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CT Green News
News for October 2007
CBIA Releases Green Business Survey
Hartford Conn., October 29 - According to survey findings released today by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), Connecticut businesses are increasingly eyeing a “triple bottom line” of fiscal health, environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility as a broader and truer measure of their success. They are using these efforts to enhance their company's image and reduce costs, increase productivity, and attract new customers and employees. And many Connecticut companies have energy cost-saving measures, energy-efficiency policies or recycling programs already in place.
CBIA's 2007 Corporate Sustainability/Green Business Practices Survey defined sustainability as the opportunity for businesses to provide long-lasting solutions that will enhance the socio-economic landscape while continuing to create jobs and economic wealth well into the future. Green business practices were defined as those that addressed environmental stewardship and social responsibility. The survey provides a better understanding of the ways in which Connecticut businesses are environmentally involved and socially responsible, not only within their industries, but within their communities as well.
"Green business practices are an emerging strategic imperative that's helping Connecticut companies improve their operations and increase their competitiveness in the global marketplace,” said John R. Rathgeber, CBIA president and CEO. “These companies understand the dynamics of the growing green economy. They want to do more to make the most effective use of our valuable resources and continue to have a meaningful, positive presence in their communities.”
Two-thirds of Connecticut business leaders responding to the survey believe that sustainability planning can enhance their companies' long-term fiscal strength. If they adopt green business practices, half of the respondents believe their companies can attract larger vendors and other partners, and 45 percent think they can attract younger workers who might be more environmentally conscious.
Nearly half (47 percent) of those surveyed said their company is changing its policies regarding environmental practices and business sustainability. Forty-nine percent of respondents said their firms are already considering potentially cost-saving environmental factors when choosing sites for business expansion or relocation. The most important factors include traffic congestion (40 percent), regional energy costs (34 percent), access to public transportation (30 percent), and proximity to a major city (21 percent).
Washington, D.C., October 24 - Forbes has released its first ever ranking of states by how green they are and Connecticut placed sixth. The media conglomerate used various criteria in determining the ranking and the Nutmeg State ranked higher than NY, MA and California.
Forbes named Vermont, Oregon and Washington the greenest states in the nation for the strides these states have taken in areas such as energy efficiency, low carbon emissions and green building.
Hawaii and Maryland rounded out the top five in a list that found that, overall, "the congested Eastern Coast is a lot more environmentally friendly than you thought."
The magazine ranked each state based on carbon footprint, air quality, water quality, hazardous waste management, policy initiatives and energy consumption.
It used information from the American Lung Association's 2007 State of the Air Report, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, PIRG's water assessment data, U.S. Green Building Council and the American Council for an Energy-Efficienct Economy, among other agencies.
Connecticut reached sixth place because of low miles driven per capita, its low carbon footprint and regulations forcing utilities to meet energy savings goals.
State of Connecticut Completes Renewable Energy Auction with World Energy
Worcester, MA, October 19 -World Energy Solutions, Inc. (TSX: XWE), the operator of leading online exchanges for energy and energy-related products, announced the State of Connecticut has completed its first successful energy auction through the web-based World Energy Exchange. As a result of the initial auction, Connecticut has achieved a high mix of renewable energy, underscoring the State's commitment to mitigating climate change. In addition, the energy contracts achieved through World Energy are expected to generate a total cost savings of $18 million dollars over the 20 month contract period.
By leveraging World Energy's proven web-based platform, the State of Connecticut was able to award a series of contracts to supply the State with more than 505 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. As part of that total, the participating agencies were able to contract the equivalent of 134,420 MWh of renewable power, which when combined with the State's Renewable Portfolio Standard, yields a 17 percent greening of the state's overall energy portfolio. Connecticut is one of 10 states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a pioneering cap and trade system to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Out of the 10 RGGI states, Connecticut becomes the fifth to select World Energy for its energy procurement needs, and the sixth state overall.
"The World Energy Exchange and their team of knowledgeable industry experts provided even more value than we had anticipated. We were especially pleased with the aggressive pricing we received for green power and given the success of this first procurement, we look forward to leveraging World Energy again to address other energy needs," commented Secretary Robert Genuario at the State of Connecticut.
October 17, South Windsor, CT - UTC Power, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company, said its PureCell™ Model 200 fuel cell system will provide clean on-site power at the new 283,000-square-foot Middletown, Conn., High School and Vocational Agricultural Center (VAC) now under construction and due to open in September 2008. The $106 million facility will be one of the largest and most technologically advanced secondary schools in Connecticut.
Middletown’s decision to install a 200 kW PureCell system will make the new facility, designed for over 1,400 students, one of only five K-12 schools in Connecticut with a LEED® certification. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.
Middletown Mayor Sebastian N. Giuliano said, “This is the single biggest project Middletown has undertaken in its nearly 350-year history. We were determined to be fiscally and operationally prudent, energy conscious and environmentally responsible and we quickly came to the conclusion that the UTC Power fuel cell was our best energy solution. Plus, the fuel cell will be a teaching tool just outside the door of our science, physics, chemistry and math labs.”
UTC Power President Jan van Dokkum said, “Locating a fuel cell on a school campus presents a unique opportunity to realize educational value from the project. Students can observe up close and directly how clean energy works and benefits everyone.” UTC Power fuel cells have been installed at 17 educational facilities in six U.S. states and Canada.
October 13, Saint Charles, MO - Stephen Tagliatela who serves as Owner & Innkeeper of the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa in Old Saybrook, Conn. has been named to the Board of Advisors of EcoRooms & EcoSuites, a trade group that promotes environmental stewardship for the hospitality industry.
EcoRooms & EcoSuites is an online directory of environmentally responsible hotels, motels, inns and B&Bs. With insight from some of the most thoughtful and greenest minds in the industry as a guide, the Web site's rigorous "Significant 7" Criteria is helping to define what it means to be a green hotel.
"We're proud to have Stephen join our Board of Advisors," says Ray Burger, President of Pineapple Hospitality, which operates EcoRooms & EcoSuites as a Division of Pineapple Hospitality. "As the trend of going green continues to explode in every facet of society, our new advisors will bring us new ideas and different, fresh perspectives to best serve our green travelers and lodging partners."
October 9 , East Hartford, Conn. - Cabela’s and UTC Power, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company, today announced that the new Cabela’s store at Rentschler Field will receive approximately two-thirds of the required building power from four UTC Power fuel cells to be installed on the site.
“Cabela’s is always looking for ways to contribute in a positive way to improving the overall environment in places where we have our stores,” said Kevin Rhodes, Director of Real Estate for Cabela’s. “It was only natural that we would work with UTC Power to increase on-site electric generation at Rentschler Field while at the same time reducing adverse environmental impacts. Fuel cells are a great technology to achieve these goals for Connecticut, plus they are designed and manufactured in Connecticut.”
According to UTC Power President Jan van Dokkum, “Compared to conventional power generation sources, these four UTC Power fuel cells will reduce the development’s carbon footprint by 1,800 tons each year while generating electricity and capturing waste heat for use by those who will live, work and play at Rentschler Field. To achieve the same benefits, 380 acres of forest would need to be planted. These fuel cells also will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 7 tons each year, which equates to the same environmental impact as removing 370 cars from the road.”
Another benefit is that the four fuel cells, which will run continuously in conjunction with the utility supply, also will be capable of providing 800 kW of emergency power to keep the store operational if the power grid fails.
Rentschler Field is a 1,000-acre project in East Hartford being developed by UTC and The Matos Group, a local development firm founded by Daniel S. Matos. Home to aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney, United Technologies Research Center, the University of Connecticut Division 1A Football Stadium, and now Cabela’s, Rentschler Field will be developed into a world-class technology community where people involved in research, engineering and technologies will work, live and play in a safe, secure and environmentally sustainable place.
October 5 , Norwalk, Conn. - Norwalk hospital announced this week that it will be installing innovative energy conservation systems and technologies that increase energy efficiency. The improvements will result in a savings of $1.2 million annually for the next 10 years for the 691,000-square-foot facility and a 28% reduction of the hospital’s consumption of electricity, gas, oil and water.
The 328-bed not-for-profit community hospital will invest $10 million and work with Johnson Controls and CL&P and the hospital anticipates receiving a $1.1-million incentive from the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund. Among the highlights,
* A new chiller will be installed exclusively for the operating room suites that will be linked to the emergency generators.
* Two chillers with high efficiency equipment and variable frequency drives will replace the existing units, which will result in higher efficiency by increasing the total cooling plant capacity by 124 tons.
* The chilled water reset control will reset chilled water to a lower point during summer months, improving indoor air quality by enabling the removal of humidity through the facility’s air-handling system.
* Premium efficiency motors will be installed to replace standard motors for heating and cooling, resulting in improved control of temperatures. The replacement of steam traps with new and improved devices will result in steam savings and energy usage reduction.
* Variable frequency drives are being installed on selected air handling units for improved control of air flow, saving significantly on thermal and electrical energy.
* Electrical upgrades include installing energy efficient “green” technology for lighting with occupancy sensors in designated areas for electrical savings.
“There are 18 independent facility improvement projects that are part of a $10-million investment that will dramatically lower energy consumption and should ultimately result in a savings of $1.2 million annually, with a payback on our investment in 10 years,” said John Pierro of Wildwood Drive, vice president of planning and business development at Norwalk Hospital.