To open a printer-friendly version of this newsletter, please click here

Inside This Issue

Message from the President

CCEF Seeks Proposals Under Round 2 of Project 100

CCEF Makes Early-stage Investment in GenCell Corporation

Six Additional Towns Commit to 20% by 2010

CCEF Launches Clean Energy Climate Solutions Project, Supporting Science Centers’ Educational Efforts in Clean Energy

A Ribbon-Cutting Event Celebrates the Installation of Solar Arrays at Talcott Mountain Science Center

Restructured Solar PV Rebate Program Introduced

Connecticut Clean Energy Trail Unveiled

Staff Spotlight – Keith Frame

CCEF Assists Dowling on Main Street, LLC, with Solar Installation

Clean Energy Week in April Generates Excitement

Staff Spotlight - Heidi Bieber

CCEF Seeks Proposals Under Round 2 of Project 100

On May 15, 2006, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Round 2 of “Project 100,” an initiative promoting the development and deployment of “Class 1” renewable energy resources. CCEF hopes that the RFP will attract proposals for up to 85 megawatts of clean, renewable energy – the procurement of which would generate enough power to supply clean, renewable energy to about 71,000 average residential homes in Connecticut, similar to the combined residential use of electricity of Bridgeport and East Hartford.

The Project 100 initiative creates an opportunity for developers, manufacturers and financiers to advance Connecticut-based “Class 1” clean renewable energy projects. The 2003 landmark Connecticut legislation mandates local electric distribution companies to contract a minimum of 100 MW of clean energy resources by July 1, 2008. The distribution companies will enter into power purchase agreements with generators of “Class 1” renewable energy for no less than a 10-year period.

Projects totaling 34 MW were selected and forwarded to the local electric utilities in December 2005 under Round 1 of the program.

Some noted changes in Round 2 are that all projects must be located in Connecticut; the maximum project size has been increased from 15 MW to 30 MW; and additional benefits are offered to Connecticut manufacturers of fuel cells.

Those parties interested in participating under “Project 100” are required to complete a proposal consistent with the RFP document and submit it by July 17, 2006. The RFP is available on CCEF’s website at www.ctcleanenergy.com, or prospective proposers may call CCEF at (860) 563-5851 to request a copy. Anyone with additional questions may write to CCEF or e-mail their questions to cefinfo@ctinnovations.com.

CCEF Makes Early-Stage Investment in GenCell Corporation

In May, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) completed the initial investment of $250,000 as part of an investment of up to $500,000 in GenCell Corporation of Southbury, a fuel cell technology developer and manufacturer. The investment, a collaborative effort between Connecticut Innovations and CCEF, is intended to help GenCell further develop its fuel cell component technologies and carry the company to a Series A financing round.

GenCell Corporation is a privately owned fuel cell technology developer and manufacturer. Its vision is to develop a core fuel cell design and manufacturing method to reduce costs and increase performance across the entire fuel cell spectrum. The company has developed and patented an innovative fuel cell metallic bipolar plate and stack architecture that improves fuel cell performance and reliability and reduces the cost of manufacturing the fuel cell. The primary focus of the company’s products is addressing the market in the 40-125 kW distributed generation range. http://www.gencellcorp.com.

Six Additional Towns Commit to 20% by 2010

In the past three months, six additional Connecticut towns committed to purchasing at least 20% of their electricity needs from clean and renewable sources by the year 2010: Chester, Easton, Harwinton, Plainville, Wethersfield and Woodbridge. These towns joined 20 other Connecticut cities and towns in making the commitment to the 20% by 2010 clean energy campaign. Under this campaign, promoted by SmartPower, cities and towns are encouraged to power their municipal buildings and facilities with clean energy. Those 20% by 2010 cities and towns that go one step further and successfully register at least 100 residents to make the switch to clean energy through the CTCleanEnergyOptions Program are also rewarded with a free solar photovoltaic (PV) system for their city or town. SmartPower is a nonprofit organization supported with funding from CCEF.

The 26 cities and towns committed to the 20% by 2010 campaign are:

Bethany

Hamden *

Plainville

Branford*

Hartford *

Portland *

Canton

Harwinton

Stamford *

Cheshire

Mansfield *

Trumbull

Chester

Middletown *

West Hartford *

Easton

Milford *

Westport

Essex

New Britain

Wethersfield

Fairfield *
New Haven *

Woodbridge

Glastonbury *

Orange

* Towns that have also

    become Clean Energy

 

 

Communities

CCEF Launches Clean Energy Climate Solutions Project, Supporting Science Centers’ Educational Efforts in Clean Energy

On May 17, 2006, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) and Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP) announced a two-year project to develop educational programs and tools to help students and the general public learn about clean energy as a solution to climate change. The project, known as the Clean Energy Climate Solutions Project, represents an important collaboration of individual science centers that will join together to address a statewide issue.

The project was announced at the Peabody Museum in New Haven, where educators from science centers from across the state gathered to review educational products that will be utilized to help teach about clean energy. Examining the tools is part of the first phase of this test pilot project, which is being administered by CA-CP on behalf of the Connecticut Science Center Collaborative and made possible by a $325,000 grant received from CCEF.

Over the next two years, the ten participating centers will test and evaluate existing clean energy educational programs and products to determine what is effective and then adapt the best of what they find to be used by a larger number of science centers throughout the state.

The following ten science centers will participate in the test pilot project:

  • Beardsley Zoo (Bridgeport)
  • The Children’s Museum (formerly the Science Center of Connecticut– West Hartford)
  • Connecticut Audubon Society (statewide)
  • CRRA: Garbage Museum (Stratford) and Trash Museum (Hartford)
  • Dinosaur State Park (Rocky Hill)
  • Discovery Museum and Planetarium (Bridgeport)
  • Eli Whitney Museum (Hamden)
  • Peabody Museum (New Haven)
  • Stepping Stones Museum (Norwalk)
  • Talcott Mountain Science Center (Avon)

Restructured Solar PV Rebate Program Introduced

The program formerly known as the Residential Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Rebate Program has been renamed and restructured. The program, now known as the Solar PV Rebate Program, assists residents, nonprofits and governmental organizations in defraying the cost of installing solar PV systems up to and including 10 kW in size.

Some of the changes incorporated into the revised program include:

  1. A revised method of calculating grant amounts. Rebates will be calculated on the expected performance of the PV system, taking into consideration efficiency factors like PV panel selection, efficiency of inverter, tilt and orientation of the panels, and shading.
  2. A new incentive of incremental Connecticut Sales Tax to help further reduce the cost of installing systems. This incentive applies to residential installations ranging from over 5 kW up to and including 10 kW.
  3. A higher maximum rebate amount of up to $50,000 for nonprofits and governmental organizations.


Commercial, for-profit, entities wishing to install solar PV systems at their places of business may apply for funding assistance under CCEF’s On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program.

For additional information regarding the Solar PV Rebate Program, visit www.ctcleanenergy.com/solar.

Connecticut Clean Energy Trail Unveiled

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the installation of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF)-supported solar energy systems at Talcott Mountain Science Center in Avon on May 18, CCEF unveiled its Connecticut Clean Energy Trail. This trail highlights commercial clean energy installations – like fuel cells and solar energy systems – located throughout the state and is accessible to the public at www.cleanenergytrail.com.

A variety of information about each clean energy installation is available online, including: installation size, savings in grid power and/or pollution avoidance equivalencies, clean energy technology details, live system energy data (for some), and a contact name for additional information. If “virtual” visitors wish to visit a site in person, tours may be arranged at some of the sites.

“In the spirit of promoting clean energy and emissions reductions, we have created a trail of clean energy sites that is conveniently at the fingertips of Connecticut residents and accessible from their homes – an online trail,” said Lise Dondy, president of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. “The trail will serve as an excellent educational resource for children and their parents and should help to demonstrate that clean energy is real; it’s here; and it’s working for Connecticut.”

While the recently launched trail currently features approximately a dozen clean energy installations in Connecticut, CCEF hopes to expand the number of sites profiled. Since 2000, CCEF has committed funding for the installation of over 140 clean energy systems statewide at both commercial and residential sites. Many of these installations are up and running, and some are in the process of being installed. Many of the commercial installations, now numbering approximately 30, will make excellent additions to the Connecticut Clean Energy Trail.

CCEF Assists Dowling on Main Street, LLC, with Solar Installation

In late May, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) completed an agreement with Dowling on Main Street, LLC, of Manchester, Connecticut, under which it would provide the organization with a grant of $81,309 to defray over half the cost of installing solar panels on the rooftop of its building located at 867 Main Street, Manchester, the former Marlow’s Department Store. The 16.26-kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system to be installed is expected to provide approximately 25% of the electric energy requirements of the tenant, the Connecticut headquarters of the March of Dimes. The project will also feature an educational liaison with Manchester Community Technical College, through which students may learn about the operation of solar energy systems.

Clean Energy Week in April Generates Excitement

Held April 17-20 and organized by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) in partnership with SmartPower, Clean Energy Week generated enthusiasm and awareness about clean energy around the state. The week consisted of a series of special events, all of which were open to the public.

Clean Energy Challenge: New Haven vs. West Hartford. While both towns signed up an impressive number of residents – over 400 apiece – New Haven was named the winner. In the photo to the left New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr., initials the official results while West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka looks on.



Legislators’ Day. Held at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, this event featured clean energy exhibits and short presentations.

Clean Energy Communities Awards Luncheon. At the luncheon in Stamford, CCEF and SmartPower recognized the ten Connecticut towns that had become Clean Energy Communities, presenting each town with an award. The towns that were honored included: Fairfield, Glastonbury, Hamden, Hartford, Mansfield, Middletown, Milford, New Haven, Stamford and West Hartford. On the right, Stamford Mayor Dannel P. Malloy speaks to the audience.

Solar Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony.The ribbon cutting at Middletown High School marked the end of Clean Energy Week. At the event, CCEF congratulated Middletown on being the first Connecticut town to receive the prize of a free solar photovoltaic system for a town building under CCEF’s Clean Energy Communities Program. Learn more about what communities are doing to promote clean energy at www.ctcleanenergy.com/communities.

Based on the success of Clean Energy Week this year, the organizers – CCEF and SmartPower – hope to host a similar series of events in 2007.

Clean Energy Week photos ©David Lubarsky

Message from the President

I am pleased to report that CCEF’s activities are gaining significant momentum. In the past three months we have made commitments to support the installation of 48 new solar energy systems statewide (including 5 commercial solar PV systems and 43 residential solar PV systems), which will supply clean energy to the electricity grid and provide power to businesses and homeowners. In total, we have approximately 80 MW of projects under way. Many of the CCEF-sponsored commercial clean energy installations and demonstrations are now showcased online and accessible to the public through the Connecticut Clean Energy Trail – launched in May at www.cleanenergytrail.com.

The number of clean energy communities continues to grow as Connecticut cities and towns become convinced of the benefits of clean energy. In the past three months, six new towns have committed to the 20% by 2010 clean energy campaign – joining 20 towns before them – and two more towns earned the special designation of Clean Energy Community, raising that number to twelve. Clean Energy Communities are rewarded for their efforts with earned solar photovoltaic systems, and in the past three months four of these communities – Fairfield, Middletown, New Haven and West Hartford – have either installed or initiated the installation of their earned solar PV systems on municipal buildings.

Additionally, we have launched two new CCEF initiatives. In April we raised public awareness throughout Connecticut about the importance of clean energy through a series of events held during CCEF’s first annual Clean Energy Week. And in May, we launched a clean energy education initiative that will, when fully implemented, impact over 3 million science center visitors annually, raising awareness about clean energy as a solution to climate change.

As energy costs continue to rise, our efforts to build a clean energy industry and market in Connecticut have been gaining traction. We believe CCEF’s activities will make a difference – opening doors to energy independence, improvements in the environment, better health and economic growth for the citizens of Connecticut.

A Ribbon-Cutting Event Celebrates the Installation of Solar Arrays at Talcott Mountain Science Center

On May 18, the Talcott Mountain Science Center hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the installation of two solar photovoltaic (PV) systems made possible through funding provided by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) and others. The solar PV systems are expected to provide 20 kilowatts of power for the center as well as offer a new focus for the center’s education initiatives.

The solar PV systems will serve as a resource that will complement and be integrated into the Talcott Mountain Science Center’s new energy-resource lab and climate change information center, which is in the process of being designed.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, CCEF also introduced the Connecticut Clean Energy Trail, which includes Talcott Mountain Science Center as one of Connecticut’s commercial clean energy installation sites. (See newsletter article.)

Staff Spotlight – Keith Frame

As the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund's associate director of new technologies and project management, Keith evaluates proposals from developers seeking funding to support the development of new clean energy technologies or innovative combinations of existing clean energy technologies. In evaluating proposals, Keith analyzes whether or not a project is likely to be technically viable; whether or not it makes financial sense; and whether or not the technology can be manufactured in Connecticut and possibly spawn an entirely new industry in the state.

“I get excited by the possibility that I may uncover a gold nugget that will really put CCEF and Connecticut on the map,” said Keith, who has evaluated projects involving fuel cell, wave, wind, solar and biomass power generation technologies.

Keith joined the Connecticut Innovations team in July of 2001. “After attending a CCEF-sponsored biomass conference early in 2001, I was ‘sold’ on the concept of clean energy and working with technologies that are sustainable,” said Keith.

He had previously spent nearly 20 years in the power industry at Northeast Utilities. As part of NU’s nuclear engineering and engineering mechanics groups, he evaluated nuclear safety and performed accident analyses. He also worked in finance and administration as executive assistant to the chief financial officer and later joined the nuclear oversight group as executive assistant to the vice president, where he oversaw projects aimed at improving plant reliability, safety and cost-effective operations.

Keith holds a bachelor of science degree in aeronautics and astronautics engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Staff Spotlight - Heidi Bieber

Heidi, an administrative assistant, joined Connecticut Innovations (CI) in November of 1995. She provides administrative support for the president of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) and shares responsibility for the administrative support of CCEF generally. Previously, she assisted the investment team of CI as its secretary.

Before joining CI, Heidi worked for eight years as an administrative assistant at Education & Training Programs (ETP).  Prior to that, she worked for Wetzel Tool and Joseph H. Bertram & Co. Heidi attended Manchester Community College and Hartford College for Women.

“Being around for 10 years has provided me with the incredible opportunity of working for CI both as a secretary with the investment team and now presently as an administrative assistant for Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. I feel so fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful team. I also feel lucky that each day I come to a job that I love and for a company whose mission I believe in."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


If you are experiencing any difficulty with the display of our e-newsletter
we would appreciate a quick e-mail with details to:
enews@ctinnovations.com