SUEZ Energy NA Completes Acquisition of FirstLight Power
Hartford, Conn., Dec. 29 — GDF SUEZ Energy North America today announced the completion of the acquisition of FirstLight Power Enterprises, Inc., from Energy Capital Partners. FirstLight owns and operates a unique portfolio of 15 power generation plants -- primarily pumped storage and traditional hydro facilities. It also has a state-of-the-art natural gas peaking power plant in construction. Together, these 16 facilities have a combined capacity of 1,538 MW in Massachusetts and Connecticut. In addition, FirstLight has various expansion opportunities within its portfolio.
"We welcome the FirstLight employees to our group and look forward to working together to solidify our presence in the sizable electricity market of New England," said Zin Smati, president and CEO of GDF SUEZ Energy North America.
New England, which has a population of 14 million people and 31,000 MW of electric generation capacity, is a core market for GDF SUEZ Energy North America. In addition to the FirstLight assets, the company also currently has six renewable and natural-gas-fired power generation assets in New England; retail electricity sales to large commercial and industrial customers; and natural gas sales to nearly every gas utility in the region through its liquefied natural gas (LNG) business. With the addition of the FirstLight operations, GDF SUEZ Energy North America is now the fifth largest electricity generator in New England.
Source: SUEZ Energy NA
Mariah Power to Install 42 Wind Turbines at QU
Bloomfield, Conn., Dec. 29 - According to Candace Lombardi and cnet.com, Quinnipiac University has hired Mariah Power to install 42 of its silent Windspire wind turbines for the gardens of its York Hill campus in Hamden, Conn., which are currently under construction.
The article states that Mariah Power produces small wind turbines in the $4,000-$5,000 range for use in residential and commercial properties. The 42 wind turbines for Quinnipiac should provide about 84,000 kilowatt-hours of power per year to the campus, according to a university statement.
"The Windspire provided both a distinctive look for our gardens, and a real source of clean, renewable energy....We are very conscientious about the environment, and by employing smart environmental practices like this, we can engage students in thinking about environmental responsibility, and challenge them to be a part of the solution," John L. Lahey, president of Quinnipiac University, said in the piece.
Mariah Power's claim to fame is that its Windspire vertical-axis wind turbines, which don't use traditional propellers to capture wind energy, are able to operate noise-free.
Source:Candace Lombardi at news.cnet.com
Danbury Corporations Give More This Year
Bloomfield, Conn., Dec. 29 - Last week, The Danbury News Times reported that Danbury area companies had increased their charitable contributions by 60% over last year. Through the Neighborhood Assistance Act, corporations that donate money receive a state corporate tax credit of 60 percent of the contributions. Local corporations donated nearly $220,000.
Nearly half of all the local giving under the program, more than $97,000, was donated to nonprofit organizations in the city by Praxair, an industrial gas company headquartered in Danbury.
The following are the donations made through the city's Neighborhood Assistance Act: Donor Bedoukian Research to the Danbury Fire Department, $50,000; Bedoukian Research for the Danbury Regional Child Advocacy Center, $25,000; Branson Ultrasonics for the United Way, $32,500; Branson Ultrasonics to Green Chimneys, $2,000; Branson Ultrasonics to the United Way, $4,750; Branson Ultrasonics to Interfaith AIDS Ministry, $1,000; Branson Ultrasonics to Danbury Children First, $2,500; Branson Ultrasonics for the Charles Ives Authority, $9,000; CT Kitchen and Bath to Charles Ives Authority, $1,000; Morganti Group for CT Institute for Communities, $5,000; Praxairto the United Way, $80,000; Praxair to the YMCA, $6,000; Praxair for Danbury Youth Services, $10,000; Taunton Press for Danbury Regional Child Advocacy Center, $1,000.
Source: Danbury News Time
RGGI2 Takes In $106 Million For Carbon
New York, NY, Dec. 23 — The ten states, including Connecticut, participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) last week announced the results of the second auction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions allowances in the United States. All of the 31,505,898 allowances offered for sale on December 17, 2008, were sold at a clearing price of $3.38 per allowance.
RGGI, Inc. reported that 69 participants from the energy, financial and environmental sectors took part in the bidding, indicating continued strong performance for RGGI CO2 allowance auctions. The demand for the allowances was robust at 3.5 times available supply.
The approximately $106.5 million in proceeds produced from this auction will be distributed to all ten RGGI states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) in proportion to the CO2 allowances offered for sale by each state. The states will invest those funds in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.
In the first “pre-compliance” auction on September 25, 2008, all of the 12,565,387 CO2 allowances offered for sale were sold at a clearing price of $3.07 per allowance. That auction raised nearly $38.6 million for use by the six RGGI states that offered CO2 allowances for sale during the first auction.
Potomac Economics, RGGI’s Market Monitor, reported that the second auction was administered in a fair and transparent manner. They also noted in their report that, “the auction generated a result that is consistent with competitive bidding.” Turn here for a full copy of their report (PDF).
Source: Source: Regional Green House Gas Initiative
SolarWrights and Solar Works Now Alteris™ Renewables
Bloomfield, Conn., Dec. 23 - SolarWorks, Inc. and SolarWrights, Inc, announced last week the new name of their united enterprise - Alteris Renewables, Inc. The name change is intended to better convey the company's expanded offering of renewable energy solutions that include solar electric, solar thermal, and wind energy systems. Wilton, CT will serve as the corporate and commercial headquarters with Bristol, RI serving as the operation center for the residential division.
"Alteris Renewables is well positioned to play a meaningful role in the growing renewable energy industry," said Ron French, President of Alteris. "Bringing together Solar Works and SolarWrights under one name will allow us to build upon our growth and experience as the two largest commercial and residential integrators in the Northeast region. We will now be able to offer an expanded suite of renewable energy solutions for the entire region in addition to our mainstay of solar."
The company will maintain its extensive sales and service network, with additional offices in Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Earlier this month, the company opened a new sales and production office in Natick, MA.
Library Journal's Going Green Tour Stops In Hartford
Bloomfield, Conn., Dec. 23 - According to an article posted on the Green Library Blog, earlier this month, the Library Journal held a conference in Hartford that attracted librarians, architects and other professionals in the field to discuss ways to help green the regions libraries.
The conference also had some local talent on display. The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund's Bob Wall was a luncheon speaker and hartford based JCJ architect Barbara Joslin spoke on a panel.
The stop in Hartford was part of the Journal's Going Green Tour and was supported by the Connecticut State Library and Connecticut Library Consortium.
Source: Library Journal
Commercial Solar Installations Gain Momentum
Bloomfield, Conn., Dec. 15 — Several comercial solar photovoltaic (PV) projects that are funded through the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund's On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program are either completed and successfully operating or near completion. These installations add more than 300 kilowatts of clean energy generating capacity to the state’s growing inventory of installed capacity. The installations include:
• A 72-kilowatt ground-mounted solar PV system at CNC Software in Tolland, Conn.;
• A 28.6-kilowatt solar PV system on the rooftop of Farmington Office Associates’ dental office building in Farmington, Conn.;
• A 6.3-kilowatt rooftop solar PV system at Greyledge Farm in Roxbury, Conn.;
• A 63-kilowatt rooftop solar PV system at Harvey Building Products in Waterford, Conn.;
• A 34.9-kilowatt rooftop solar PV system at Kaestle Boos Associates in New Britain, Conn.; and
• A 30.8-kiolowatt rooftop solar PV system at Ticket Software in Vernon, Conn.
CCEF grants for these projects totaled $1,326,444 and covered approximately half of the total project costs.
Last week, Tri Town Precision Plastics, a Deep River, Conn., manufacturer of custom injection molding, announced it will soon complete the installation of a new solar photovoltaic (PV) system, designed and installed by Gloria Spire Solar of Bedford, Mass. Tri Town President Scott D. Goodspeed says that his company’s investment in renewable energy stems from a commitment to sustainable business practices as well as from the need to be competitive in the global marketplace. He says they were intrigued with the concept of solar energy, but weren’t convinced it was feasible until they saw the numbers. Tri Town's system is estimated to pay for itself in less than six years and will save approximately $1,144,800 in electricity costs over its 30-year lifespan. Nearly half of the system’s cost is paid for by a $776,657 grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF).
Sources: CT Clean Energy Fund and www.businesswire.com
Green Earth Technologies and "Totally Green"
Stamford, Conn., Dec. 15 - Green Earth Technologies (GET), a leading manufacturer of green consumer packaged goods, has announced their "Totally Green" initiative to help educate their consumers on GET's standards for totally green products. In an effort to inform consumers and make going green easy in 2009, GET's "Totally Green" definition and "Green" New Year's resolution tips will be posted on the www.getg.com website starting last week. "Totally Green" will now be defined for the company as a product molded around four ideologies of being GREEN - biodegradable, renewable, recyclable and environmentally safe.
"Today, there is no clear cut definition for being green; consumers are left to make uneducated decisions with unpronounceable chemicals and materials that previously did not exist in nature and therefore cannot be biodegradable in Earth's eco-system," says Jeff Marshall, Chairman & CEO of Green Earth Technologies. "It is important that our consumers look out for blanket statements such as 'See a Doctor if swallowed,' which should raise a red flag towards a toxic product that is not, by our definition, green. Green Earth Technologies is committed to better inform our consumers of what they can expect when purchasing 'G'-Branded products."
GET supports their "totally green" definition with national ASTM and MSDS standards that determine the biodegradability and toxicity/hazard of a product. GET products replace the petrochemical base of traditional appearance and performance chemicals with an Ultimate Biodegradable bio-base made with plant oil or animal fat. An independent third party study determined that GET products have the highest ranking standard of "Ultimate Biodegradable." GET also uses a diamond shape diagram to indicate the degree of hazard associated with a particular chemical or material. The hazard diagram ranges from"0" meaning harmless to "4" meaning the products require a respirator, full face shield, a rubber apron, specialized gloves and handling tongs. When it comes to health or toxicity, GET products score a "0"!
More detailed information including the diagram of the hazard ratings will now be easily found on www.getg.com.
In addition, GET will also be posting tips for consumers on how to keep their "Green" New Year's resolutions. One such tip for 2009 will be encouraging consumers to check warning labels when purchasing green products. If the ingredients are harmful to humans, then it is a safe bet that it is harmful to pets, plants and the planet. GET is committed to helping educate consumers and will continue to put out similar tips each season.
Source: Green Earth Technologies
Eco-Built to Acquire Paradigm Polymers
New Haven, Conn., Dec. 15 - American Green Group, Inc. of New Haven has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Eco-Built Systems, LLC has signed a letter of intent to acquire the business operations of Paradigm Polymers, Inc., located in Georgia, a leader in the innovation of "Go Green" technology application in the structural insulation environment and various other applications since May 2000.
Gary Gray, President of Paradigm Polymers, Inc. shall retain his position with the company and become an instrumental part in the growth and development of "ECO-BUILT." Mr. Gray shall also assume a position as a board member with AMNE.
Mr. Gray developed and patented the first soy based spray foam insulation product HealthySeal. HealthySeal won the "Innovative Housing Technology Award" from the National Association of Home Builders in 2003. Established as a technologies consultant to the most active insulation web site on the Internet and is the holder of numerous "bio-based" technology patents.
Tenaska Solar Invests In Soltage
Jersey City, New Jersey, Conn., Dec. 8 — Soltage LLC has announced an equity investment from a subsidiary of Tenaska Inc, Tenaska Solar LLC. The investment will be used to further Soltage’s expansion as a premier supplier of solar energy to commercial, government, and utility clients across the nation.
Soltage is a privately-held renewable energy provider and provides discounted and stabilized electricity to large energy consumers. With active solar projects in two states, Soltage is headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey with offices in Hartford, Connecticut. Tenaska Solar is a privately-held company owned by Tenaska Energy, one of the largest independent power producers in the United States. Tenaska has developed approximately 9,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity across the United States and is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, with offices in Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and Calgary, Alberta Canada.
“We are pleased to have crafted a relationship with an established energy company such as Tenaska,” said Jesse Grossman, Soltage chief executive officer, “their profile of financial and operational excellence dovetails well with our core competencies, and we look forward to working with these partners as we expand our portfolio of solar assets in these growth markets for the years to come.”
“Tenaska is excited to move into the solar sector through this investment in Soltage,” said Dave Kirkwood, Tenaska’s vice president of strategic development. “The Soltage model, as executed by management, is well crafted to create strong value to the solar electricity consumer while at the same time provide strong investment opportunities through solar asset finance to the broader investment community.”
“Soltage looks forward to continuing and expanding our work with partners, clients, and suppliers over the coming quarters,” said Vanessa Stewart, Soltage’s chief operations officer. “This partnership with Tenaska is well in line with our growth plans and speaks to our solidity in the marketplace, and our prospects for the future.”
Company Focuses On Electric Hybrid Autos
Stamford, Conn., Dec. 8 - According to a Stamford Advocate article, a Greenwich startup company, Electric Truck LLC, has developed an alternative energy for automobiles that incorporates technology developed at Tufts University and capitalizes on a hybrid electric vehicle's vertical motion to charge its battery.
"What this means to the future is that this is a game-changing technology that so substantially improves electric and hybrid electric vehicles that perhaps we'll able to someday power vehicles without ever plugging them in," said David Holst-Grubbe, Electric Truck's president.
The product is expected to be available for use in cars by 2010, Holst-Grubbe said.
The device, created by Tufts engineers Ronald Goldner and Peter Zerigian, resembles a shock absorber and could increase the gasoline mileage of hybrid vehicles by 20 to 70 percent, according to Electric Truck.
While car manufacturers will be a prime target, Electric Truck sees trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles as a prospects because of their weight and air emissions levels, Holst-Grubbe said.
Source: Stamford Advocate
New Haven Project Off and Running
New Haven, Conn., Dec. 8 - Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. and City officials along with Landon Butler & Company, Becker + Becker, The State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development and the Connecticut Development Authority, were on hand today to officially break ground for 360 State Street, the $180 million redevelopment of the former Shartenberg Department Store Site in New Haven.
“Today marks an important milestone in New Haven as we celebrate the groundbreaking of the largest development project the City has seen in more than 20 years,” said DeStefano. “What resonates most about this accomplishment is that, despite difficult economic times, New Haven continues to thrive. This project means good jobs, increased traffic to patronize local businesses, and a continued spirit of vitality in our Downtown.”
Despite the downturn in the national economy, Downtown New Haven is experiencing one of its largest development booms in its history with over $1.5 billion worth of projects currently in some stage of development. The Economic Development Administration has aggressively worked to attract investment into the City. The substantial growth in the economic base is reflected by the investment in the City of larger regional and national firms such as Becker + Becker, Winstanley Enterprises, the Multi-Employer Property Trust, Northland Investment Corporation, Intercontinental Real Estate Company and Forest City.
“We are honored to be breaking ground on this historic site in the city, at a time when New Haven is undergoing a renaissance and has been recognized as one of the most attractive and desirable communities in the country. 360 State will be very significant in New Haven’s economic development by creating millions of job hours for Building Trades members, generating a total economic impact to the City over $400 million, and further transforming New Haven into a City in which we can live, work and play,” said Bruce Becker, Becker + Becker President. The project will be managed by Suffolk Construction Company, Inc., which is one of the leading privately held building contracting firms in the country.
When completed in Fall of 2010, 360 State Street will be comprised of a 700,000 square foot mixed-use development with 500 apartments (including 50 affordable units), grocery store, other retail, a parking garage, and an early childhood education center. Nearly 90% of the project is currently being funded by private pension fund financing with the remaining funding coming from public financing for affordable housing, public parking garage revenues and energy efficiency measures which will reduce energy usage by 35%. The development of this project will pump an estimated $400 million in to the local and regional economy. Approximately 1,200 new union construction jobs and 492 new permanent jobs will be created. In addition, 360 State Street has been selected to be a pilot project for the LEED Program for Neighborhood Development and will include such green features as photovoltaic arrays, recycled and local materials, and a fuel cell. It will be the first LEED Silver residential project in Connecticut and the largest residential building ever built in Connecticut.
O&G Partners With Stony Creek
Torrington, Conn., Dec. 2 — O&G Industries, Masonry Division and Stony Creek Quarry have announced a strategic alliance to address the growing demand for green building solutions and customers seeking the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
By engaging companies at the material, business and marketing levels, the new alliance will allow both companies to drive new growth opportunities and has the potential to ultimately transform project specifications, reaching higher LEED® certification levels and meeting reduced carbon-footprint certification criteria.
In order for dimensional stone producers to qualify for credits under LEED, at least 20% of its fabrication must be performed locally and 50% of the 20% of the fabrication must be from stone quarried locally as a percentage of the delivered total cost of material. The “local” aspect implies it must be within 500 miles radius from the factory to the jobsite.
O&G has agreed to display and inventory Stony Creek products at all five O&G masonry stores and showrooms; enabling faster turn-around time for stone veneers, steps, pavers, treads and decorative aggregate requirements to meet its customers demands. Stony Creek has authorized O&G as a distributor of Stone Creek material.
O&G Industries, Masonry Division is one of the largest suppliers of masonry products and services in Connecticut.
The House Designers Teams With ENERGY STAR
Monroe, Conn., Dec. 2 - The House Designers (THD) and ENERGY STAR® have partnered to offer consumers an exclusive collection of Green House Plans, which have all been awarded the "Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR®" credentials to promote green home building.
All ENERGY STAR® house plans include energy-efficient details and specifications for features such as tight construction and duct systems (specific to locality), properly-installed insulation, high performance windows, efficient heating and cooling equipment, and ENERGY STAR® qualified lighting and appliances to reduce energy costs by 20 to 30 percent.
THD, based in Monroe, Connecticut is a leading on-line resource of the leading residential architects and designers in the U.S. THD has the best selling, most popular house plans in America all under one roof owned and operated directly by the designers with clients who have built their homes in every state in the U.S. and in 56 countries around the globe.
Source: The House Designers
Stamford Buildings To Use Green Roofs
Stamford, Conn., Dec. 2 - According to an article in the Stamford Advocate, three buildings in Stamford will incorporate green roof. These installations will bring the city to about 14 acres of green roofs in the downtown area. The city has had a green roof zoning requirement since the 1970s.
The new Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters downtown will boast over 1 acre of cultivated rooftop, Roger Ferris, architect for the project, said. The building designers opted for an "intensive" green roof layout, with thick soil and trees. Only roofs designed to withstand a great deal of weight can handle intensive plantings.
High Ridge Park office complex's newly built cafeteria will have planted succulents and bamboo on it's roof. Unlike trees, these plants need little soil or care. and will only be used for appearance and not recreation.
Metro Tower, the office building W&M Properties plans to build in the South End hopes to have a green roof system on both the tower and its parking structure and will capture stormwater runoff and reuse it as flush water in bathrooms.