the five largest U.S. states.
For several years, UTC and its business units have supported China's efforts to promote sustainable development. Last year, UTC and China's Ministry of Construction signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to promote sustainable development of Chinese buildings and cities. UTC's Otis unit is the first elevator company to receive a Green Product Award from the China Environmental Protection Foundation. Earlier this year, Otis opened the world's first "green" manufacturing facility in China's Tianjin Economic- Technological Development Area (TEDA). UTC's Carrier unit has sponsored the China Ozone Layer Protection Awards Program, hosted by the State Environmental Protection Administration, which recognizes outstanding contributions by Chinese individuals and organizations to ozone layer protection. Further information about UTC is available at www.utc.com.
More on the project.
Source: United Technologies Corp.
Biodiesel Station Opens in West Cornwall
West Cornwall, Conn., Dec. 2 — The Berkshire County Store located in Western Connecticut is one of the first retail stations in the state to offer biodiesel. The fuel is starting to generate more use among individuals and corporations.
Up until now, biodiesel was only available in Connecticut at state facilities which service the state’s fleet of vehicles and small farm operations. The state had announced earlier this week that CTTransit, the Department of Transportation-owned bus service, had signed a contract for fuel that is a blend of ultra-low sulfur diesel and bio-diesel. About 3.5 million gallons of this fuel will be used over the next year.
At the store event Governor announced, "Today marks a true milestone for our state," Rell said in a statement. "Today, we are expanding access to domestic, renewable energy options for Connecticut residents and businesses."
Source: Hartford Courant