Whole Foods Market Installs Largest Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System In CT
Sept 14, Cheshire.– Whole Foods Market, the world's leading retailer of natural and organic foods, has committed to buying solar power for its distribution center in Cheshire. The 121-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) rooftop system will be providing as much as 10 percent of the electric power that the building uses per year. This solar PV installation is the largest in the State of Connecticut. Whole Foods Market has also committed to work with local Connecticut middle and high schools to educate students about solar energy systems and their benefits. Students will be invited to visit the Whole Foods Market site, where they can view the rooftop solar panels and operate a kiosk that will display system data, like energy output.
The arrangement for Whole Foods Market is similar to ones that other large-scale retail companies are trending towards. A third party company, in this case SunEdison, based in Baltimore, pays for and installs the equipment with help from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF). SunEdison then brokers a long-term contract to sell the solar energy to the retailer. BJ's Wholesale Club recently finished a similar project for a store in Ansonia.
The cost for these projects can be immense, running anywhere from hundreds of thousands to well into the millions and would likely not be possible without the help of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. As an example, the Clean Energy Fund payed for $516,000 of the $945,000 installation cost in Cheshire. Staples Inc., also partnering with SunEdison and the CCEF, has begun construction in Killingly on what is expected to be New England's largest solar power installation. Solar energy will power 15 percent of the office-supply chain's 500,000-square-foot distribution center. The cost of that project is pegged at $3.3 million with the Clean Energy Fund paying more than half.
Quoting Lise Dondy, chief operating officer of the Clean Energy Fund, as written by Mark Peters in a September 10th Hartford Courant article, "Even at a high cost it is important for Connecticut to encourage solar energy. They build awareness and confidence in the technology, and begin to reduce the state's reliance on fossil fuel burning plants. Because of the cost of solar power, government help is crucial in pushing private companies toward renewable energy sources".
Sources: Hartford Courant, Baltimore Business Journal, Connecticut Clean Energy Fund
Connecticut Green Building Council Elects New President
Sept. 10, Rocky Hill – The Connecticut Green Building Council (CT GBC) has announced F. Todd Renz, President of O,R&L Construction based in Branford has been elected as the new president of the council. Mr. Renz is a LEED accredited professional and has a strong interest in educating the construction community about the importance of high performance, sustainable green building design and construction.
Mr. Renz has over twenty years experience in the commercial construction field, having managed the successful completion of over 300 new construction and renovation projects throughout the Northeast. CT GBC Board of Directors, Chairman, Bryan Garcia stated that, "The addition of Mr. Renz to the Executive Committee is excellent. We see more and more Connecticut-based companies that are choosing to stay abreast of the evolving world of “green” construction/design and are finding real value in joining the Connecticut Green Building Council.”
The Connecticut Green Building Council is a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Connecticut through the promotion of intelligently designed and construction of high performance buildings.
O,R&L Construction is a full service commercial construction company offering Construction Management, General Contracting and Design Build services to a wide range of clients including medical/healthcare, bio-tech, high technology and other corporate environments. O,R&L Construction has offices in Branford, Rocky Hill and Norwalk, Connecticut.
Source: The Connecticut Green Building Council
Hartford Gets New England's First Fuel Cell-Powered Bus
Sept. 4, Hartford - The Greater Hartford Transit District announced last week that it has contracted with UTC Power of South Windsor, Conn., for the company and its partners to provide a 40-foot hybrid electric fuel cell-powered transit bus that will be used in revenue service. As part of the agreement, UTC Power also will provide two years of program support, including the use of a hydrogen refueling station. UTC Power is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company.
A $2.9 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration to the Greater Hartford Transit District will pay for the bus and infrastructure to support future fuel cell transportation projects in Greater Hartford. CTTRANSIT will operate the bus once it arrives in Hartford.
The many benefits of fuel cell-powered buses include quiet operation, fuel efficiency that is more than two times better than a standard diesel-powered bus and zero harmful tailpipe emissions. Their clean operation means they can have an immediate positive impact on street-level emissions.
The bus refueling facility will be located at UTC Power’s headquarters in South Windsor, about 10 miles from Hartford.
UTC Power’s industry partners in producing the bus include A.C. Transit of Oakland, Calif., which now has three UTC Power fuel cell-powered buses in operation; Van Hool of Belgium, one of the world’s largest bus and coach manufacturers; and ISE Corporation of Poway, Calif., a leading integrator of hybrid-electric and integrated fuel cell drive systems for buses.
UTC Power has provided fuel cell power plants for fleet transportation since 1998, and its fuel cells have powered buses in the United States, Spain and Italy.
Source: UTC Power