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Energy and Global Climate Change in New England

March 2012 Volume 41
Community Energy Challenge (CEC) Monthly Update

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Welcome to the Community Energy Challenge Monthly Update, a monthly publication by EPA New England promoting energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy.

Disclaimer: Some of the events, articles and websites listed in this email are not sponsored by EPA. EPA is listing them for your information only. EPA is not responsible for the content of information from non-EPA sources, and does not endorse any commercial product, service, enterprise, or policy that may be included.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. U.S. Energy Information Administration Releases Annual Energy Outlook 2012

ARTICLES

  1. First Wind Gets Approval for Wind Project in Oakfield, Maine, to Create 400 Construction Jobs
  2. National Governors Association Releases Report on States' Clean Energy Actions

EVENTS

  1. Boston, MA - BuildingEnergy 12 Registration is LIVE! – March 6-8
  2. Bristol and South Royalton, VT – Button Up Workshop – March 8 (Bristol) and March 20 (South Royalton)
  3. Cambridge/Boston, MA – MIT Energy Conference – Insight and Innovation in Uncertain Times – March 16-17
  4. Groton, CT – Groton Community Services with CT Energy Efficiency Fund – March 28
  5. Penacook, NH – The Fourth Annual Local Energy Solutions Conference – March 31

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. K-12 Environmental Projects – deadline March 15
  2. Mass Clean Energy Center – Solarize Massachusetts RFP to Green Communities – deadline March 21
  3. U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department Funding Revitalization, Efficiency – deadline April 10
  4. U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Grant Availability for Rural Energy Projects – Different Closing Dates For Individual Programs

TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR free webinars (all times are EST; free but registration required)
  2. U.S. EPA Waste Reduction Model (WARM)
  3. U.S. EPA Releases Guide for Local Government Energy Efficiency
  4. Rhode Island College and the Sustainable Communities Initiative – Sustainable Lecture Series – starting March 1
  5. U.S. Department of Energy's Lighting Consortium Releases Retrofit Analysis Tool

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  1. U.S. Energy Information Administration Releases Annual Energy Outlook 2012
    On January 23, 2012, the U.S. Energy Information Administration released the Annual Energy Outlook 2012 (AEO2012) Reference case, which presents updated projections for U.S. energy markets through 2035. U.S. dependence on imported petroleum liquids is projected to decline with increased efficiency, modest economic growth, growing domestic production, and continued adoption of nonpetroleum liquids. The renewable energy share of electric power generation is projected to grow from 10 percent in 2010 to 16 percent in 2035. Total U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are projected to grow 3 percent from 2010 to 2035, and remain below their 2005 level of 5,996 million metric tons. The Reference case projections from the Early Release Overview of the AEO2012 are available online:

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ARTICLES

  1. First Wind Gets Approval for Wind Project in Oakfield, Maine, to Create 400 Construction Jobs
    On January 18, 2012, First Wind received approval from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to construct an expanded Oakfield Wind Project near Oakfield, Maine. The Department had approved a smaller version of the project in January 2010. The $360 million project will have a capacity of 150 megawatts. Construction on the project is expected to start near the middle to late 2012 and last approximately one year, creating up to 400 construction jobs.
  2. National Governors Association Releases Report on States' Clean Energy Actions
    On February 1, 2012, the National Governors Association released a report on the states' and territories' continued support in 2011 for the development and deployment of clean energy technologies. Strong motivators for states' support of clean energy included spurring economic growth and reducing energy costs to consumers. Specific areas of high activity included efforts to promote alternative fuels and vehicles for energy efficiency and clean electricity.

    The report, "Clean State Energy Actions: 2011 Update," is available online.

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EVENTS

  1. Boston, MA - BuildingEnergy 12 Registration is LIVE! – March 6-8
    Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Drive, Boston, MA

    BuildingEnergy is the most established and most cross-disciplinary renewable energy and high performance building conference in the region. Organized by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, it brings together architects, engineers, builders, policymakers, developers and building managers for three days of networking, accredited educational sessions and a high-level trade show.

    For more information and to register »
  2. Bristol and South Royalton, VT – Button Up Workshop – March 8 (Bristol) and March 20 (South Royalton)

    Start thinking about where your home or small business might be losing heat and costing you money.

    Attend a Button Up Vermont workshop to find out more about:
    • Reducing your energy bills,
    • Staying more comfortable in your home throughout the seasons,
    • How an energy audit can be the first step to improving the efficiency of your home.
    Workshops for March scheduled across Vermont are:
    March 8 – Bristol
    March 20 – South Royalton

    For more information, and to see specific location details and schedule »
  3. Cambridge/Boston, MA – MIT Energy Conference – Insight and Innovation in Uncertain Times – March 16-17
    Locations across Cambridge/Boston, MA

    The MIT Energy Conference is an annual two-day conference that brings together leaders in industry, academia, government, and finance to deliver critical knowledge and independent analysis on emerging trends in energy technologies, policies, and markets.

    The seventh annual Conference will be held March 16-17. Friday, March 16th will feature several in-depth workshops, a keynote fireside chat, and the annual energy showcase. The ticketed conference on March 17th at the Westin Copley Place will harness the expertise of the invited speakers to engage in focused, fact-based panels across several high-relevance topics.

    For more information »
  4. Groton, CT – Groton Community Services with CT Energy Efficiency Fund – March 28
    Community Services Fair - Groton Senior Center
    10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

    The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund will be exhibiting at the Groton Community Services fair on March 28th promoting its Home Energy Solutions (HES) program.

    For more information, contact Carol Pratt at cpratt@groton-ct.gov or 860-441-6785, or visit http://www.ctenergyinfo.com/event.htm?id=k595ntyv&m=03&y=2012&p=0
  5. Penacook, NH – The Fourth Annual Local Energy Solutions Conference – March 31
    Don't miss the opportunity to network with and hear from your peers, learn from energy experts working in the field, visit the diverse exhibitors and address your energy related questions to those already navigating this complex field.

    Keynote Speaker Announced!
    Mike Breen, decorated former Army Captain and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan

    View details and register »

    Discounts offered to military/veterans and students. Lunch included.

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

  1. K-12 Environmental Projects – deadline March 15
    Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education Launch request applications for the We Can Change the World Challenge for K-12 Students. Through this Challenge, Siemens invites students to team up with classmates under teacher/mentors to solve environmental problems in their school, community, and world.

    $250K expected to be available, responses due March 15, 2012.

    For more information »
  2. Mass Clean Energy Center – Solarize Massachusetts RFP to Green Communities – deadline March 21
    The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), in conjunction with the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), is requesting proposals from Massachusetts cities and towns, designated as "Green Communities", to demonstrate local interest and engagement in participating in the second phase of Solarize Massachusetts. This program will drive community adoption of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects through a partnership focused on localized marketing and installation efforts, which in turn will help to drive down the installation cost of small-scale solar PV installations within the selected communities.

    MassCEC and DOER will plan to select a minimum of 10 communities, with at least one in each of the four Green Communities regions of the state, to participate in the program. Communities that demonstrate a clear and committed plan to increasing education and outreach around solar PV, as well as ideas on how to streamline the permitting processes around small-scale solar PV installations, will be highly competitive. If there is benefit to pooling resources or efforts, Green Communities may form partnerships and respond to this RFP as a group, as long as each community within the partnership is a Green Community and they are each located adjacent to at least one other community in the partnership (i.e. they are contiguously located). Note that if communities respond to this RFP as a group, each community will be responsible for demonstrating that it will meet the proposal requirements and evaluation criteria.

    For more information »
  3. U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department Funding Revitalization, Efficiency – deadline April 10
    On February 13, 2012, the U.S. EPA announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is offering $110 million in funding through the HUD Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grants Program. The program is aimed at helping communities develop and implement a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy to achieve three core goals, including transforming distressed public and assisted housing into energy efficient, mixed income housing with access to public transportation. Applications for funding are due April 10, 2012.

    Additional information is available.
  4. U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Grant Availability for Rural Energy Projects – Different Closing Dates For Individual Programs
    On January 20, 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a request for applications to provide assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to complete a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Funding is available from USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). For 2012, USDA has approximately $25.4 million budget authority available to fund REAP activities, which will support at least $12.5 million in grant and approximately $48.5 million in guaranteed loan program level awards.

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TOOLS/TRAINING

  1. ENERGY STAR webinars (all times are EST; free but registration required)
    • Mar 1, 2pm, Benchmarking in Portfolio Manager for State and Local Governments and EECBG Recipients
    • Mar 7, 1pm, Sports Venues: Benchmark Energy Performance Using EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager
    • Mar 15, 2pm, Benchmarking Water/Wastewater Treatment Facilities in Portfolio Manager
    • Mar 20, 1pm, Computer Power Management with ENERGY STAR
  2. U.S. EPA Waste Reduction Model (WARM)
    EPA created the Waste Reduction Model (WARM) to help solid waste planners and organizations track and voluntarily report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions from several different waste management practices. WARM is available both as a Web-based calculator and as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (355K WinZip archive). The Excel-based version of WARM offers more functionality than the Web-based calculator.

    WARM calculates and totals GHG emissions of baseline and alternative waste management practices—source reduction, recycling, combustion, composting, and landfilling. The model calculates emissions in metric tons of carbon equivalent (MTCE), metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E), and energy units (million BTU) across a wide range of material types commonly found in municipal solid waste (MSW). For information on the data and methodologies behind the calculations, please see the model documentation.
  3. U.S. EPA Releases Guide for Local Government Energy Efficiency
    On February 7, 2012, the U.S. EPA's State and Local Climate and Energy Program released a final version of "Energy Efficiency in Local Government Operations: A Guide to Developing and Implementing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programs (PDF)" (72 pp, 5.3MB). The guide describes how local governments can lead by example and achieve multiple benefits by improving the energy efficiency of their new, existing, and renovated facilities and their day-to-day operations. It is designed to be used by facility managers, energy and environment staff, other local government agencies, and mayors and city councils.
  4. Rhode Island College and the Sustainable Communities Initiative – Sustainable Lecture Series – starting March 1
    Rhode Island College, Providence, RI

    This spring 2012 semester, the Sustainable Communities Initiative and Rhode Island College are teaming up to offer a public lecture series that will survey the field of Sustainability. All lecture series events are free and open to the public. Selected events will be available for online viewing. Please check back for frequent updates.

    Location: Clarke Science Building, Room 128
    Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.

    March 1 – The Wilderness Debate: Humans and Nature
    March 22 – Sustainable Food Systems
    April 5 – Sustainable Cities
    April 12 – Climate Change
    April 19 – Earth Day and US Environmental History
    May 3 – Ethics of Sustainability Date TBA – Biodiversity

    For more information and to register »
  5. U.S. Department of Energy's Lighting Consortium Releases Retrofit Analysis Tool
    The U.S. Department of Energy's Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium released an economic cost-benefit analysis tool designed to help cities, utilities, and other organizations estimate the costs and impacts of switching to street lighting that uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The Excel-based tool allows users to input data on the relevant variables for their particular application. The tool output includes a detailed analysis that lists annualized energy-cost savings, maintenance savings, greenhouse gas reductions, and simple payback.

    The Retrofit Financial Analysis Tool is available online.

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