Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Monday, November 30, 2009

Countdown to Copenhagen: Climate change, policy and innovation in New York State

Countdown to Copenhagen ... 75 world leaders will participate, along with a stop by President Obama on Dec. 9th

The US is committing to a provisional target of 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83% reduction by 2050.  The Brookings Institution noted, this may be the most complicated international political endeavor of all time.  A set of domestic policy themes emerged from the ACORE renewable energy event in DC. 1) Need for a national plan that puts price on carbon. 2) Federal government needs transmission & distribution siting and cost allocation authority if states cannot act. 3) Support for the Clean Energy Development Authority (to aid both innovative and proven technologies). 4) Importance of a national renewable energy standard and ability of feed-in-tariffs to drive market development.

Here in New York, the State Energy Planning Board has prepared a comprehensive draft State Energy Plan that identifies goals to make energy more reliable, secure and affordable for New Yorkers, while addressing climate change. 

Read the draft New York State Energy Plan:

Syracuse University, IBM and NYSERDA cut the ribbon this week on one of the most energy-efficient computer operations in the world

Syracuse University, IBM and NYSERDA will cut the ribbon this week on the new $12.4 million Syracuse University Green Data Center -- one of the most energy efficient computer operations in the world.  Vijay Lund and Nick Donofrio (retired) from IBM will join SU Chancellor Nancy Cantor and NYSERDA President Frank Murray for the event. 

Artist's rendering.  See original story below by Tim Knauss, Syracuse Post Standard, April 2009 on the announcement.  Watch this news blog or check for follow-up story later this week. 

Syracuse University has teamed up with IBM Corp. to design a showpiece $12.4 million data center that aims to be one of the most energy-efficient computer operations in the world. The "green" data center under construction on SU's South Campus will replace an aging computer bank on the main campus, processing all of SU's administrative data, from student records to professors' paychecks.  Thanks to a design worked out by the university and IBM, the 6,000-square-foot facility is expected to use half as much energy as a typical data center.

"We think it's going to be one of the most energy-efficient data centers around," said Mark Weldon, executive director of corporate relations at SU.  That's a big deal, because experts have grown increasingly worried about how much energy the nation's data centers use.  In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that data centers consumed 1.5 percent of the nation's electricity -- more than all the color TVs in the country. And without significant changes, energy use at data centers was expected to double by 2011, according to EPA's report.

Energy often is the largest single cost for U.S. data centers, and improving efficiency could save them at least $2 billion a year, said Vijay Lund, vice president for development and manufacturing operations in IBM's systems and technology group.  Lund, who holds a 1981 master's degree in computer engineering from SU, said his company and the university will work together for several years after the data center is built to study its performance and to refine their models of efficient design.  IBM, which plans to use the SU facility as a showpiece for its other clients, is contributing $5 million worth of equipment and services to the project.  "I think customers will like this," he said.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority has awarded the project a $2 million grant to promote energy efficiency.

Here's how the facility will save energy:
  • It will make its own power. The data center will house 12 microturbines, 8-foot-tall power generators that run on natural gas and make 65 kilowatts each. Since most computer servers use direct current, the data center will avoid power losses that occur when alternating current from a power company is converted to direct current. 
The data center will be able to draw power from the utility grid as a backup, but can mostly operate without it, said Christopher Sedore, vice president for information technology and chief information officer.
  • The center will make its own heat and air conditioning. Waste heat from the microturbines will be sent to two absorption chillers, which will use the heat energy to make cold water to cool the computers. During winter, waste heat from the microturbines can be used to make hot water for an adjacent building, while the data center will pull in cold outdoor air for cooling.
By obtaining electricity, heat and cooling from the microturbines, the data center is expected to demonstrate high levels of efficiency, which is why NYSERDA funded the project, said Ray Hull, speaking for the state authority.
  • Computers will be cooled with water rather than air. Most data centers condition the room air to keep computers cool, but the SU center will use IBM equipment that circulates cold water through pipes near each unit. That will allow them to provide cooling tailored to how hard each server is working, and will cut down on the noise and wasted energy of air-circulating fans, Weldon said.
Computers will be used more efficiently. Through a technique known as "virtualization," sophisticated software will aggregate computer applications onto fewer servers so others can be shut off while not in use, Weldon said.

    Sunday, November 29, 2009

    green@rensselaer: Why not change the world?

    green@rensselaer is a new series of articles, blog entries, podcasts, and videos highlighting issues and topics related to sustainability, energy, and the environment at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).  As we begin the countdown to Copenhagen, read about how Upstate universities are striving in different ways toward the shared goal of reducing society’s impact on the environment.

    Visit the site at:

    Nancy Sutley, Chair of White House Council on Environmental Quality, visits Cornell Fuel Cell Institute and Energy Materials Center

    Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, recently visited Cornell and had this to say on the White House blog:
    "Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit my alma mater, Cornell University, to speak at the annual Net Impact Conference.  The conference brought together students and professionals from around the U.S. interested in sustainable enterprise and environmental stewardship, and allowed participants to share best practices and discuss new initiatives to advance global sustainability through entrepreneurship and innovation.

    While at Cornell, I had the opportunity to check out the Cornell Fuel Cell Institute and the Energy Materials Center, a U.S. Department of Energy designated Energy Frontier Research Center. Héctor Abruña, the director of the Center presented some of their fascinating advances in fuel cell technology and told me about Cornell’s partnerships with major companies to develop efficient, high-performance batteries and fuel cells for industry and consumer products.  These technologies have an amazing potential to revolutionize our transportation and energy sectors.

    Needless to say, I really appreciated the opportunity to get a back-stage tour of the University’s fuel cell labs and enjoyed being back on campus.  Research universities all over the U.S. are doing groundbreaking work in developing clean energy technology and training the next generation of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs."

    Innovating climate change

    With the UN's climate conference ahead next week in Copenhagen, here is a good reading recommendation:  A well written, thoughtful report just out by the Clean Energy Group and Meridan Institute that looks at how new collaborative models are driving innovation in the Clean Energy economy.  Funded by the National Commission on Energy Policy, it outlines a roadmap for a fundamental transformation of the world's energy technology base.  According to the report, the challenge is to create a carbon free infrastructure in 50 years that is twice as large as our current energy infrastructure.  Daunting, but not impossible, if policy, funding, regulatory efforts and investment flow through a new collaborative model suggested by the report.

    The report is the result of extensive consultations with companies, governments, NGOs, academics and other individuals in Berlin, London, Paris and Washington, DC, and with experts in clean energy technologies and climate change.  It is a well conceived prescription for change.


    Binghamton University makes Princeton Review 2010 honor roll of top green colleges. Cornell and Clarkson earn high scores.

    Who made the Princeton Review's 2010 list of top green colleges?

    Hint:  Three of them are in Upstate New York.

    Binghamton University (SUNY) was named one of the top 15 in the country, earning a place on the prestigious "2010 Green Rating Honor Roll" with the highest possible score of 99, on a ranking of 60 to 99.  The Princeton Review's second annual Green Ratings of colleges assessed 697 institutions based on data concerning environmentally related policies, practices, and academic offerings. Only 15 colleges were selected for the “2010 Green Rating Honor Roll” – a list that salutes the institutions that received the highest possible score – 99 – in this year’s rating tallies.  

    The criteria for the green rating covered three broad areas:
    1. Whether the school’s students have a campus quality of life that is healthy and sustainable;
    2.  How well the school is preparing its students for employment and citizenship in a world defined by environmental challenges, and;
    3. The school’s overall commitment to environmental issues.  The institutional survey for the rating included ten questions on everything from energy use, recycling, food, buildings, and transportation to academic offerings (availability of environmental studies degrees and courses) and action plans and goals concerning greenhouse gas emission reductions.  

    Binghamton University made the list of the top 15 colleges in the country -- the "Green Honor Roll" -- for recycling or composting more than 90 percent of its current service ware. Approximately 2,500 pounds of compostable waste is collected around campus every year. The State University of New York at Binghamton campus encompasses almost 900 acres of land, of which a large proportion is undeveloped and in its natural state. The core of this undeveloped land is officially designated the Nature Preserve, and includes hiking trails and a 20 acre wetland.

    Cornell University and Clarkson University in Upstate NY also both received a very high green ratings in the Princeton Review green ratings, with Cornell earning 96 points and Clarkson earning 95 points out of 99.

    Find info on how colleges nationally scored on the green ratings reviews:

    Grants for environmental education projects and programs

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is accepting grant applications for a total of $3.4 million in funding for environmental education projects and programs.  EPA expects to award approximately 100 grants ranging from $5,000 to $200,000.  The purpose of the Environmental Education Grant Program is to promote environmental stewardship through financial support for innovative projects that design, demonstrate, or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques.  

    Deadline: December 15, 2009.
    For more detailed information:

    Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    DoE invests $18 million in small business clean energy innovation projects. Two Upstate New York companies selected in highly competitive process.

    U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has just announced more than $18 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support small business innovation research, development, and deployment of clean energy technologies. In this first phase of funding, 125 grants were awarded to 107 small advanced technology firms across the United States. The companies were competitively selected from a pool of 950 applicants through a special fast-track process with an emphasis on near-term commercialization and job creation. Companies that demonstrate successful results with their new technologies and show potential to meet market needs will be eligible for $60 million in a second round of grants in the summer of 2010.

    Two Upstate NY winners were selected as among the best of the best --a Horseheads, NY technologist developing high flux, ultra low pressure nanocomposite membranes, and a Troy, NY technologist developing nanocrystalline aluminum composites for ground vehicles. 

    Nationally, grants were awarded in each of the following ten topic areas:
    • Advanced Building Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Thermal Load Shifting, and Cool Roofs
    • Water Usage in Electric Power Production
    • Power Plant Cooling
    • Advanced Gas Turbines and Materials
    • Sensors, Controls, and Wireless Networks
    • Advanced Water Power Technology Development
    • Smart Controllers for Smart Grid Applications
    • Advanced Solar Technologies
    • Advanced Industrial Technologies Development
    • Advanced Manufacturing Processes

    Counting down to climate talks

    A sobering story this week from the Associated Press indicates that readings at the 2-mile-high Mauna Loa Observatory show an upward curve as the world counts down to climate talks.  According to the story, global warming gases have built up to record levels in the atmosphere, from emissions that match scientists' worst-case scenarios. Carbon dioxide concentrations this fall are hovering at around 385 parts per million, on their way to a near-certain record high above 390 in the first half of next year, at the annual peak, according to the story. "For the past million years we've never seen 390. You have to wonder what that's going to do," said physicist John Barnes, the observatory director.  Something to think about as negotiators from 192 nations gather in Copenhagen, Denmark, next month to try to agree on steps to head off climate disruption.

    Read the full story at:

    New York has its own climate change expert who has been tracking the impact of global warming in Upstate New York.  Dave Eichorn is a meteorologist of 30 years experience. He was formerly with WSYR TV Syracuse for 20 years, specializing in lake effect snowstorms and atmospheric patterns which produce them. Dave now holds adjunct positions at SUNY Oswego and Onondaga Community College where he teaches Introductory Meteorology, Advanced Forecasting, Broadcast Meteorology. He is an award-winning member of the American Meteorological Society, has a specialized background in mesoscale atmospheric modeling and lake effect snow forecasting. Since January 2006, he has given presentations on climate change with a meteorological perspective to thousands of New Yorkers. Dave has moderated SUNY-ESF’s seminar series “CNY's Response to Global Energy and Climate Change Challenges” working with community leaders on efforts toward the mitigation of our carbon footprint, and he is working on climate change course development at ESF.

    Read more about Dave's work at:

    Tuesday, November 24, 2009

    Turkey talk

    It's Thanksgiving.  A day for thoughtful, animated family conversation.  How about some good conversation starters?  Check out The National Academies website:  "What You Need to Know about Energy."  It's a great site that will help bridge the generations around the table.  Trust us.  Check it out.  Get the kids and grand-kids thinking.  Learn stuff you didn't know.  Engage in solving the challenge together.

    This Thanksgiving ... pass the gravy and cut the carbon

    This week is Thanksgiving -- one of the busiest of all travel holidays.  A good time to think about offsetting your carbon footprint if you are planning a long trip home -- especially if you care about creating a more carbon-neutral lifestyle.

    TreeHugger recently commissioned to complete a comprehensive comparison of nonprofit and for profit organizations providing carbon offsets. The survey found that most companies provide nearly identical service (offsetting carbon emissions) using a couple different means (tree-planting or investment in renewable energy, or both) but varying wildly in price. checked in with the lowest price, at $5.50 US per metric ton of carbon dioxide, while other companies like TerraPass (about $10/ton) and NativeEnergy (about $13/ton) charge more for their offsets that can be calculated for more specific activities, like traveling by car or airplane.

    What's your carbon impact?  According to, a non-profit organization, each person in the US produces 23 tons of CO2 emissions per year, based on a composite of typical activities. That's before you cook and eat the turkey ... something to think about while you're waiting in the airport between flights.

    Because you asked: Carbon trading

    A number of blog readers have asked for a quick primer on carbon exchange.  Here goes:
    The Chicago Climate Exchange is a financial institution that is North America's only cap and trade system for all six greenhouse gases.  It launched trading in 2003 as a way to buy credits to offset pollution.  Six greenhouse gases -- carbon dioxide, methane, perflourcarbons, hydroflourocarbons, nitrous oxide and sulfur hexaflouride -- were designated emissions that could be mitigated through purchases on the Chicago Board of Trade. 

    Cap and trade originally grew out of a program in the 1990s used to remove lead from gasoline, and then was used again to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions that cause acid rain.  The concept is relatively straightforward:  a company that produces an identified emission can buy credits from another company that produces something that mitigates that emission.  The concept worked so well that the earlier SO2 program reduced emissions ahead of the regulatory requirements.  Today, more than $2 billion a year is traded through the exchange, and carbon off-setting has become a new industry.

    Carbon off-setting, or the use of "green tags" helps fund advancements in renewable technology.  Companies selling "green tags" can be for-profit or non-profit organizations.  Non-profit "green tag" purchases can often be tax deductible.  (It's close to year end ... so think about this as a tax strategy.  Now could be a good time to consult your tax adviser to learn more.) 

    Upstate NY is proud to have a Chicago Climate Exchange connection.  Dr. Will Ferretti, Vice President of the Chicago Climate Exchange, worked for the New York State Department of Economic Development for many years, where he was founding director of the nation’s first market development program for recycling. For their groundbreaking work, Dr. Ferretti and the Department received one of the first Presidential Awards for Sustainable Development. Dr. Ferretti received his doctorate in resource economics from the State University of New York and Syracuse University,
    For a more detailed explanation, visit:

    Monday, November 23, 2009

    Leading Silicon manufacturer, Globe Specialty Metals, reopens in Upstate NY; New York offers discounted silicon to solar cell manufacturers as an incentive to locate in the state

    Globe Specialty Metals Inc., a leading silicon manufacturer, has reopened its Niagara Falls plant today, investing $27 million and creating 138 jobs as part of the first phase of a $60 million economic development project. The company has restarted its two furnaces and has upgraded the equipment used to produce approximately 30,000 tons of metallurgical grade silicon each year. The Governor made the announcement today at Globe’s Niagara Falls plant.  Jeff Bradley, CEO of Globe Specialty Metals, said: “This investment, especially at a time like this, demonstrates Globe’s confidence and optimism in the future and resilience of American manufacturing."

    Empire State Development (ESD) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) created an economic development package in 2008 that provides Globe with 40 MW of hydropower over five years with a potential five-year expansion.  As part of the agreement, Globe will allow ESD to offer solar cell manufacturers up to 25 percent of Globe’s upgraded metallurgical grade silicon (UMG-Si) production at a reduced price as an incentive to locate to New York State. This agreement is designed to fuel the development of the clean energy industry in New York. 

    New York State’s silicon incentive is the only known government incentive in the United States offering silicon to solar cell manufacturers.

    Globe’s initial investment of $27 million is part of the first phase of a two-phase project. A significant portion of the company’s capital investment is devoted to modernizing and improving emission controls equipment in order to meet or exceed all environmental standards. In addition, Globe has improved the appearance of the facility by demolishing old structures and removing unnecessary equipment.

    Phase II of the project will include the construction of a new 100,000-square-foot, $35 million facility in Niagara Falls to convert Globe’s metallurgical grade silicon into 4,000 tons of upgraded metallurgical grade silicon each year – enough to produce 500MW of solar power. The new facility will position Globe as the leader in research and innovative production of UMG-Si. The project is expected to create a total of 500 well-paying jobs in Niagara Falls.

    Many solar technologies require purified silicon, which is in high demand but is extremely scarce. Globe Specialty Metals will manufacture purified silicon at their Niagara Falls plant, which is expected to help attract major solar panel manufacturers to the State and the region.  Earlier this year, Oregon-based SpectraWatt Inc., a manufacturer and supplier of solar cells, established its first factory at the Hudson Valley Research Park in Hopewell Junction in Dutchess County after receiving an option to purchase 200 metric tons of Globe’s silicon per year. As part of that agreement, SpectraWatt will hire 161 employees and invest over $80 million in its new facility.

    Globe Specialty Metals Inc. is among the world’s largest producers of silicon metal and silicon-based specialty alloys, which are critical ingredients in a host of industrial and consumer products with growing markets. Customers include major silicone chemical, aluminum and steel manufacturers, producers of photovoltaic solar cells and computer chips, the auto industry, ductile iron foundries and concrete producers. Globe has major manufacturing facilities in New York, Ohio, West Virginia, Alabama, Argentina and China, with the company’s headquarters located in New York City. Principal operating subsidiaries are Globe Metallurgical, Inc., and Solsil, Inc., in the U.S.; Globe Metales S.A. in Argentina; and Ningxia Yonvey Coal Industry Co., Ltd., in China. Collectively, Globe’s facilities have the capacity to produce approximately 110,000 metric tons of silicon metal and 72,800 metric tons of silicon-based alloy products on an annual basis.

    NYPA wind development initiatives

    The New York State Power Authority (NYPA)  is supporting the development of clean, non-polluting wind power in New York State in a variety of ways.  During 2009, it announced major initiatives to explore the development of offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes and in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Long Island. 
    NYPA provides a market for wind developers by purchasing wind power or renewable attributes for its customers.

    For more information on NYPA's wind power activities:

    NYS farms and North Country businesses to receive electric discounts

    More than 3,500 Northern New York businesses and dairy farms will receive an approximately 9 percent discount on their electric bill for the next year through a new program. The savings will only go to St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Franklin counties and will be worth an average of $1,200 for each electric customer – with some of the largest electricity users possibly saving up to $250,000 over the period. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) developed the temporary power discount program in conjunction with the Governor’s Office, and could result in up to $10 million in total savings. The Governor made the announcement recently at Wood Farms in Cape Vincent.

    The program is made possible through an agreement between NYPA, National Grid and New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) that applies temporary monthly credits to eligible customers’ electric bills. The program is funded from the sale of unused St. Lawrence-FDR power into the State’s wholesale electricity market. The power, which has been freed up due to the temporary curtailing of operations by Alcoa at the Massena East plant, is from a block of 490 megawatts of electricity known as Preservation Power reserved under a 2005 State law for businesses in St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Franklin counties.  Among Northern New York employers who will benefit from the Power Discount Program are Samaritan Medical Center, Chapin Watermatics and Stature Electric, all in Watertown; Corning and St. Lawrence University, both in Canton; Clarkson University in Potsdam; and Agri-Mark in Chateaugay.

    For more info:

    Nuclear power at 40 -- and its future in Upstate New York

    Forty years ago this month, the Nine Mile Point 1 power plant generated electricity for the first time, propelling Central New York into the nuclear age.  Its success led to two more nuclear reactors within the next two decades at Nine Mile Point: the New York Power Authority’s James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant that began operations in 1975 and Niagara Mohawk’s Nine Mile Point 2 that started in 1987.  Today, a fourth nuclear plant is proposed at Nine Mile Point by Baltimore-based UniStar Nuclear Energy who has filed an application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build a plant there.

    Read an interesting and well-written story on the 40-year history, economic impact, community reaction, issues and concerns, and a look at the future of nuclear energy in Upstate NY:

    Photo:  Nine Mile Point, The Syracuse Post Standard

    Clean tech and clean air ...

    The American Lung Association has just started following this blog, so it's time to talk about clean and renewable technologies and clean air.  It's worth a reminder that the critical need to develop renewable technologies is not just about beating our reliance on fossil fuels, but making the world a healthier, cleaner, better place for our kids.  According to the Sierra Club, coal-fired and other fossil-fueled fired plants are responsible for more than a third of the nation's emissions that cause global warming.

    They also contribute to another increasing concern:  asthma.  CO2 produces particulates that damage lung tissue and contribute to respiratory illness.

    Asthma is an epidemic in the nation and in New York State with significant public health and financial consequences. Asthma affects nearly five million children in the United States and an estimated 370,000 children in New York State.  Asthma is the most common childhood chronic disease and the number one cause of school absenteeism.  Asthma hospitalization rates in New York remain more than two times the Healthy People 2010 Objectives.

    The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has formed 11 Regional Childhood Asthma Coalitions, reaching almost all counties and high risk neighborhoods in New York State. The regional coalitions not only work to control asthma within their communities, but they also share information about what is working with the other coalitions across the state.

    Learn more.  Get NYS asthma statistics at:
    Learn about the regional asthma coalitions at:

    Cleaner technologies ... cleaner air ... healthier kids.  

    Global entrepreneurship news: Cornell President Skorton named to Goldman Sachs advisory council for $500 million 10,000 Small Businesses initiative

    Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) wrapped up today with events around Upstate New York featuring entrepreneurs from around the world.  Educators, entrepreneurs, business and leaders, students and others participated in a range of activities, kicking off with last week's Famous Entrepreneurs Series in Syracuse featuring Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook.

    A major announcement this week is that Cornell President David Skorton has been named to a Goldman Sachs advisory council, co-chaired by Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, to help steer a new Goldman Sachs $500 million, five-year initiative: 10,000 Small Businesses. 

    The project is intended to "unlock the growth and job-creation potential of 10,000 small businesses across the United States through greater access to business education, mentors and networks, and financial capital," according to the company.  It will provide practical business education via partnerships and scholarships to small business owners through educational institutions; mentoring and networking opportunities; loans and grants; and technical assistance.

    Buffett, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Michael Porter, a professor at Harvard Business School, will lead the project with the help of the advisory council, which also includes former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings; the deans of the Columbia Business School and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania; the CEOs or presidents of the American Association of Community Colleges, National Federation of Independent Business, National Urban League, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Babson College, among others.

    Read more about entrepreneurship at Cornell, and listen to an e-clip on entrepreneurship by Cornell President David Skorton at:

    GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt at Cornell: Sustainability and capitalism make good allies

    Just because a company seeks to make a profit doesn't mean it can't be sustainable, said a host of cutting-edge business leaders, including executives from General Electric (GE), Coca-Cola Enterprises, Starbucks and Xerox at the 2009 Net Impact Conference held at Cornell Nov. 13-14.

    Some 300 speakers at about 100 events discussed topics related to sustainable global enterprise, including energy, social entrepreneurship, international development and investing.

    Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE, one of America's largest and most profitable companies, said he loves the energy business "because so much is going to happen in the next 10 to 20 years." Immelt joined Cornell President David Skorton Nov. 13 in a "fireside chat" discussion titled "Driving Innovation and Economic Renewal In a Global Context" to open the conference at Cornell, which drew a record 2,400 business professionals and graduate students.

    This year, China will surpass the United States in battery, wind and solar technology, said Immelt, who is on President Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Council. "There's more growth outside the United States than there is inside the United States," he said. Huge increases in demand for energy in emerging economies, like China and India, will result in some 10 million new jobs in the renewable energy sector by 2030, he added. To benefit from this, the United States needs strong and progressive public policies. "I think what's at stake for the U.S. is: Are the jobs going to be here or are they going to be somewhere else?"

    Job creation is a priority of the advisory council, Immelt noted, but to accomplish this, the U.S. needs to have a global perspective on the economy, focusing on industries that will help solve the world's biggest problems while making the country more competitive, "How do we create the types of industries, the types of capability, the types of education, that are going to make the country better able to prosper in a more global economy?" he asked.

    One of these problems is climate change. Immelt said that GE has drastically reduced its carbon dioxide emissions, effectively complying with the Kyoto Protocol targets. This was not purely for environmental reasons however, said Immelt, who is also a founding member of the Climate Action Partnership, which calls for greater government controls on carbon emissions. "We thought it was going to cost a couple million bucks. We actually saved a couple million bucks."

    Immelt added that today's business leaders need to get involved in the political process more than ever before to be successful. "We are in a time period where government and business intersect and better be savvy on both sides if you want to ultimately understand where you need to go," he said.

    Companies can profit while being sustainable and socially responsible, he emphasized. "The value that GE has in this conference is one: It is the merger of sustainability with capitalism."

    In another presentation, William Bruno, former vice president of Consol Energy, and Sherri Stuewer, vice president of environmental policy and planning for Exxon Mobil Corp., discussed future possibilities of carbon capture and sequestration technology. They explained a method of removing carbon from emissions and burying it in the ground, a practice that was pioneered in oil drilling operations to maximize output. Bruno described coal as "a bridge to renewable technology."

    Other events addressed such topics as building new energy infrastructure, the role of agriculture in climate change mitigation, e-waste recycling, public-private partnerships in global health and updating MBA curriculums. 

    Source:  Cornell news;  Photo:  Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE (left);  Pelle Rudstam '10 is a writer intern at the Cornell Chronicle.

    Clean living in cities that drive smarter

    U.S. News and World Report published a list this month of 15 cities for "people who hate driving and long commutes." Syracuse made the list, which also included: Cambridge, Pittsburgh, Boulder, Ann Arbor, Minneapolis, and Eugene and Portland. 

    See a slideshow about all 15 cities:

    U.S. News noted that, "The list is heavy on college towns, for a few good reasons: Such places are good fits for non-drivers because they are often compact and dense, and they often have liberal populations that demand more investment in public transportation."

    Syracuse had a shorter average commuting time (16.3 minutes) than all but two of the other 15 cities.  The report noted that Syracuse stands out in the percentage of pedestrian commuters, with data from the 2000 Census putting Syracuse just one spot behind New York City. "More than 10 percent of Syracuse's commuters walk to work," according to the report. "Also, while it's one of the largest cities in one of the largest states, Syracuse's metro area population is less than one million, so traffic isn't a huge issue. Finally, the city's Centro bus system connects workers to employment areas within the city and surrounding counties. Centro boasts ridership of 42,000 daily."

    The Central New York Regional Transportation Authority introduced nine new diesel-electric buses to its Centro fleet, bringing hybrid technology to the public transit system in 2007.  Fifteen years ago, Centro brought compressed natural gas buses to Central New York and currently operates 120 CNG buses in Syracuse and surrounding suburbs.  Over the next few years, Centro plans to largely convert its fleet to hybrid technology. It is estimated it will reduce fuel usage by more than 4 million gallons over the lifetime of the approximately 130 such buses to come on line over the next five years– a 33% reduction compared to CNG buses. In addition to a significant reduction in emissions, the hybrid buses also reduce noise pollution, operating at sound levels approaching those of passenger cars.

    Get smarter ... Read while you're taking the bus.  Check the schedule at:

    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    Green Jobs - Green NY website up. Sign up for listserv updates

    NYSERDA has created a Green Jobs - Green NY webpage with the latest news on NY's statewide energy efficiency and green job development program.  Read about the program and get updates at:

    The Program at a Glance: 
    • Provides $112 million in funds, part of which will be used for a revolving loan fund to finance eligible projects.
    • Authorizes NYSERDA to establish a program for the performance of energy audits and energy efficiency retrofits or improvements for residential, small business, and not-for-profit property owners.
    • Requires the selection of outreach, enrollment, and other related Program support services through a competitive process.
    • Establishes an Advisory Council to advise NYSERDA on program design and implementation.
    Program Features 
    • The program will provide energy audits to eligible applicants based on a sliding scale where audit fees are waived for residential applicants whose demonstrated income is less than two times the median county household income.
    • Energy efficiency improvements eligible for funding will include, but not be limited to: weather stripping; caulking; testing; repairing and replacing heating or cooling systems; thermostat upgrades; water heater repair and replacement; health and safety issues; repair and replacement of storm windows, permanent windows and exterior doors; repair or replacement of major household appliances; installation of thermal solar heat or hot water systems; insulation; replacement of inefficient light bulbs and fixtures and; fuel switching to convert an electrically-heated building to a more efficient heating.
    Sign up to receive updates regarding Green NY energy efficiency program information below:

    NYS launches green careers web portal

    NYS has launched a new website, Green CareersNY, as a portal to help visitors find information on a variety of “green” topics -- including green jobs and careers, how to get green training, and incentives for going green. 

    On the business page, valuable resources include: information regarding green building regulations, corporate greening strategies, and obtaining "green" business certifications such as LEED and BPI. There are also links to government sites that detail incentives and tax breaks available to businesses that make strides toward "going green" including:
    • NYS Weatherization Assistance Program
    • The 1031 Exchange - Tax Breaks for Upgrading to Greener Machinery
    • Not-For-Profit for LEED Certification
    • NYSERDA's Green Building Site
    • NYS Reduction Program Info
    • Database for Green Verifiers
    • Corporate Greening Strategies
    • Energy Star site
    • U.S. Dept. of Energy Building Technology site
    • Division of Housing and Community Renewal NYS Department of Labor NYS
    The site is:

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    Famous Entrepreneurs Series kicks off today with co-founder of Facebook

    What do world famous CEOs such as Carly Fiorina of Hewlett-Packard, Richard Teerlink of Harley-Davidson, Jon Luther of Dunkin Brands, Anne Mulcahy of Xerox and David Barger of Jet Blue -- and innovative entrepreneurs and authors such as C.K. Prahalad, author of "Competing for the Future," Michael Treacy, author of "The Discipline of Market Leaders," and Rod Beckstrom, author of "The Starfish and the Spider" -- have in common?  They have all been part of Syracuse's Famous Entrepreneurs Series.

    This year's series kicks off today with Chris Hughes, Facebook Co-founder and "" Founder.

    Launched in 2006, The Famous Entrepreneurs Series (FES) creates a forum for entrepreneurs to learn from strategically creative thinkers.  A membership-based organization, FES offers its members exclusive access to some of the world’s most admired CEOs and management thought-leaders.

    For more information on the series, and FES membership:

    NYS to construct 100 MW generating solar energy power plant

    Green Energy News

    solar-energy-power-plantGovernor David A. Paterson has announced a partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to construct a 100 MW generating solar energy power plant for the state. This follows a 50 MW solar photovoltaic project initiated with the help of the Long Island Power Authority. These solar power developments will collectively total 150 MW and will place New York as the second highest state with established solar energy production ability.

    The proposal will help execute the governor’s clean energy investing agenda, stimulate green energy jobs statewide and strengthen energy independence in the United States. The governor’s assertive renewable energy policy – ‘45 by 15’ – requires that 45 percent of New York’s electricity must be provided by clean renewable energy and through conservation measures by the year 2015. It has been projected that the initiative will create roughly 50,000 renewable energy jobs for the state.

    The initiative will help New York achieve its goals under its Renewable Portfolio Standard and boost the State’s energy independence.  The New York Power Authority will begin by delivering a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) so that it can explore a public-private partnership for the induction of 100 megawatts of solar photovoltaic roof or ground-mounted solar arrays at city facilities, businesses, State agencies and public/private schools.

    The power authority is requesting proposals which will encourage economic growth for resident solar module production. Lucrative benefits for local companies may possibly involve prospects to produce solar PV components statewide and establish green energy jobs in the area involving installation, operation, maintenance and support of the solar photovoltaic systems. The solar energy plant announcement is the fourth green energy program the governor has brought forth in the last few weeks, which is helping to station New York as an international pioneer in dedicated renewable energy advancements.

    The other proposals involve a  General Electric new sodium battery production plant in Upstate that will provide New York with over 300 new green jobs, as well as investing more than $25 million to create the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY BEST) so that advancements can be made with plug-in hybrid vehicles – the creation of Long Island’s first built-in Smart Energy Corridor, which will aid commercial, residential and industrial Long Island Power Authority consumers in reducing energy consumption, while increasing reliability with smarter grid technology, encouraging energy efficiency and creating new green energy jobs.

    Monday, November 16, 2009

    Pew Center looks at the Clean Energy Economy, state-by-state

    One of the most comprehensive reports produced on the clean energy economy is now available on-line.  The Pew Centers' report tracks clean energy jobs, businesses, patents and venture capital investments over the past ten years, with state by state dashboard indicators.

    It's a fascinating look at who is innovating.  While noting that the industry is still in its infancy, the report concludes that this sector is growing faster than other components of the economy -- and that while the economy faltered over the past year, VC investments in clean tech produced better returns than other sectors.

    Here is New York's scorecard:
    • Number of businesses in the clean energy economy:  3,323
    • Number of jobs in the clean energy economy:  34,363
    • Number of patents in the clean energy economy (1999 - 2008):  909
    • Amount of VC invested in NY clean energy economy sector:  $209,590,500
    Only California had more patents, 1,401, over the same time frame.

    Given NY's strength in financial sectors, it was not one of the top performers when it came to VC investment in the clean energy sector.  Top states for VC investments were:
    • California:  $6,580,426,908
    • Massachusetts:  $1,278,461,918
    • New Jersey:  $282,567,651
    • Pennsylvania:  $232,897,084
    The entire report is well worth a read:

    New $100 million GE battery plant in New York

    Batteries included: Heavy equipment, such as GE’s hybrid locomotive
    pictured here, will draw on the cells produced at the new plant.
    From GE Reports:

    Advanced battery research is jumping out of the lab and onto the factory floor with the announcement that GE will open a new, state-of-the-art battery manufacturing plant in upstate New York. The $100 million project, which will be the backbone of GE’s newly formed battery business, will create 350 new “green collar” manufacturing jobs and thousands more in the supply chain. It’s scheduled to begin production in mid-2011.

    GE’s new business, which will be a part of GE Transportation, will manufacture a unique type of battery: a high energy-density sodium-metal-halide cell. It’s particularly suited to the rail, marine, mining, communications and energy sectors — and has the potential to be a $1 billion business for GE over the next decade. The first application will be GE’s hybrid locomotive, which will be commercialized in 2010. GE also has launch customers lined up in several industries including mining, telecommunications, and utilities, with some key applications for backup storage and load leveling for the smart grid.

    At full capacity, the plant will be able to produce approximately 10 million cells each year. That translates to 900-megawatt hours of energy storage, or enough energy storage to power 1,000 U.S. homes for a month or enough energy to support 1,000 GE hybrid locomotives.

    GE plans to select a site for the new plant by this summer — but the New York location ensures that it will be in close proximity to GE Global Research in Niskayuna, NY, where advances to the battery chemistry were developed. To date, GE has invested more than $150 million to develop advanced battery technologies that will provide energy storage for several future product applications, including GE’s ecomagination certified hybrid locomotive, tugboats, mining trucks, and heavy service vehicles.

    * Read GE’s backgrounder on hybrid and battery technologies
    * Read about GE’s investments in battery-maker A123Systems

    About GE Global Research:

    GE Global Research was the first industrial research lab in the United States and is one of the world's most diversified research centers, providing innovative technology for all of GE's businesses. Global Research has been the cornerstone of GE technology for more than 100 years, developing breakthrough innovations in areas such as medical imaging, energy generation technology, jet engines, advanced materials and lighting. GE Global Research is headquartered in Niskayuna, New York and has facilities in Bangalore, India; Shanghai, China; and Munich, Germany. Visit GE Global Research at

    SyracuseCoE accepting applications for Commercialization Assistance Program

    The Syracuse Center of Excellence is now accepting proposals for the fifth round of the Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP V).  CAP grants are awarded for projects that commercialize new products and services in the fields of indoor environmental quality, water resources, and clean and renewable energy -- the three focus areas of SyracuseCoE.

    Up to $50,000 is available for individual projects, and there will be a maximum of five recipients.

    The deadline for submission of proposals is Dec. 16, 2009. Projects are expected to start March 1, 2010 and be complete on or before Sept. 30, 2010.

    For more information on CAP V and to review previous CAP awards, visit

    Technical Contact: Lisa Cleckner
    Phone: 315-480-3348;

    Electronic Submission: Kathleen Forrest
    Phone: 315-443-4445;

    First round of Clean Tech Center - NYSERDA technology development companies to be announced December 7

    The first round of companies admitted to The Clean Tech Center - NYSERDA Renewable and Clean Energy Technology Development Program will be announced at a press conference, December 7 at 9 am at the Tech Garden.  Hosting the press event will be Congressman Dan Maffei.

    Companies in the first round include developers of solar, wind, alternative fuel, energy harvesting and advanced battery technologies.  The companies will be working with The Clean Tech Center to refine their business and technology roadmap, production plan, marketing and funding strategy.  The Clean Tech Center will be working with the companies to craft individualized incubation and acceleration assistance plans that will help speed the entry to market for these promising technologies.

    For more information about the program, visit The Clean Tech Center website:
    To learn more about the application process for this NYSERDA-funded assistance program:

    Friday, November 13, 2009

    Prism Solar Technology featured at Clean Energy Summit in Boston

    NYS-based company Prism Solar Technologies was one of the hot new tech companies featured at the Clean Energy Investor Summit this week in Boston.  The company has invented a new PV technology, Holographic Planar Concentrator (HPC), a holographic optical film integrated between narrow strips of photovoltaic cells.  The breakthrough technology decreases the costs of PV modules by 50%, while still maintaining product performance.  Like concentrators, HPC enhances the use of light, and like flat plate modules, it has no extra apparatus for concentrating.  A unique capability is that HPC can use use diffuse light, using optical enhancement.

    The product is being tested at its Arizona research facility.  Prism recently closed on a $5 million bridge round of financing and has raised $15 million to date.  It recently moved into a 93,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in New York's Hudson Valley.

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    DEC proposes new policies to streamline brownfield cleanup

    The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has just proposed two new policies to speed up the time it takes for abandoned, contaminated industrial parcels known as brownfields to go from community blight to community asset. The proposals will streamline the process by allowing certain properties to pre-qualify for inclusion in the state's Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) and by shortening the time frame from application approval to execution of a cleanup agreement with the state. As a result, communities will know sooner about the potential to remediate and market properties for reuse and redevelopment.

    The BCP offers tax credits and limited liability releases to private parties who redevelop sites. The Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) program reimburses municipalities and community-based organizations up to 90 percent of the costs of implementing area-wide planning around brownfield redevelopment.

    For many BOA communities, a lack of certainty about whether specific sites could qualify for state incentives at times hampered their ability to market the area's potential to developers.  Under this new proposal, a municipality or community organization may ask DEC for a "pre-determination" on whether property within a BOA study area is eligible for the Brownfield Cleanup Program. Even if a parcel is deemed eligible, it would still have to be formally accepted into the program. But, the pre-determination will speed the application process and give predictability to private developers that might be interested in investing.

    In addition, DEC is proposing new procedures that will shorten the time frame for executing brownfield cleanup agreements. Currently, the time from DEC's receipt of a complete BCP application until the execution of a legal cleanup agreement has ranged from several weeks to many months. By expediting the review process and format, DEC expects to be able to send applicants a cleanup agreement in about 45 days.

    Both draft policies are available at the DEC website. Public comments on the proposals will be accepted until Dec. 4, 2009.

    For more information:

    Thursday, November 5, 2009

    NYSERDA seeking to commercialize battery and energy storage technologies and products

    The "NY-BEST (New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology) Market-Driven Research Program" is designed stimulate world-class, industry-relevant, research and development, and to support industrial activity in New York in the commercialization of advanced battery and energy storage technology. With funding from the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) program, this program will provide funding for organizations to develop and commercialize battery and energy storage technologies and products.

    Proposals are due December 17, 2009 for NYSERDA PON 1704, NY-BEST MARKET-DRIVEN RESEARCH PROGRAM

    For more information and program guidelines:

    NYSERDA PON 1670 accepting applications for environmentally preferred power systems technologies

    The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is seeking proposals to support the development, demonstration, and commercialization of environmentally preferred power systems and electric energy storage technologies through PON 1670. One round is scheduled under this PON and total available funding is $5,000,000. All, or none, of the available funds may be allocated.  Applications are due December 10, 2009.

    For more info on PON 1670 Environmentally Preferred Power Systems Technologies

    NYSERDA PON 1283 seeking applications for wind or photovoltaic test and research centers

    The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is seeks proposals to establish New York-based wind and photovoltaic (PV) test and research centers to address performance of wind and solar PV systems.  Proposals are due December 2, 2009 for PON 1283. 

    For more information:

    Round Three of NYSERDA PON 1260 offers support for clean energy business growth and development

    Round Three of NYSERDA PON 1260 for "Clean Energy Business Growth and Development" is still open.  The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is facilitating the growth and development of clean energy companies in New York State by supporting business activities that enable their expansion. 

    Clean energy includes energy and power generation from renewable resources, as well as energy efficient technologies in the power generation, energy storage, transportation, industrial, or building sectors that use alternative fuels or reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and provide environmental benefits. The technologies may be full systems or components of systems.

    Round three applications are due by January 6, 2010.

    For more information on PON 1260 program guidelines,

    Green research at Binghamton University

    Green is more than the school color at Binghamton University where researchers are tackling some of the planet’s most pressing challenges, and expanding knowledge in areas ranging from global warming to solar energy.

    Now, the campus is extending those efforts to green entrepreneurship (see related story below.)

    What are some of the flagship green research programs at the university?

    The Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging Center a New York State Center of Excellence, is developing state of the art roll-to-roll flexible electronics manufacturing, which will lead to innovations in lighting, energy and power generation, among other areas.   

    The Center for Autonomous Solar Power is part of the University’s New York State Center of Excellence in Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging (S3IP), and focuses on tapping into the sun’s immense supply of renewable energy and making it easily accessible as a flexible, large-area and low-cost power source. 

    The Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing demonstrates flexible electronics manufacturing through tools and processes capable of producing low volume test bed products. R2R microelectronics manufacturing will be key to critical next-generation applications in myriad areas, such as medical diagnostics and treatment, military and homeland security, flexible displays and electronics, computer and telecommunications, and consumer products. 

    The Center for Advanced Sensors and Environmental Systems brings a multidisciplinary focus to work in sensors, sensor systems and environmental technologies.  

    Researchers at the Institute for Material Research are working to improve energy production through the use of fuel cells and solar and thermoelectric power as well as energy storage through high energy batteries and capacitors.

    Binghamton University launches new entrepreneurship initiatives

    Two new Binghamton University entrepreneurship initiatives were launched this week.  One program is designed to encourage faculty to incorporate entrepreneurship as a component in their classes, and the second will help faculty members who are considering starting their own business.

    The initiatives — which are sponsored by the Office of Technology Transfer and Innovation Partnerships and the N.Y. Center of Excellence (S3IP) — were launched at this week’s Southern Tier Business and Entrepreneur Conference on campus.  Tech Garden President Nasir Ali was a featured speaker at the event. 

    Zhihao Yang, CTO and co-founder of NanoMas Technologies, will serve as special adviser for entrepreneurship and work with faculty.  NanoMas Technologies is a successful venture that got its start in Binghamton University’s Innovative Technologies Complex’s Start-Up Suite.  Yang will serve as an entrepreneur in residence for six months and will mentor faculty members on their business plans.

    Binghamton University is widely acclaimed as the best public institution in the northeast.  It has built a reputation as a world-class institution that combines a broadly interdisciplinary, international education with one of the most vibrant research programs in the nation.  Binghamton has been named a "premier public university," and was one of just a handful of colleges in the nation to receive top "Green Ratings" reviews by the Princeton Review.

    Read more about the new entrepreneurship programs at:

    Albany Law School Center for Law and Innovation releases Legal Handbook for Early Stage Companies

    The Albany Law School Center for Law and Innovation recently received a $250,000 award from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to help provide resources and education to help cleantech entrepreneurs navigate the complex legal issues facing start-up companies.  The project will also help develop and train the next generation of green collar lawyers to address the needs of the state's future clean energy industries. 

    The Center recently produced a legal handbook for early stage companies.   Download it at:
    Check the Albany Law School Center for Law and Innovation website for more information:

    Monday, November 2, 2009

    NYS Comptroller's Green Strategic Investment Program helps make the U.S. one of the top ten countries for cleantech

    The New York State Comptroller's Green Strategic Investment Program helped place the U.S. in the top ten cleantech countries in the world, according to a recent posting by Sustainable World Capital in Cleantech news.

    According to the report, the winners are:
    1. Denmark
    2. Germany
    3. Sweden
    4. The United Kingdom
    5. Israel
    6. Switzerland
    7. The United States
    8. United Arab Emirates
    9. China
    10. Canada
    The story notes that "The United States, with American-based VCs pouring about $5.9 billion of new investments into the sector in 2008, leads the world with 70 percent of total global investment. Preeminent VCs such as Nth Power, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, RockPort Capital Partners, Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Enterech Capital and corporate investors such as Google and Intel have helped to fuel cleantech. Other large U.S. investors in cleantech include CalPERS, California State Teachers Retirement System, New York State Retirement Fund and the Oregon Investment Fund."

    The New York State Green Strategic Investment Program (GSIP) was established to commit $500 million over three years to environmentally focused investment strategies.  Recently, the GSIP chose to invest $200 million of the assets of the New York State Common Retirement Fund (NYSCRF) in the FTSE Environmental Technology 50 (FTSE ET50) and the HSBC Global Climate Change Index.  Investment in companies in both indexes will be internally managed by the $154.5 billion NYSCRF.

    Launched in December, 2007, the FTSE ET50 is designed to measure the financial performance of the 50 largest environmental technology companies worldwide. Twenty-one of the 50 companies in the Index are based in the US. Currently, the three top constituents in the Index are Vestas Wind Systems of Denmark, Suez Environnement of France, and US-based First Solar.

    Read more about the New York State Green Strategic Investment Fund:
    Read the entire story about the top ten cleantech countries in the world at:

    NY DEC to update clean water funding programs

    New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that the agency will update the system used to score applications for clean water infrastructure loans. The changes will provide communities with more incentives for employing land use planning and asset management planning.  NYS uses the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) to financially support infrastructure, and the program relies on a point system to prioritize municipal projects, using a range of public health and water quality factors.

    Going forward, DEC will develop new regulations to ensure that the scoring system adds incentives to:
    • Support smart growth and wise land use planning, ensuring that a proposed project maximizes existing infrastructure and is consistent with local land use plans.
    • Implement asset management planning that encourages ongoing maintenance.
    • Utilize the most energy efficient technologies possible.
    Through the new system, municipalities that have been diligent with capital improvement programs and sustainable water quality management practices will have a greater opportunity to be recognized financially.

    New York received a record $432 million to invest in wastewater infrastructure through the federal stimulus program (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). This represents a 300 percent increase in federal aid for wastewater projects over recent years.  Since 1990, the Environmental Facilities Corp. has provided - through the SRF - more than $11 billion in low cost financial assistance to municipalities to support more than 1,800 water supply and water pollution control projects.

    Water quality is a major regional strength.  Upstate NY is home to some of the top engineering firms in the world in the field of water quality.  More than 25% of all the world’s fresh water can be accessed in Central Upstate NY.

    Northeast Power Alliance opens office in Syracuse

    The Northeast Power Alliance (NEPA), a joint-venture company that won a $1 billion contract with National Grid, has opened a new office in downtown Syracuse.  The 25,000 sq ft site, located in the historic Clinton Exchange building, will house 140 engineers, project managers and support staff.

    NEPA and New Energy Alliance (NEA) secured contracts with National Grid to help deliver investment in the U.S. electric network.  Together, both contracts are expected to last an initial five years and deliver up to $1.7 billion in projects that will reinforce the backbone of the National Grid system which spans New England and New York.  NEPA will work on substations and transmission lines in National Grid's network in Upstate New York, and NEA will work in New England.  National Grid owns more than 8,600 miles of electricity transmission lines.

    National Grid is one of the nation's largest electricity and gas delivery companies, serving approximately 3.3 million electric customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and managing the network on Long Island through an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority.  It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers.  National Grid also owns more than 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to more than one million LIPA customers.

    Greening the Orange

    It's that time of year when sports fans think Orange -- as in SU athletics, home of the famous "Orange." 

    But, Syracuse University is also increasingly becoming known as a place that is "greening the orange." A recent report by the Sustainable Endowments Institute casts a green light on SU as a place that is achieving climate neutrality goals. 

    SU's plan calls for achieving a zero net level of emissions through:
    • Energy conservation utilizing existing technologies
    • Energy efficiency from emerging technologies
    • Supply side enhancements
    • Offsets of remaining emissions
     To do that, SU is developing a number of flagship projects.  Ideas under discussion include:  green computing across campus, solar and wind generation, conversion from central steam to biomass, and increased use of alternative-fuel vehicles.  There are also currently a number of LEED projects underway at SU:  The SyracuseCoE headquarters building, the Green Data Center, the Carmelo Anthony Basketball Center and Ernie Davis Hall. 

    In addition, the university is establishing a Sustainable Initiative Fund, available on a competitive basis, for research and demonstration projects conducted by students and faculty.  Specific guidelines will be available in early 2010.

    Read SU's recently adopted Climate Action Plan at:
    Learn more about how SU is "greening the orange" at:

    The Clean Tech Center heads to Clean Energy Week

    While the Central New York "Green Team" is in Phoenix for Greenbuild 2009, The Clean Tech Center heads to Boston for Clean Energy Week.  The Clean Tech Center will be attending the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center / MIT Enterprise Forum's 5th Annual conference on Clean Energy from November 12-13 at the Hynes Convention Center.  The event is a magnet for startup companies, given its focus on financing for emerging new technologies.  Other hot topics this year are carbon management, smart grid applications, renewable energy generation, biofuels and university research. 

    Read more about what The Clean Tech Center is doing to help clean energy start up companies in NYS: