remember that this is not official information
WORLD'S SMALLEST FUEL CELL - OR IS IT JUST
WHAT'S LEFT AFTER CT TAXES THE BUSINESS TO ITS KNEES?
At the left, next, April 3, 2008 Board of Selectmen's meeting
contained an item "Building Committee" - three members showed up and
reported on current projects. Alternative Energy Subcommittee
Chair. was included in this wrap-up. Next, an
experimental project in Spain; At the right, attorney
specializing in alternative energy grantsmanship, no longer attached to
law firm contacted, described where the
sub-committee is now (3 companies responding to the initial request for
info). Previously, before
there was a faculty advisor, Weston's secret weapon -
ENERGY SUB-COMMITTEE OF THE
WESTON BUILDING COMMITTEE/@April 2009, now part of the Building
Committee's regular sessions...
- Membership (see minutes of January
- Agenda of next
- Minutes of meetings
- Meeting Notices posted on Town Clerk's
calendar as soon as Subcommittee agrees to date (meetings in Commission
Town Hall unless otherwise noted).
- Research sources
At the Building Committee May 14, 2014 a discussion took place of about attempting a "microgrid"
for Town Hall, Fire Department, new Police Facility and Weston
Center. The laws have changed over the last five years or so and
now permit limited net metering and other changes to laws against going
"off the grid." Some on Building Committee seemed to doubt application to Weston without investment in real inter connectivity; others wanted to know a good source on the net to check...the link we provide here is to the first name that came up when we entered "microgrid" into Google.
News of deadline for "Microgrid"
Remember the Weston
Building Committee's UTC fuel cell project?
Dominion buys Bridgeport fuel cell park in
deal valued at $125 million
Brian Lockhart and Rob Varnon, CT POST
Updated 1:48 pm, Friday, December 14, 2012
BRIDGEPORT -- A missing piece of the city's new fuel cell plant project
fell into place Friday, and it's huge.
Virginia-based Dominion Resources, one of the country's biggest energy
companies, revealed itself as the unnamed financial backer and buyer of
the planned 15-megawatt site.
FuelCell Energy of Danbury, which has been shepherding the plant
through the lengthy approval process, most recently securing a special
tax arrangement from the city for the land, will continue to develop
and maintain the site for Dominion.
The announcement of Dominion's purchase, rumored earlier in the week,
concluded a deal orchestrated over the past six years between city,
state and federal officials and the private sector that was often on
"When I tell you I really never thought we'd be standing here, I
believe that," Mayor Bill Finch told the various players who had
assembled mid-morning Friday in a crowded City Hall Annex to celebrate
the news. "This project died 15 to 20 times...
This is a transformative project for the city of Bridgeport and the
Connecticut Light & Power has a 15-year deal to purchase
electricity from the plant for a fixed price when it comes online in
late 2013. According to FuelCell, the plant will generate enough
electricity to power 15,000 average-sized homes.
From the Finch administration's standpoint, the city is getting a high
profile clean energy project -- the largest fuel-cell plant in Northern
America - which FuelCell intends to use as a showpiece for investors
and future clients.
And the site, a contaminated two acres Bridgeport owns off of Railroad
Avenue, will now be generating revenue for the city. Under the original
arrangement with FuelCell, approved this month by the City Council and
now assumed by Dominion, the property will be leased for 75 years for
an up-front payment of $286,825.
And for the next 17 years Dominion, which has a market capitalization
of $29 billion, will pay $250,000 annually in taxes, even though
technically they are a tenant, not the owner. James Eck,
Dominion's vice president of business development, pledged Friday this
was the start of a committed business relationship with the city and
the Bridgeport community.
"We're not an absentee owner, here," Eck said.
One councilman, John Olson, D-132, at a council meeting Monday
questioned whether the city could have gotten a better deal.
"I sold my little house for $165,000," Olson told his colleagues on
Monday. "Somebody's going to make a lot of money on this project.
Bridgeport's not going to be making much."
Asked Friday if the city could have gotten more, Finch said, "I'd just
say we're very happy with the arrangement."
The deal is a boon for FuelCell, which despite its continued growth has
struggled to turn a profit. The company's market value is around $176
million. FuelCell will be able to add about $56 million to its
backlog of orders and also signed a 15-year service agreement for $69
million, bringing the total value of the deal to about $125
million. Shares of FuelCell surged 7 percent on Nasdaq and were
trading at 94 cents in afternoon trading. Dominion shares were down 0.4
percent to $51.15.
Officials said the project will create a total of 161 jobs, from
on-site construction work to positions to jobs at FuelCell's
manufacturing facility in Torrington. The plant will be unmanned,
although FuelCell said employees will likely be there every few
days. The state was represented at Friday's announcement by Brian
Garcia, president of the Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and
Investment Authority, which helped provide support to FuelCell.
"Today is a great day. We're talking about jobs, cleaner, cheaper, more
reliable sources of energy here in Bridgeport," Garcia said.
PureCell® System Installed at UTC
Power Headquarters Building
A new fuel cell at UTC Power's headquarters in South Windsor,
Conn., is not only a clean energy source for the facility, it is also a
source of pride for the employees who designed, built and installed the
unit. The PureCell System Model 400 - which is the company's flagship
product - is prominently located at the main entrance and delivers up
to 50 percent of the building's electricity needs.
UTC Power installed the Model 400 in the summer of 2011, replacing an
earlier generation PureCell unit the company had used since the mid
1990s. The new fuel cell provides 400kW of clean, reliable power to the
building and is capable of load-following, meaning it automatically
adjusts its power output based on the draw from the building. Byproduct
thermal energy from the unit - about 1.7 MMBtu/hour (or about 500
kilowatts) will be harnessed to provide employees with domestic hot
water and heating for the building's shop areas.
Fuel Cell lapse time construction
Developer Bruce Becker's 360 State Street in downtown New Haven
could be the first residential building to earn LEED Platinum
Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. (Becker &
New Haven Fuel Cell Wrapped In Red Tape
February 21, 2010
Bruce Becker has tried to do the right thing. That may have been
Becker is the developer of nearly completed 360 State Street, a
32-story, 500-unit apartment building in New Haven. The building, which
will contain retail space and enclosed parking for 500 cars, is one of
the largest residential buildings ever built in the state.
I have been following this project, in part to see if Becker is able to
attain his goal of making it one of the state's greenest buildings as
well. He's trying to make his the state's first residential building to
achieve LEED Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building
The state isn't making it easy.
In addition to numerous other energy-saving technologies, Becker hopes
to power the building with a 400-kilowatt fuel cell made by UTC Power
of South Windsor. He has been promised a $900,000 grant from the
Connecticut Clean Energy Fund to cover slightly more than half the cost
of the power-generating device.
To pay for the rest, and to maintain the fuel cell, Becker in 2007
proposed an arrangement called "sub-metering," meaning the building
would have one "master meter" for United Illuminating, the local
utility, and all the tenants would have individual "sub meters." UI
would support the project by buying excess power and providing
additional power at times of peak demand. Or so the theory went.
This is done in New York and other some other states, but has only been
allowed in Connecticut in limited areas, such as marinas and
campgrounds. Without recounting a complex legal argument, the state
Department of Public Utility Control turned him down in late 2008,
saying current law didn't allow it.
Early last year, Becker met with members of the Clean Energy Fund, who
suggested another approach: State law does allow electric co-ops. The
statute says in part that "cooperative, nonprofit, membership
corporations may be organized ... for the purpose of generating
electric energy by means of ... renewable energy resources."
So Becker formed a co-op, the Elm Electrical Cooperative Inc., and went
to UI with the hope that they could do business. The utility said, in
effect, not unless the DPUC orders us to. So he filed another petition
with department, asking that UI be ordered to provide direct retail
service to the co-op, that it be eligible for conservation and energy
incentive programs, and be able to use "net metering," in which the
utility would purchase excess electricity generated by the fuel cell at
Though a DPUC draft report in December favored Becker's position, the
final vote of the commission this month was a 2-2 deadlock (the
commission is down a member), and so Becker lost again.
He plans to appeal the decision, and I hope he does. The plain language
of the law seems to be on his side. But what comes through both the
draft decision and the hearing is that this is "novel," "precedential,"
new territory for the DPUC — an area where the agency could use some
In the hearing on the matter, Commissioner Anthony Palermino argued
forcefully that the existing laws are too vague and ambiguous; DPUC
Chairman Kevin DelGobo argued eloquently that the statutes are clear
There are a number of other legal issues involved, but the result is a
major and self-defeating contradiction. On the one hand, the state
awards subsidies to the fuel cell industry and grants from the clean
energy fund to buy fuel cells. But when someone steps forward to
actually embrace this technology, state utility regulators run for the
Fuel cells are still a new and developing technology, but one that
appears to make sense in certain situations such as large food markets
or residential buildings. Since a cell generates power by catalysis
rather than combustion, it is a clean, nonpolluting power source.
On-site power, known as "distributed generation," reduces transmission
costs and congestion, and help make the grid more secure.
But let's make up our minds. If we believe in fuel cells, let's create
a regulatory environment in which it is possible to actually use one.
If we don't, it's hard to imagine another developer following Becker's
Economists Send Up Red Flags On Dems' Tax Plan
The Hartford Courant
By LYNN DOAN
April 16, 2009
With the state's three-year budget deficit forecast hovering between $6
billion and $9 billion, Democrats are pushing a tax plan that
economists warn will wipe out thousands of jobs both in old-line and
emerging Connecticut industries.
The tax package unveiled by the state legislature's Democratic majority
earlier this month includes three main hits to business: a 30 percent
surcharge on the corporate earnings tax; an end to sales tax exemptions
on some key purchases such as computer services; and stricter limits on
tax credits, including the lucrative research and development credits
that keep many startup businesses afloat.
While the higher taxes would help keep the state above water and could
avert public employee job cuts, economists and business executives say
the plan would also exacerbate mounting layoffs in a deep recession and
drive out companies that many see as the future of Connecticut's
"I don't have numbers in my computer that are going to tell me what
this is going to do to jobs, but I know it's not good," said Nicholas
S. Perna, economic adviser for Webster Bank and a lecturer at Yale
University. "You're either going to discourage companies from staying
in Connecticut by putting a surcharge on them when profits are very
hard to come by, or you're going to discourage them from relocating
No one, in fact, has complete numbers on estimated job losses or even
on exactly how much the Democrats' proposal would raise in new revenue
The state is expected to collect $315 million in the next three years
from the corporate earnings surcharge and $79.5 million annually from
the 54 tax exemptions that would be repealed — although some of those
exemptions apply to consumers.
Calculating the effect on the tighter R&D credit policy is harder
because that depends heavily on company decisions that are colored by
state policy. Tax reformers in Connecticut have long argued that it's
impossible to gauge the effectiveness of the state's many exemptions
and credits because it isn't known what a company does with the money.
"There are some sales tax exemptions, and there are some tax credits
that have been there for many years for no reason except that some
lobbyist is pushing for it to be there," said state Rep. Demetrios S.
Giannaros, D- Farmington, an economics professor at the University of
Hartford. "Really, we should let businesses compete fairly and more
jobs will be created."
As proposals wend though the Capitol, debate rages over whether the
money collected, which many say represents a fair share from business,
would outweigh job losses in the state's private sector. Companies'
decisions on hiring are impossible to predict, as they depend not only
on finances but attitudes, many executives say.
But by most accounts, hundreds of millions of dollars in higher
business taxes, part of the Democrats' overall plan to increase state
taxes by $3 billion over the next two years, would exact a significant
cost to the state's economy.
Biotech, Fuel Cells
The 30 percent surcharge on corporate taxes alone would purge 470
Connecticut jobs a year for the next 10 years, according to an analysis
done by Stan McMillen, chief economist for the state Department of
Economic and Community Development.
McMillen said just one of the sales tax exemptions on the chopping
block — for computer and data processing services — would result in
another 2,200 job losses annually for the next 10 years. He estimated
that, together, the surcharge and the repeal of the computer services
exemption would result in a $344 million decline in the size of the
state's economy each year for the next 10 years.
"And this is just a very small part of the entire package," he said.
say Connecticut's stalwart manufacturing sector and two key growth
industries — biotech and fuel cell technology — would particularly
suffer from the tax proposals. Among the sales tax exemptions to be
repealed are three that allow these businesses to buy equipment, fuel
and tools tax-free or at a discounted tax rate.
"Isn't that madness? We're one of the leading states in the country on
fuel cell technology and they're going to increase their costs by 6
percent," said University of Connecticut economist Fred V. Carstensen.
"That strikes me as being bizarre, just bizarre."
Carstensen, director of UConn's Connecticut Center for Economic
Analysis, said "there is no question" that the repeals would prompt job
losses and "venue shopping" among Connecticut's businesses.
But Carstensen said the Democrats' proposal to impose a 30 percent tax
surcharge would cause less damage to the state economy than the
spending cuts laid out in the governor's budget because it would
preserve a higher level of public services and thus preserve jobs.
"Government spending generates the largest economic benefit," he said.
"If the choice is between raising taxes and laying people off, then you
want to raise taxes."
He added that a surcharge poses no threat to Connecticut businesses
because they've become "very, very skillful at manipulating tax codes."
"There's a whole cadre of lawyers and accountants who track all these
things and that's a lot easier than relocating your business," he said.
'A Chilling Effect'
Economists and executives warn about decisions companies make based on
their perceptions of the state's policies — although in this recession,
unlike in the past, virtually every state faces a similar bind and many
are increasing taxes.
In Danbury, companies are already "acting defensively," instituting
four-day work weeks and furloughs, said Stephen A. Bull, president of
the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce. There isn't much left for
these businesses to do, Bull said, but to cut jobs, relocate or simply
"They are positioning themselves," he said, "for what could transpire
on the state level."
Companies currently use the tax credits to reduce their corporate
earnings tax liability by up to 70 percent — but that would shrink to
50 percent for most companies over the next two years under the
This reduction would equate to millions of dollars in lost investment
in Connecticut's bio-pharmaceutical industry alone, said Paul
Pescatello, president and CEO of Connecticut United for Research
Excellence, a trade group for the state's bio-pharmaceutical and life
"This is the most innovative industry, arguably, we've got in this
country," he said. "The biotech-pharmaceutical industry spends more
than any other industry on research and development, so these research
and development tax credits are critical."
Pfizer Inc. is an especially sensitive example. The company employs
5,000 people at its global research headquarters in Groton and New
London, and is buying and merging with a competitor, Wyeth — a merger
that will lead to job reductions in places now being determined.
In a statement released Wednesday, Pfizer said it was "concerned with
any proposal that may stifle innovation."
Pescatello said he is still polling his members to determine exactly
how much less they would be able to invest in research under the
Democrats' tax proposal.
Even without solid numbers, he said Wednesday, "it's going to have a
chilling effect on how their future stands in Connecticut."
denies fiscal aspect of fuel cell
By Mary E. O’Leary, New Haven Register Topics Editor
Monday, January 26, 2009 8:21 AM EST
NEW HAVEN — The state Department of Public Utility Control has denied
developer Becker and Becker approval of a revenue model to support use
of a fuel cell at its 360 State Street project.
But the developer isn’t giving up.
Bruce Becker, president of the firm that put together the 500-apartment
project for the former Shartenberg Department store site downtown, said
he will pursue a legislative remedy to the problem.
The request to permit submetering, in addition to a master meter at the
apartments, as well as the resale of electricity, was turned down last
week as beyond current energy regulations and policies. The decision
came at a special DPUC meeting.
Becker’s firm had argued that there was already enough flexibility in
the law to allow the requests.
“We are troubled that they are interpreting it in such a restrictive
way, particularly since the governor has such a progressive energy
policy,” Becker said.
He hopes the necessary changes are in place to allow use of a fuel cell
when the apartments open in summer 2010.
“We will have a fuel cell at the site,” Becker said.
The DPUC stated in a report that although Connecticut has been
proactive in trying to address the changing energy landscape,
“unanticipated opportunities will continue to appear,” with Becker’s
plan being the first.
“The (DPUC) examined ways to increase the economic benefits for this
project in the near term under existing standards. Unfortunately, it
was unable to do so,” the report states.
State Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, D-New Haven, Sunday said he
is looking into a tax credit proposal to address the issue, something
that would likely take months to move through the legislature as the
proposal goes through the tax and energy committees.
“I think we need to build new models to encourage innovation in
construction projects,” Looney said.
In this tough economic environment, Becker said it makes more sense
than ever to invest in sustainable energy sources, such as fuel cells,
but some regulatory changes are necessary to make them affordable.
The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund has approved a grant for close to
half of the $2 million cost for the 400-kilowatt natural gas fuel cell,
built in Connecticut. But Becker said he needs a revenue scheme that
will cover his investment, as well as operation and maintenance of this
Assuming that any excess energy production attributed to the fuel cell
would be consumed within the apartment complex, the DPUC looked at
whether a retail value could be assigned to that energy as a solution
to Becker’s problem.
Under the current net metering standards, according to the DPUC report,
landlords are reimbursed for excess production at a wholesale price, “a
value well below” the retail price of the kilowatt hours the landlord
The United Illuminating Co. objected to allowing a change in
compensation as a violation of Connecticut law and energy policy, which
the DPUC ultimately agreed with.
Becker’s proposal is the first request to come before the DPUC that
sought to expand the benefits of on-site energy generation at a
mixed-use facility, but it is not expected to be the last.
The fuel cell at 360 State Street is estimated to produce 3.3 million
kilowatts annually, of which 2.2 million will be consumed in the common
areas of the apartment building, with the rest used by the tenants.
The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund analysis was developed for a standard
installation, where the excess energy would be sold to the grid. The
DPUC suggested that the Board of Directors of the fund amend its
guidelines to take into account proposals like Becker’s.
The developer of the 32-story, $180 million housing complex, believed
to be the largest in the state, said New York regulators have dealt
with distributive generation in a mixed-use building for at least a
The use of a fuel cell will help the housing development, which also
includes a day care facility and a grocery store, to qualify for
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold certification, the
second highest “green” construction award.
Mary E. O’Leary can be reached at
789-5731 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2009 nhregister.com, a Journal Register Property
Incentives Dry Up
By Jan Ellen Spiegel
22, 2008, 7:35 am
The Connecticut organization charged
with administering the rebate program said it is a victim of its own
Connecticut’s touted solar rebate
program, which experts have pointed to as exemplary, may not be so
perfect after all. Six months into its two-year budget cycle, it is
nearly out of cash, leaving homeowners, businesses and nonprofit and
governmental organizations that want to buy solar electric systems out
All that remains is money for
residential solar leases, but there’s an income cap, and so far, the
leases haven’t caught on.
As I wrote in Sunday’s New York
Times, representatives of the Clean Energy Fund, which administers the
program, describe it as being a “victim” of its own success. But as
Connecticut joins a growing list of states — including Maryland and
Minnesota — that have run through their solar rebate allotments, there
is growing concern that such situations could critically damage a solar
industry trying despeartely to get off the ground.
“The biggest concern is that we
don’t lose the momentum that’s been hard-won over these last two or
three years because of these incentive programs,” said Monique Hanis, a
spokeswoman for the Solar Energy Industries Association. “It could
really take off,” Ms. Hanis said of the solar industry. “Or we could
have a repeat of what happened after the Carter years when it got
When solar thermal incentives ended
in the mid 1980s, it all but killed the solar industry.
Connecticut is trying to scrape up a
little extra money to keep residential rebates going at a low level,
though hard times have now prompted Governor M. Jodi Rell to consider
using funds aimed at the program to plug a budget hole elsewhere. And
some solar installers, including Jared Haines, president of Mercury
Solar Systems in Greenwich, Conn., say they see the writing on the
wall. Mr. Haines said he is considering moving Connecticut employees to
his offices in neighboring New York.
All parties are now looking for a
lifeline from Washington. The federal investment tax credit for
residential solar projects increases on Jan. 1, which could help a
little. More important, however, is the expectation that there will be
solar incentives in President-elect Barack Obama’s economic stimulus
package. Many in Connecticut believe that the state may be
well-positioned because it has so-called shovel-ready solar jobs, and
at least at the moment, a solar industry infrastructure.
“The question is,” said Michael
Trahan, executive director of Solar Connecticut, a solar industry
advocacy group, “will there be an active work force left in the state
by the time those federal dollars come along? That’s a long shot, I
HAPPENINGS AROUND THIS TIME...
Report on RFP
M E E T I N G :
CHANGED ON FRIDAY to Monday, September
at 7:30pm, Commission Room at Town Hall. Well attended meeting,
review of responses to RFP, discussion of next steps and coordination
edfforts to make an effective and prudent proposal at a time in the
Read the full text on "Energy
Improvement District" legislation from
to our special version with sections 21-36 in large type HERE.
energy needs a boost
Article Launched: 07/01/2008 03:00:33 AM EDT
There is little question that the need for renewable energy will only
grow in coming years. With energy from traditional sources continuing
to get more expensive, on top of the environmental problems caused by
burning fossil fuels, the world is looking for other ways to power
And there are technologies out there, albeit none that could step in
immediately to replace oil, natural gas and coal. But if this country
is to continue to move in that direction and toward a cleaner future,
the federal government needs a coherent program of subsidies and a
predictable level of assistance. Keeping potential investors guessing
is no way to run an energy policy.
That was the message recently to Congress from representatives of
General Electric Co., the Connecticut-based international conglomerate
that dabbles in virtually every industry imaginable.
GE representatives have said another congressional failure to extend a
tax credit for renewable energy projects could put billions of dollars
worth of future wind farms in jeopardy. But it's not just the company's
bottom-line that faces trouble; it's national energy policy in general.
Despite gaining returns on investment in wind turbine and wind farm
deals, GE representatives said alternative technology still needs
subsidies to compete, and likely will for the near future. We need to
move renewable energy technology past its current fill-in-the-gaps
The problem with some renewable sources is they depend on factors
outside anyone's control. Wind farms are worthless without wind, and
solar panels don't help much on a cloudy day. Battery technology
currently is insufficient to simply store up energy to use later.
Developing reliable sources that don't depend on the vagaries of the
weather will be one of the industry's top challenges in coming years.
But it does have sound options to pursue, including biomass, hydro and
For now, the cost to get started with alternative energy projects can
be substantial. Subsidies often are required to get a project off the
ground, and some might take years before they could come close to
paying for the initial investment.
But if the market economy indicates where we are heading, subsidies
represent a sound investment.
It was reported earlier this year that subsidiary GE Energy Financial
Services planned to substantially increasing its investment in
renewable energy - by 50 percent, to $6 billion, according to The
Associated Press. Alex Urquhart, president and chief executive of the
division based in Stamford, termed it "our fastest-growing business."
Despite such good news, though, getting away from a
fossil-fuel-dependent society is a multigenerational task, and we
cannot afford to miss opportunities to invest in our economic and
in Weston High School’s Energy Alternatives class include,
bottom row, from left, Caroline Shaw, Jack Bucca, Dylan Goldman, Jordan
Luft, Alison Germain, Nicole Bertini, Marlee Najamy Winnick; top row,
Evan Huang, Joe Sandolo, Erica Palumbo, Mariclaire Fraboni, Mary Ellen
Costello, Mark Weinstein, John Murray, Erika Lelievre (adviser).
energy guide: Weston students burn the midnight
Written by Terry Castellano
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
If one could harness the energy exhibited by Weston High School science
teacher Erika Lelievre’s Energy Alternatives classes, perhaps the
community would have a new force to ponder.
The students in these two classes spent their spring semester
researching options to consider when individuals, companies,
governments, and any other group decide what energy sources they will
Using mostly primary sources, this group of approximately 30 students
in grades 10 through 12 explored the world of alternative energy.
After delving into six different areas in this field in addition to
studying energy-effective cars, they worked to separate myth from fact
and then design, write and publish a 51-page guide to assist the Weston
community and its neighbors in understanding and finding alternative
energy sources in Fairfield County.
“This is the future; this is where it is all headed,” said Caroline
Shaw, a junior and member of Ms. Lelievre’s classs.
Areas covered in guide
Areas researched by the students include the state’s energy laws,
programs and initiatives; energy-effective cars; biofuels; solar power;
geothermal technology; hydrogen fuel cells; and wind and nuclear power.
The guide includes more than five pages of reference material.
Ms. Lelievre said her job was to assist the students in choosing
research topics, create a schedule and hold the students to it, and
provide guidance and direction when necessary. Ms. Lelievre added that
she used a multi-disciplinary and inquiry-based approach to teaching.
The students engaged in a discussion of alternative energy sources on a
variety of levels. They talked about availability, cost-effectiveness,
practicality, and even the political impact of any decisions to use
alternative energy sources.
Two of the students, graduating seniors who studied biofuels, Mary
Ellen Costello and Erica Palumbo, foresee political implications should
the country or the world move away from oil-based energy.
Mary Ellen suggested that if we as a country moved more quickly toward
this change, “using alternative energies might take us out of the war.”
One of the difficulties the students discovered in researching
alternative energies was separating fact from fiction.
Dylan Goldman, a junior, said, “At times it was tough to weed out what
was wrong from what was right. Even the government sites sometimes
contradicted each other!”
Graduating senior Jordan Luft said the students tried their best to
present their research in an unbiased manner. “We’re giving you the
knowledge; you make the decision,” he said.
Energy Alternatives is an elective at Weston High School recently
approved by the school board. This is the first year the course has
After researching their individual topics in small groups, the students
made class presentations, with many of them creating worksheets and lab
assignments for the other students to complete. All groups quizzed
their classmates on the material they had presented.
Part of the goal of the course was to complete the guide. Greg Moore, a
Weston High School student, illustrated the cover of the guide, and the
English department staff helped with proofreading.
There were 500 copies of the guide printed, and all were given to
students and community members at no charge in order to educate readers
and encourage them to think about making changes in the ways they use
energy and in the types of energy they use.
“I took this course because of the current discussions [on alternative
energy sources],” Erica said. “I think it is a good idea and wanted to
‘go green,’ where possible. It’s almost an obligation.”
MEETING: SCHEDULED FOR
MONDAY, MARCH 9, 2009 at 7:30pm in the Downstairs (basement)
Meeting Room at Town Hall:
same as posted in
the Town Clerk's Office
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Minutes of the
Alternative Energy Sub-Committee of the Building Committee (note -
these have been approved):
February 25, 2009
Mar. 10, 2008
sources on or linked to this website:
and from across the
Please read the Energy section (p. 26) of the SWRPA Regional Plan: http://www.swrpa.org/projects/regplan2006.htm