PV Installer Achieves Milestone
Bristol, RI, March 31 – SolarWrights, Inc., a Bristol, Rhode Island-based provider of turn-key photovoltaic, solar thermal, and wind systems and with several offices in Connecticut, announced last week the completion of the 10.25kW installation at the Kincaid residence in Stonington, CT which brings their total installed residential solar electricity in the Northeast to over one-megawatt.
President and founder, Robert Chew, views this as a milestone for both SolarWrights and the solar industry. “Reaching the one-megawatt mark is a tremendous accomplishment for SolarWrights and a testament to the power that homeowners have in making smart choices about their energy sources. Homeowners like the Kincaids are making a difference.”
The Kincaid project was completed by the Stonington, Connecticut office of SolarWrights. The polemounted array, comprised of fifty SunPower solar modules is expected to produce 12,156 killowatt-hours per year which is equal to 78% of their Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) utility bill. Because the Kincaids are customers of Connecticut Light & Power, they received a substantial rebate from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF). The fund, which provides incentives to CL&P and United Illuminating customers purchasing solar electric systems, will typically provide between 40% and 60% of the cost of the system.
About SolarWrights, Inc. - SolarWrights is a provider of turn-key photovoltaic, solar thermal, and wind systems for commercial and residential applications throughout the Northeast. SolarWrights’ headquarters are in Bristol, Rhode Island and has offices in CT, MA, VT, NY. The Providence Business News recently awarded SolarWrights the "2007 Entrepreneurial Award" for Business Excellence, in addition to naming SolarWrights one of the" Best Places to work in Rhode Island" and one of the "Fastest Growing Private Business in Rhode island" for 2006 and 2007.
Source: SolarWrights, Inc.
Xerox Announces Sustainability Calculator
Norwalk, Conn., March 26 – Xerox Corporation this week unveiled the industry's first Sustainability Calculator designed to help customers pinpoint opportunities to reduce their environmental impact while reducing costs. The new proprietary software tool measures the overall impact a company's document technologies have on the environment.
The Sustainability Calculator is the newest assessment tool available through Xerox Office Services. It evaluates the current office environment of printers, copiers and multifunction devices and then measures environmental benefits that could be achieved in terms of energy and paper use, solid waste, water, air and greenhouse gas emissions. This tool provides customers the first fact-based measurement of their environmental footprint.
"This calculator cracks the code to help offices of any size really understand just how 'green' their offices are or could be," said John Kelly, president, Xerox Global Services North America. "The same people who are environmentally conscious at home are starting to bring this awareness to work, but in many cases, they didn't know where to start. We designed the Sustainability Calculator to be an effective environmental assessment tool. It provides customers with actionable recommendations to help them achieve their 'green' objectives and in doing so realize cost-savings and efficiency gains that come with an optimized office environment."
The Sustainability Calculator not only tracks document technology from Xerox but also printers, copiers and multifunction devices from other companies.
For offices that want a quick assessment of their environmental footprint, a scaled-down version of the comprehensive calculator will launch today on Xerox's Web site at www.xerox.com/thoughtleadership. Visitors get a sneak peek at how the calculator can effectively help their company, regardless of its size. The quick Web-based assessment provides how-to tips and advice on smart ways to make offices greener.
Connecticut Ranked High For Solar Power
San Francisco, CA, March 24 – The April/May issue of Home Power magazine features a story which ranks "The Best States for Solar" and Connecticut was a member of the top ten. The criteria used included strong incentives, regulatory policies that are forward thinking, and strong support for setting renewable energy usage targets. Here is the top ten list in alphabetical order:
1. California — Its California Solar Initiative calls for a $3.3 billion, ten-year program that will help CA hold its position as the leading producer of solar technologies in the US, and one of the largest solar markets in the world
2. Colorado — 300 sunny days per year help, but this state maximizes its solar assets by offering rebates, loans, and tax exemptions for PV systems while spurring growth of green collar jobs by encouraging solar tech and PV manufacturing.
3. Connecticut — The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund provides solar incentives, while the state’s RPS (renewable portfolio standard) requires that 27% of the the state’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2020.
4. Maryland — The state has jump-started its support of solar energy with increased rebates, causing total installed solar capacity to jump to 1MW.
5. Massachusetts — Commonwealth Solar, a state-funded program, will feed $68 million into offsetting the cost of PV systems, with a portion focused on schools and government buildings.
6. Minnesota — This one was a surprise to me: a far north state with no solar thermal incentives, MN still has hundreds of solar thermal systems. It must be due to their cold weather and the opportunity to save a lot of money on solar hot water and space heating.
7. New Jersey — Jersey is outpacing its neighbor across the Hudson with the largest installed capacity behind California. Who knew?
8. New Mexico — This state is now beginning to realize that its 300-350 sunny days of sunshine are a major asset. Its RPS calls for 20% of its electricity to come from renewables by 2020. Tax credits of up to $9,000 are available for solar thermal and PV installs.
9. Oregon — This state offered a tax credit for solar energy use 30 years ago, and now it is trying to take the lead again, with cash incentives for PV and thermal systems, and the passage of seven clean-energy bills in 2007. Green collar jobs are getting a boost from four PV component-manufacturers’ moves into the state.
10. Pennsylvania — While having to pay homage to the coal industry for political reasons, PA is nevertheless working hard to promote job growth in clean energy by attracting solar companies to the state.
What’s coming for state policy and solar? According to the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), states are turning their attention to solar thermal heat and hot water heating, because of their efficiency and affordability, as well as their stable technology, and focusing on affordable housing to expand the market for solar. For detail on state subsidies, see the very detailed and up to date Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.
Source: Source: cleantechnica.com
Travelers Launches Green Building Product
Hartford, Conn., March 20 – PHartford based Travelers Commercial Property Division this week launched its Green Building Coverage Enhancements for mid-sized businesses. An endorsement to the standard Deluxe Property Coverage, this new product highlights Travelers' ability to keep pace with the evolving sustainable building practices.
"Travelers is pleased to note that a number of federal, state and local agencies across the country are instituting programs that encourage, or require, environmentally friendly building practices," said Rich Waskiewicz, senior vice president, Travelers Property. "Today's announcement supports those efforts and our company-wide initiatives to encourage environmentally responsible behavior."
Travelers' Green Building Coverage Enhancements for mid-sized businesses promote the use of environmentally friendly building materials as replacement components following a covered cause or type of loss. Travelers' Deluxe Property forms are amended to provide the following additional coverages:
- Green Building Alternatives - Increased Cost
- Green Buildings Reengineering and Recertification Expense
- Vegetative Roofs
- Green Building Alternatives - Increased Period of Restoration
"Travelers believes that commercial property owners who embrace 'green' technologies are likely to be more risk management-minded, practicing greater care in building maintenance and operation," said Michael Klein, president of commercial accounts, Travelers. "We are excited to introduce this new product, supporting our middle market customers who implement environmentally friendly initiatives."
For more information on the new coverage enhancements from the Travelers Commercial Property Division, call your local Travelers Commercial Accounts office.
Source: Travelers Press Release
AXIAR Green Helps To Cut Paper Waste
New Canaan, Conn., March 17 – LBM Systems of New Canaan has developed software, AXIAR Green, that helps to cut down on paper waste by allowing users to print on both sides of a page and save on energy costs by setting up printing for off-peak times when there is less demand for energy.
Last week in an article in the Stamford Advocate, Andy Wellman, chief operating officer of LBM Systems stated, "Looking at this through green lenses, this is about saving and reducing what goes in their (businesses) recycling bin."
Wellman said that utilizing the new software, which took six months to develop, offers two benefits: an improved bottom line and environment. He also states that the software also is compatible for Windows, Unix, Linux and AS/400 servers. The software eliminates the need for pre-printed forms and can convert documents, normally printed into PDF documents, so they can be distributed and viewed digitally. Taking this route leads companies to spend less on toner and have less excess paper in the office.
LBM Systems, a 25-year-old company with a background in management output software for print technology, has targeted clients in universities and the public sector. Some clients include H.H. Brown Show Co. Inc. in Greenwich, the University of California, Daiwa Securities in New York City and Mediacom, a partner company of Grey Global Group in New York City.
Source: Stamford Advocate
Whole Foods Market To Generate On-Site Power
South Windsor, Conn., March 11 - The new Whole Foods Market in Glastonbury, Conn., will be the first supermarket to generate most of its power on-site with a fuel cell from South Windsor based UTC Power. UTC Power is a United Technologies Corp. company.
“We are always looking to reduce our impact on the environment,” said Kathy Loftus, Global Leader, Sustainable Engineering, Maintenance and Energy for Whole Foods Market. “Together with UTC Power and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, we’ve designed a combined cooling, heating and power system for our new Glastonbury store using a quiet, highly energy-efficient fuel cell that will reduce our carbon footprint dramatically.”
The new 46,000-square-foot store at 55 Welles Street in the Fox Run Mall opens its doors at 10 a.m. on March 12 and will generate 50 percent of the electricity and heat and nearly 100 percent of the hot water needed to operate the store on-site using fuel cell technology. This allows Whole Foods Market to reduce its burden on the power grid and its impact on the environment.
The fuel cell at the Glastonbury Whole Foods Market will be configured for grid-independent operation and is capable of providing 200 kW of standby power if there’s a grid failure, which will enable the store to operate without disruption. “Our UTC Power PureCell system provides Whole Foods Market with enhanced energy security and will ensure a reliable food supply for customers and protect against costly food spoilage if the power grid goes down,” said Jan van Dokkum, UTC Power president.
Whole Foods Market’s use of a fuel cell system versus a conventional power plant has carbon dioxide-mitigating benefits equal to planting more than 21 acres of forest, the companies said, and reductions in nitrogen oxide emissions equal to removing 100 cars from the roadways per year.
The store’s fuel cell is eligible for an Onsite Renewable Energy grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF). The CCEF promotes, develops and invests in clean energy sources for sustainable energy for the benefit of Connecticut ratepayers.
Source: UTC Power Press Release
Stamford, Conn., March 5 - This week, Pitney Bowes, a global leader in the mailing industry, released findings from a recent survey that looked at consumer attitudes toward mail and based on the findings, gave some recommended solutions for businesses to implement to reduce waste and increase profits when reaching out to customers and via the USPS.
Pitney Bowes, with additional operations in Shelton and Danbury, conducted a survey with DM News and found that consumers are very sensitive about getting mass mailings. The results found in, “The Truth About Green” show that a majority of the respondents,
Think more than half of all municipal waste is mail (the actual figure is around 2 percent);
Prefer companies that don’t send unwanted mail or mail without relevant information; and
Think more highly of companies that use recycled paper and other green practices.
The white paper also makes some recommendations on how to be more efficient with the goal of lowing costs and increasing profits. These measures include:
- Making sure not to send undeliverable mail, a goal achieved though rigorous data management. Ensuring addresses are accurate also helps the USPS, which spends $1.9 billion a year dealing with undeliverable mail;
- Sending only mailings that customers will find useful;
- Combining multiple mailings into one;
- The report also recommends using lighter paper with high post-consumer recycled content; and
- Look at reducing the environmental impact of delivery trucks, ink, employee activities and printing.
The USPS is also doing its part to support the findings of the Pitney Bowes white paper. The USPS’s Extreme Green Program, which is being showcased at this year’s National Postal Forum, will complement Pitney Bowes efforts.
Farmington, Conn., March 4 – Carrier Corp., a unit of United Technologies Corp., was honored recently with the Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity's first-ever Community Ambassadors Award. The organization recognized Carrier for its 10th corporate house sponsorship as well as its ongoing support. Carrier further supported the Hartford affiliate by donating 10 heating systems installed in new Habitat houses in 2007.
"Carrier has paved the way for other companies as it has raised the bar on corporate giving and community service," said Hartford Habitat's Executive Director Michael J. Brett. "We are pleased to present them with the first Community Ambassadors Award."
A long-time partner of Habitat for Humanity, Carrier has donated more than $3 million in cash and equipment and built more than 100 homes on three continents. The company has enabled its employees to volunteer upwards of 26,000 hours with Habitat for Humanity affiliates around the world.
"At Carrier, our purpose is to make the world a better place to live by creating a comfortable, productive and healthy environment," said Carrier President, Geraud Darnis. "We do that with our innovative products that are energy efficient and environmentally sound. We also fulfill our purpose through the actions of Carrier employees in their communities."
Carrier supports organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, that promote the use of green building practices and environmental sustainability in urban centers. It is in this spirit that Carrier helped the Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity incorporate green building practices into its homes in 2006. The Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity continues to design homes that meet ecologically sound building standards through the use of recycled materials, renewable resources and energy efficiency.