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New Energy Workforce Website Launched!

CBIA’s Education Foundation has launched GetIntoEnergyCT.com, a new website funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Connecticut Green Jobs Partnership.
This site will help energy and green technology companies to meet one of their biggest challenges, a future shortage of skilled workers.

The site site features:
•  Day-in-the-life career videos
•  An employer locator
•  Internship opportunities
•  Scholarships
•  Current events, including energy-sector workshops, seminars, and career fairs
•  Toolkits for businesses and educators on organizing everything from classroom presentations to summer camps 

GetIntoEnergyCT.com is an excellent resource for a wide variety of people including:
• Energy companies developing and expanding their talent pool
• Students and jobseekers exploring energy careers, scholarships, and training
• Teachers seeking to broaden students’ understanding of concepts and career pathways in energy and green technology

Get Into Energy CT is the website of the Connecticut Energy Workforce Development Consortium (CTEWDC), a public-private partnership of representatives from energy-related businesses, government, and academia. The CTEWDC was formed in 2009 to build a skilled workforce in traditional and renewable energy. The CTEWDC’s mission is to meet the evolving workforce needs of Connecticut’s traditional and alternative energy suppliers and energy efficiency companies.

For more information about the CTEWDC or to join the consortium, contact CBIA’s Shelly Talley.

Jocelyn Anastasiou
Project Associate, CEFIA

Be Sure To Tune In!

Eco Company, a nationally syndicated, weekly television show hosted by teens, produced two full episodes in Connecticut in early August 2011 – the first time the show has ever taped outside of California. Both episodes showcase Connecticut as a leader in renewable energy initiatives, statewide energy conservation programs, “green job” workforce development and environmental education.

Eco Company is an informational program that has been endorsed by educators for its “fresh, engaging and optimistic approach to environmental issues.” The teen hosts for this entertaining show combine their natural curiosity with their desire to preserve the planet they will inherit by reporting on environmental stories from their unique perspective.

Eco Company’s season-opening episodes featuring multiple Connecticut subjects will air on Fox 61 on Saturday, October 1 at 12:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 8 at 12:30 p.m.

Episode one debuts this Saturday, October 1 at 12:30 p.m. Featured in episode one is the Fuel Cell Energy manufacturing plant in Torrington, the innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy training program at E.C. Goodwin Technical High School in New Britain and the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge, a U.S. Department of Energy grant project that was filmed in Portland, one of fourteen municipal partners throughout the state. Dan Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, is also featured in this episode.

Episode two will air the following Saturday, October 8 at 12:30 p.m. and features the Yale Farm in New Haven, Common Ground High School in New Haven and BioPur, Inc., a large scale biodiesel producer in Waterbury. Several buildings depicted in this episode are equipped with clean energy systems as well as numerous other sustainability components.

Tune in this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on Fox 61. Check your local listings.

Jocelyn Anastasiou
Project Associate

Connecticut’s First E-House Completed

Last Tuesday, at Goodwin Technical High School in New Britain, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the unveiling of Connecticut’s first E-House. The E-House is an innovative, hands-on training program that prepares students for the green workforce. The E-House incorporates renewable energy technologies and energy efficient technologies with green construction. Kudos to the students at Goodwin Tech for their hard work!

Auggie V’s Green Blog did a great job covering this program. Click here to read Auggie V’s Green Blog featuring the E-House.

Jocelyn Anastasiou
Project Associate

WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

September 24 is Moving Day – for the whole planet.

 “Moving Planet – A Day to Move beyond Fossil Fuels” is the latest international day of action sponsored by 350.org, a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis.  Founded by author Bill McKibben, the organization takes its name from the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that scientists believe is the safe limit for humanity (350 parts per million or ppm; we are currently at 391 ppm).  The organization has spearheaded various events since 2007, including Step It Up, An International Day of Climate Action and 10/10/10 Global Work Party.  

According to Justin Haaheim, 350.org’s state coordinator, the Connecticut event “will celebrate the rich diversity of tangible, effective ways we are addressing climate change and moving beyond fossil fuels in their communities and across the state.”  Although small events are being planned throughout various communities, the focal point of the day will be a gathering in New Haven. 

The central event will feature a Critical Mass bike ride leaving from New Haven Green from 4-5 p.m., a Rally on the Green including a celebration of the work of local communities and organizations, a discussion with local and state leaders and group photo from 5-7 p.m. and a screening of the movie Wall-e powered by bicycles on the Green from 8-10 p.m.

We encourage Clean Energy Task Forces to organize an event in their own community and join the main rally in New Haven, if possible.  The local events provide an opportunity to promote simple climate solutions for consumers, including having a Home Energy Solutions assessment and undertaking energy efficiency upgrades, signing up for CTCleanEnergyOptions or installing a renewable energy system and pursuing alternate means of transportation such as telecommuting, carpooling, mass transit and bicycling.

So … what’s in the box?

Jon Gorham, inventor of the “BuzzboxTM”

To publicize the event, the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority has helped to produce an innovative communications device, the origami Buzzboxä.  This new medium was designed by Jon Gorham, chair of the Woodbridge Clean Energy Task Force, a Connecticut Climate Change Leadership honoree and long-time eco-entrepreneur. 

A set of three “nesting” boxes, precut and pre-folded will be distributed free of charge to interested Clean Energy Task Forces and environmental groups. The device is intended to be an effective conversation starter to make people aware of the event and its significance to all of us. It incorporates a QR-bar code that takes smart phone users directly to the Moving Planet web site. In addition, a downloadable PDF that can be printed off on 110# card stock will be made available free of charge. There is even a video that describes the simple assembly process: www.yourbuzzbox.com/assembly

To obtain a set of Buzzboxes, we have set up distribution centers in Hartford, Rocky Hill, New Haven, Woodbridge and Fairfield.  Please contact communities@ctcleanenergy.com to arrange for a pickup of your set of materials.

Time to get moving!

Bob Wall

Director, Energy Market Initiatives

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go Solar!

Connecticut Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) sponsored a Solar Speedway summer learning program for children in Grades 5 and up at the Discovery Museum and Planetarium of Bridgeport. The program featured exciting lessons and hands-on activities focused on alternative energy resources including solar photovoltaics and wind energy.

During the program, student teams worked to assemble solar-powered go-karts, which they raced on Friday afternoon, July 29. The races were not for speed; they were for endurance. Students were testing which karts would run for the longest time. Student teams were assigned with developing procedures for charging and running their karts to maximize solar-energy capture and efficiency. The students had a great time zooming around in the solar go-karts. Bryan Garcia, president of CEFIA, and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch were present for the races.

The students attending this program put together great projects explaining climate change, solar energy and wind energy. An informal display of their projects will be at the Discovery Museum for two weeks through August 12.  The Museum is located at 4450 Park Avenue in Bridgeport.

CEFIA’s sponsorship of the event covered the purchase of solar go-karts, scholarships for participating students and program materials.

“Solar Speedway is a wonderful summer program that is inspiring the next generation of clean energy users, researchers and developers,” said Garcia. “We are thrilled to support such a vibrant and engaging initiative!  Citizens today are just beginning to embrace alternative ways of generating electricity and powering cars. The next generation will expect and demand clean energy solutions, thanks to enhanced understanding and expanding options. Their support of clean energy will ensure a healthier environment, ensure our nation’s energy independence, and create new green jobs for our economy.”

Jocelyn Anastasiou
Project Associate, CEFIA

Three Connecticut Companies Announced as Semifinalists in 2011 Cleantech Open Business Competition

Three Connecticut companies were announced as semifinalists for the 2011 Cleantech Open Business Competition. The Cleantech Open is a national business competition for technology startups. Its mission is to find, fund and foster big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental, and economic challenges. Since its inception in 2006, nearly 400 promising teams have availed themselves of the Cleantech Open’s mentoring and funding programs, with impressive results. Cleantech Open alumni have raised over $280M in private capital and 80% of participating companies remain economically viable today.

The Cleantech Open recently announced semifinalist winners selected from a talented pool of more than 285 cleantech entrepreneurs from across the country that competed in one of seven regional competitions. The regional competitions took place in California as well as the North-Central, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountain and South-Central regions.

CEFIA is very excited about the three Northeast semifinalists from Connecticut:

  • Encendia Biochar (New Haven, CT) –   Applies an innovative technology to produce biochar using pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is a process for decomposing organic material at high temperatures in the absence of oxygen. The biochar is a natural fertilizer and acts as a sponge for water and beneficial microbes. It also sequesters carbon. (http://encendia.com/)
  • Concentrators (Woodbury, CT) – Applies an innovative system design that integrates solar PV technology to produce electricity and solar thermal technology used to pre-heat domestic hot water.
  • Green Waste Energy Inc. (GWE) (Greenwich, CT) – Applies a thermal conversion technology that converts municipal solid waste into useful energy.  (http://www.c6tec.com/Home.aspx)

The Northeast semifinalists will receive cash and in-kind awards valued at $40,000 each. In addition, a U-Launch prize valued at $20,000 and a Regional Sustainability Prize will also be awarded.

Northeast semifinalists were required to attend the East Coast Academy, a business boot camp, held on June 28 and 29. During the Academy, semifinalists received coaching and mentoring from the Cleantech Open’s network of talented business mentors, as well as one-on-one consulting with specialists. After an additional round of regional judging to be held in October, finalists will be selected to advance and represent their region, competing at the national level for a grand prize of up to $250,000 in cash and in-kind services, and an overall prize chest of nearly $1 million.

The Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority strongly encourages entrepreneurs applying to CEFIA’s New Technologies programs to participate in the Cleantech Open and U-Launch programs. Further details on each of these programs are available at:  www.ctcleanenergy.com/newtech, www.cleantechopen.com, and www.cse.fraunhofer.org/ulaunch.

The New Clean Energy Fund

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund will be embarking on a new adventure, with a new name. There is a great blog, titled “Banking on Green Growth in Connecticut,” about the newly constituted Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) on The New Republic blog.

Read The New Republic blog post here.

Jocelyn Anastasiou
Project Associate, Education & Outreach

CCEF Live on the Air

On May 25, 2011, Christin Cifaldi, project manager for CCEF’s solar photovoltaic programs, was a guest on WNPR’s Colin McEnroe radio show.  She was joined by Tony Silverio, from Silverio Mechanical in Old Saybrook, and George Keithan, with Consulting Engineering Services in Middletown, during the 60-minute program’s live broadcast.

The show was intended to answer questions about ways Connecticut residents could adapt their homes to increase energy efficiency and incorporate alternative energy sources. Click here to visit WNPR’s website and listen to a recording of the show.

Christin Cifaldi
Project Manager
CCEF

Clean SWEEEP

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) is proud to announce that two of the top high school winners from the CCEF-sponsored Alternative/Renewable Energy category at the 2011 Connecticut Science Fair moved on to compete and win in international science and sustainability competitions.

Bridget Oei

In the Connecticut competition, Bridget Oei, a ninth grade student from East Catholic High School in Manchester, Connecticut, won first place for her project “Applying the Principles of the Tesla Engine to Design and Construct a Prototype of a Bladeless Wind Turbine.” Ryota Ishizuka, an eleventh grade student from Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Connecticut, won second place for his project “Optimization of a Microbial Fuel Cell Structure to Drive a Bioelectrochemically-Assisted Wastewater Treatment Reactor.”

As a result of their successes, Bridget Oei and Ryota Ishizuka were selected to compete at the International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering and Environment Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP), which was held May 4-9 in Houston, Texas. Ryota was a silver medal winner in the energy category and Bridget was a bronze medal winner in the energy category.

I-SWEEEP aims to create an educational platform for high school researchers in which they present their innovative projects to take on today’s challenges in energy, engineering and environment. The contest is organized by the Cosmos Foundation, a non-profit educational organization in Houston with a mission to establish college preparatory K-12 schools focusing on math, science, engineering, and computer technologies in an effort to provide a world-class education to public. This year’s competition included 470 top projects from 70 countries and 43 U.S. states.

Ryota Ishizuka

Ryota also competed in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest pre-college science fair, held in Los Angeles, California. Ryota received a certificate of honorable mention in the International Council on Systems Engineering – INCOSE category.

CCEF would like to congratulate Bridget and Ryota on their hard work and contributions to the world of clean and renewable energy.  Your achievements in these highly competitive events demonstrate that the future is very bright thanks to Connecticut’s young innovators!

To follow the activities of the winners at the International Science and Engineering Fair, click here.

To follow Bridget’s diary of her trip to I-SWEEEP, click here.

Jocelyn Anastasiou
Project Associate, Education & Outreach

St. Patrick’s Day Green Energy at the Connecticut Science Fair

The Connecticut Science Fair begins tomorrow March 16th. Bob Wisner, the Fair Director, is our first featured writer of the year.  

More than 15,000 students from Connecticut and several bordering New York state towns have competed at local science fairs during the current school year. The top 500 middle and high school participants will showcase their science talent at the 2011 Connecticut Science Fair.  The 63rd Annual Connecticut Science Fair (CSF) will be held March 15-19, 2011, at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.

CCEF ‘s Beth Piggush (left) with 2010 Senior High Winners

On Wednesday, March 16, the field of 500 entrants will be reduced to a field of about 150 finalists. Finalists will present their projects to nearly 300 judges (scientists, educators and engineers) from government, industry, academia and professional societies on Thursday, March 17.

Participants at the CSF are competing for more than $100,000 in prizes sponsored by more than 90 professional societies, universities, businesses, colleges, individual contributors, fair alumni and fair supporters. The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund sponsors the CSF Alternative/Renewable Energy category. This year there are a record 70 energy-related projects. Some are investigating revolutionary concepts. One student built a wind turbine that does not have blades. Instead, it utilizes a turbine invented 100 years ago by the great genius, Nikola Tesla. Another student is using algae to create biofuels. Another project uses a kite that flies autonomously at high altitudes and acts as a wind power generator to replace ground-based wind turbines. Clearly, an energy-efficient future is on the minds of Connecticut science and technology-minded youth.

Six of the top winners at the CSF will represent the state and compete for more than $5 million in cash awards and scholarships at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair, the world’s largest pre-college science fair being held in Los Angeles, California, May 8-13 and at the International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering & Environment Project (I-SWEEEP) Olympiad to be held May 4-9 in Houston, Texas. Middle school winners will receive invitations to submit their work to compete in the nationwide Broadcom MASTERSTM (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) Competition, a program of Society for Science & the Public.

Open to all students in grades 7 to 12, the statewide CSF provides a meeting ground for those interested in research, engineering and mathematics. We stress the formal elements of scientific and engineering methods. Strong communications skills are fostered by the science fair through the written and verbal elements of the competition.

Theresa Oei, Junior, East Catholic High School, describing her kite wind energy project at 2010 Connecticut Science Fair

The CSF Association, which sponsors the annual CSF, is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization founded in 1949 to interest young people in careers in science and engineering through recognition of their science achievements and by providing opportunities for them to interact with engineers and scientists. The program starts in the middle school grades and provides science and technology nurturing as students transition from middle to high school; it works to spark their science interests through high school.

This is the third year that the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund has sponsored the Fair’s Alternative/Renewable Energy category. This year, in addition to the cash awards and trophies, a top high school winner of this category will receive a trip to compete in the GENIUS Olympiad, a new international science competition focusing on global environmental issues to be held at the State University of New York in Oswego, New York.

Bob Wisner
Fair Director
Connecticut Science Fair
http://www.ctsciencefair.org/