OPEL Teams With The Sports Zone
Shelton, Conn., Nov. 23 — OPEL International Inc., a leading global developer and supplier of concentrating photovoltaic panels (CPVs) and industrial solar systems, has announced it has installed and activated a 9.5 kW grid tied solar installation at The Sports Zone in Trumbull, CT.
The solar installation is a complete, turnkey system that features OPEL's Mk-I high concentration photovoltaic panels (HCPV), along with OPEL's Mk-III low concentration photovoltaic panels (LCPV); all are mounted on OPEL's SF-20 dual axis tracker systems.
OPEL's Mk-I HCPV panels concentrate the light from the sun more than 500 times and have conversion efficiencies up to twice that of conventional silicon solar panels and more than three times that of thin film solar panels. The Sports Zone in Trumbull, CT
OPEL's solar trackers can be used in conjunction with both concentrating panels, as well as with conventional silicon ones. When these trackers are used in conjunction with conventional silicon panels, the resulting electricity generation can be increased by as much as 40% with respect to conventional fixed panel installations.
The Sports Zone is home to New England's largest indoor sports field with a focus on soccer and lacrosse.
Project FROG Leaps Into New England
Hartford, Conn., Nov. 23 - Project FROG of San Francisco will build its first energy-neutral building in New England at the Watkinson School in Hartford. The company will construct three smart buildings for the school's new Center for Science and Global Citizenship.
John Bracker, Watkinson’s Head of School, announced, “Not only will the building provide state of the art science classrooms and a hub for Watkinson’s Global Studies Program, but also deliberately provide a location for teachers and students to explore the intersection of these subject areas, specifically environmental studies and ethical action. We believe the building should be as twenty-first century as our educational philosophy.” A prototype of the building, called FROG Zero, debuted at the U.S. Green Building Council's Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Boston last week.
Project FROG Inc. is a venture-backed company founded in 2006 with the mission of designing and manufacturing smart buildings—high-performance, green building systems that are healthy, quick to deploy, affordable, sustainable and permanent. Constructed of renewable or recyclable materials, the FROG Zero generates more energy within its footprint than is required to operate its systems.
State Awards Biodiesel Grants
Hartford, Conn., Nov. 23 - The state has awarded $350,000 in grants to seven biodiesel distribution facilities around Connecticut, Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced over the weekend.
"Support for biodiesel production is not only an economic development issue but also an environmental issue," Rell said in announcing the grants under the Distribution Facilities Grant Program."
The recipients of $50,000 grants are:
•Megellan Terminal Holdings L.P., an independent petroleum storage company that plans to buy and install a blending system and biodiesel storage equipment at its facility in New Haven.
•Bantam Supply Co., a retail distributor of Bioheat fuel, diesel and propane in Bantam. The company plans to upgrade the pump, metering and monitoring system and increase distribution capacity.
•Baribault Oil Co., a wholesale distributor of Bioheat blends, fuel oil and diesel fuel in the Oakville section of Watertown. The company intends to replace existing piping and install a new loading area.
•Total Energy Solutions LLC, the parent company to Sterling Street Terminal in East Hartford. Total Energy, which sells petroleum products in New England, New York and the mid-Atlantic region, plans to modify the storage tank at its East Hartford distribution facility for a blending system and purchase and install a 10,000 gallon biodiesel tank.
•Norbert E. Mitchell Co., a retail petroleum fuel distributor throughout Fairfield, Litchfield, and New Haven counties. It plans to purchase and install a 10,000 gallon biodiesel storage tank and fuel injection system.
•Greenleaf Biofuels LLC, a wholesale and retail distributor of biodiesel and biodiesel blends in Guilford. It plans to purchase a 6,900-gallon biodiesel tank trailer.
•Hale Hill Farm Biofuels, which distributes biodiesel and biodiesel blends from its Portland facility. The company plans to purchase two 1,000-gallon storage tanks with fueling apparatus, a 3,000-gallon delivery truck, three 275-gallon storage tanks with fueling apparatus and a 20-foot-by-20-foot field office for biodiesel sampling and testing.
The grant program is funded by the state Department of Economic and Community Development.
Source: The Hartford Courant
PR Firm Creates Green Division
New Haven, Conn., Nov. 18 — Xpresso PR recently announced the formation of Xpresso Eco, a new division that will focus on environmental and green issues in public relations and marketing and is the first specialty division to be established in the company’s four-year history.
“With Xpresso’s continued growth, and our experience in working with clients helping to get the word out about their green initiatives, expanding Xpresso to also offer a green division just made sense, and we couldn’t be more excited about it,” says Xpresso founder and Mascola Group chairman, Chuck Mascola. “We think of Xpresso Eco as our way of contributing to a cleaner, eco-friendly world, beyond what we can do individually, by helping clients to find their green story, and persuade others to become green.”
Xpresso saw growth potential in this segment after their experience helping to launch Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort’s acclaimed wind turbine located just below its summit. The turbine powers Jiminy’s snowmakers and its on-site resort, The Country Inn. Jiminy is the first ski resort in North America to use wind power.
Xpresso Eco also has experience in the environmental category through their work with Global Environmental Services of Connecticut. As Connecticut’s only food by-product waste recycling company, Xpresso helped Global become well recognized in the region and expand their customer base. Xpresso helped Global launch a major PR campaign aimed at increasing brand awareness, by focusing on the positive environmental impact that recycling food-waste can have on the planet.
The Solar Center Teams with IDA
Bloomfield, Conn., Nov. 18 - The Solar Center, with offices in New York and New Jersey, has announced that it will be commencing installation of a 96 kilowatt solar system for IDA International of Derby, CT, its largest solar installation to date in that state.
IDA, a manufacturer of facades and custom curtain-walls for commercial buildings, made a mission several years ago to bring an environmental awareness to its operations, with the vision toward becoming a green manufacturer. Many of the facades they construct are for buildings where the owner is seeking LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmnetal Design) status from the U.S. Green Building Council. Thomas Harbinson, IDA's President, stated "We already use components that have a high recycled material content, and now our fabrication and assembly of those parts into a finished product will also be done in an environmentally sensitive manner." Harbinson adds, "Generating electricity from sunlight is a decision that took time to implement. Fortunately, when our 1800's era factory building was built, the designer took solar orientation into account for bringing daylight into the workplace. That orientation now works to our advantage with maximum potential for solar electrical generation. A standing seam metal roof as part of our building envelope both eases the attachment of the solar panels to our building, and reduces the heat gain on the building structure due to it's high emissivity." IDA hopes to illustrate that former under-utilized industrial buildings can be given new life with a green aspect such as solar electric generation.
The Solar Center President, Shannon Whitworth Kayen, hailed the project as another big step in The Solar Center's continuing expansion of its CT presence, especially in the commercial solar marketplace. "We're pleased to be able to work with IDA-International and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund in advancing the cause of solar, reducing global warming gasses, furthering the goal of national energy independence, and supporting Connecticut's congested southwestern electric grid, all while providing our customer with a project that will, ultimately, yield a substantial low-risk return on investment," said Whitworth Kayen.
The project was partially funded by a grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund's On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program, which provides qualified projects funding that can equal as much as 50% of a project's cost. Combined with federal investment tax credits and accelerated depreciation, solar projects in CT can realize returns in the range of 15-20%.
The Solar Center, Inc. is one of the largest designers and installers of solar energy systems in the region, serving NY's Hudson Valley, Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Source: The Solar Center
Anthem Awards Grant For Greenway Trail
Guilford, Conn., Nov. 18 - The Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to the Shoreline Greenway Trail. The grant is the largest corporate donation in the Trail's history. The grant will be combined with other smaller grants and contributions to build the Hammonasset Beach Section of Trail in Madison, Connecticut.
The grant was awarded through the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation's Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative to help improve public health outcomes in Connecticut and other states served by the Foundation.
"I am enormously pleased that this Anthem Foundation grant will benefit our shoreline communities," said David R. Fusco, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut. "Projects like this that encourage people of all ages to increase their physical activity help promote a healthier way of life in our community. They also support and protect our environment, and that truly makes the Shoreline Greenway Trail a real 'win-win' for everyone."
The Shoreline Greenway promotes public health by providing an accessible, attractive, safe venue for moderate daily exercise for residents and visitors of all ages. The Trail's construction -- paving in some areas, compacted stone dust or boardwalk in others -- makes it particularly attractive to families on bicycles, parents pushing strollers and people of any age using wheelchairs. Its route, designed to connect school campuses, train stations and town centers, allows it to serve as an alternative, non-motorized transportation option -- an opportunity to incorporate exercise into daily routines and to burn calories instead of gasoline.
The Shoreline Greenway Trail is a 25-mile multi-use trail from Lighthouse Point in New Haven, Connecticut, to Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison, Connecticut. It is being built, section by section, in the four shoreline towns of East Haven, Branford, Guilford, and Madison, Connecticut. The Trail is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization. Its membership includes more than 2000 shoreline households.
Esty Named To Transition Team
Bloomfield, Conn., Nov. 13 — Dan Esty, a professor at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies at Yale and noted green business author, has been named to the transition team of President-elect Barack Obama.
According to the Yale Daily News, Esty, who worked as an adviser on environment and energy to Obama during the campaign, confirmed the appointment in an e-mail message to the News last night. The report also mentioned that Esty may well be the top choice for the position of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, the organization’s top post.
For his part, Esty has significant experience working in Washington politics. Esty served in the EPA under former President George H.W. Bush ’48 from 1989 to 1993. During that time, he helped formulate the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments as well the environmental components of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement.
Since leaving Washington, Esty has served with joint faculty appointments at FES and Yale Law School; he is now also the director of the Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Center for Business and Environment at Yale.
Esty is also the co-author of the critically acclaimed book, Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage Green to Gold. Esty and Andrew Winston offer a series of fascinating case studies of corporations such as WalMart, GE and Chiquita (Banana).
EPA Seeking Climate-Change Comments
Hartford, Conn., Nov. 13 - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking for comments on proposals to help determine whether or not carbon emissions constitute an endangerment to the environment and public health.
Businesses can submit comments to the EPA’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on the question through November 28.
This latest action is a response to last year’s Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA that characterized carbon as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act (CAA) and charged the EPA with determining whether or not carbon emissions constitute an “endangerment.”
To submit comments to the EPA, go to www.nam.org and use the “Contact EPA” link.
Source: National Association of Manufacturers
Governor Announces Green Investment Fund
Hartford, Conn., Nov. 13 - Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced the launch of a $9m fund that will make investments in seed-and early-stage companies focused on innovations that conserve energy and resources, protect the environment or eliminate harmful waste.
The fund will be called the Connecticut Clean Tech Fund and will be administered by Connecticut Innovations (CI), the state’s quasi-public authority responsible for technology investing and innovation development.
“We want to position Connecticut as the preferred location to grow clean tech jobs,” said Governor Rell. “The fund will help Connecticut entrepreneurs to develop cutting-edge solutions to address climate change and other global challenges. Their innovations in renewable energy, energy efficiency, environmental remediation and other vital clean tech areas will create jobs in clean energy and related areas.”
The Governor is encouraging entrepreneurs, emerging companies, university technology transfer offices and other interested parties to contact CI for additional information about the Connecticut Clean Tech Fund.
The Connecticut Clean Tech Fund was formed through a partnership between CI, the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF). CI and DECD have each made an initial commitment of $3 million to launch the fund. CCEF has pledged an additional $3 million for investments into companies that meet its criteria.
L.L. Bean Store Gets LEED Certification
Bloomfield, Conn., Nov. 9 — According to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Web site, the L.L. Bean Store at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor, has been certified by the council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) program.
The store opened in the summer of 2007 and is certified for Commercial Interiors at the Silver level and is the first retail establishment in the state to receive certification. The 4Elements Group in Stamford, CT was the green building consultant.
In related LEED news, Connecticut recently surpassed one hundred LEED registered projects. This number does not include LEED for homes. Some of the recently registered projects that put the number at 103 include the Bridgeport Multi Magnet High School, the Mystic Seaport new North End project, the Stepping Stones Museum in Norwalk and the UCONN Social Sciences & Humanities Buildings at the main campus in Storrs.
Source: U.S. Green Building Council
Home Builder Announces Green Options
Newington, Conn., Nov. 9 - Simply Additions, a design build company based in Newington, CT and known for making home addition shopping a breeze, annouced its future plans for Green Home Building.
According to the company's blog, the firm will produce dozens of new home plans which will be completely priced out and available with several green options. Currently the company has 22 pre-priced home addition packages on its website, where a consumer can shop for what they need without having to call several contractors for quotes.
Starting this month, Simply Additions will once again change they way consumers do things, this time for home building. "We want to give people options and information so they don't have to waste time meeting with contractors. By visiting our Web site, consumers will be able to pick the home they want to build configure it with options and instantly see the price for their project. We believe that the consumer shouldn't have to bother with wasting their time in 2008; they should be able to go on Google and quickly find out how much their new home will cost them to build even if they decide to add green features."
Already, Simply Additions has caught the attention of the Better Business Bureau and the State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, by winning several business and service awards in Connecticut.
Source: Simply Additions
New Director Named for Global Fuel Cell Center
Storrs, Conn., Nov. 9 - Prabhakar Singh, a researcher with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., has been named director of the University’s Connecticut Global Fuel Cell Center, following an international search.
He will have a faculty appointment as the UTC Chair Professor of Fuel Cell Technology in the Department of Chemical, Materials, & Biomolecular Engineering.
Singh, who will begin at UConn on Jan. 1, currently directs advanced solid oxide fuel cell development activities at the laboratory. He also works with government and industrial clients on fuel cell product development.
“We are delighted to welcome Singh, a world class researcher and visionary in the field of fuel cell science, who will help to transform the Connecticut Global Fuel Cell Center into an international leader in the design, development, and commercialization of fuel cells,” says Mun Choi, dean of the School of Engineering, who announced the appointment.
As director, Singh will oversee operations and guide the Center’s research and educational activities. He will be responsible for attracting resources and developing collaborative partnerships among the Center, government, and industry. He will also lead a team developing fuel cell technology and applications.
Before joining the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Singh held several technical and management positions at Ford Motor Co., Westinghouse Electric Corp., and FuelCell Energy. While at Ford’s Visteon Corp. arm, he managed proton exchange membrane fuel cell research and development.
Bridgeport Launches B-Green 2020
Bridgeport, Conn., Nov. 2 — Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch signed an executive order last week requiring the city to emphasize “sustainability planning” in all its actions as a way to better protect the environment. The measure is being called B-Green 2020 and mandates municipal departments focus on reducing the city’s energy use and carbon footprint in their decisions.
Such green initiatives as green cleaning products and municipal vehicles powered by hydrogen, bio-diesels and electricity. It also will involve conducting a comprehensive energy audit of all city buildings, trying to lure fuel cell manufacturers to the city, and perhaps using wind and solar power to create energy within Bridgeport.
The actions could be as simple as always turning off lights when not in use. “This will lead to a new set of behaviors,” Finch said. “We’re changing the very way we do business as a city on a day-to-day basis.”
Finch, long known for his strong environmental views, said the policy was a way to make Bridgeport a leader in the environmental movement while also attracting new businesses and improving its image.
Sun Products Leases Green Space
Wilton, Conn., Nov. 2 - In what is considered to be one of the largest transactions this year, Davis Marcus Partners has announced that Sun Products Corporation will lease 56,603 sq ft at it's Wilton Corporate Park at Sixty Danbury Road. Sun expanded in 2008 when its parent Vestar Capital Partners acquired Unilever's North American laundry brands (All, Wisk, Sunlight, Surf, and Snuggle) and merged the two businesses to form The Sun Products Corporation.
The new location will serve as the headquarters for the newly formed company. The Sun Products Corporation, which will employ approximately 130 at this location, is expected to take occupancy of its new space at 60 Danbury Road in March 2009. It is currently operating in interim space in Stamford and Westport.
Building developers, Davis Marcus Partners, designed, built and registered the new construction at 60 Danbury Road to meet the US Green Building Council's Gold LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Commercial Interiors program. They are one of the first Class A office buildings in Fairfield County trying to meet this LEED level. The developers are also looking for the same certification for its 40 Danbury Road property.
Regional Group Gets EPA Grant
Bloomfield, Conn., Nov. 2 - The Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG), which provides regional growth strategies for the 29 Metro Hartford municipalities has received a U.S. Envionmental Protection Agency grant.
Through the Smart Growth Implementation Assistance (SGIA), the EPA provides technical assistance from private-sector experts to help communities find the best tools and resources to plan for growth in ways that sustain environmental and economic progress and create a high quality of life. The CRCOG was one of three communities in the country to be selected from 47 applications. CRCOG will use the $45,000 grant to help communities craft zoning regulations that use smart growth principles in developing affordable housing. The other two winning communities were Miami-Dade County and New York City.
Other support and partners include the Towns of Bloomfield, Manchester, South Windsor, and Tolland; Partnership for Strong Communities; University of Hartford; and American Farmland Trust.