Monthly Archives: April 2011

Huntington’s Rona Fried a ‘green’ Internet Pioneer

Entrepreneur and environmentalist aren’t the most commonly associated words, but Rona Fried knows how to bring them together.

The Huntington resident, who has a habit of doing battle against locally invasive plants, is the founder and president of one of the top green business websites on the Internet, SustainableBusiness.com. She is also a nationally respected voice regarding green investing, publishing a monthly online newsletter on the subject, Progressive Investor, as well as contributing an “Investing in Clean Energy” column for each edition of Solar Today, the American Solar Energy Society’s flagship publication.

She selects the stocks for the Nasdaq OMX Green Economy Index, a stock index that tracks all the publicly traded green companies worldwide, and sits on the advisory board of four clean energy indexes.

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NYSERDA Earns EPA Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) with a 2011 ENERGY STAR  Sustained Excellence Award on Tuesday, April 12, for its continued leadership in protecting the environment through energy efficiency.

The 2011 Sustained Excellence Awards are given to a select group of organizations that have exhibited outstanding leadership year after year. Winners have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by setting and achieving aggressive goals, employing innovative approaches, and showing others what can be achieved through energy efficiency.

This award recognizes NYSERDA’s ongoing leadership across the ENERGY STAR program, including energy-efficient products, services, new homes and buildings in the commercial, industrial and public sectors.

Here’s a look at NYSERDA’s 2010 highlights:

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Smithtown Church installs 10k Solar System

Just over a year ago the St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Smithtown started kicking around the idea of installing a new roof. At the time, a young female member saw the project as an opportunity to install solar panels as well. Hearing the idea, Bob Reimertz, vestry member and the head of building and grounds for the church, had an all to familiar reaction to going solar.

The St. Thomas of Canterbury Church on Brooksite Drive in Smithtown installed this 10k PV system in late March.

“I said to myself, ‘you got to be kidding me. That’s like 60,000 dollars,’” recalled Mr. Reimertz. “Then I started doing research. The more research I did, finding out about the rebates, I said, ‘we can do this and never pay electric again.’”

With Mr. Reimertz’s legwork, and funding from the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, St. Thomas of Canterbury took action on never paying for electric again with the installation of a 48-panel, 10,000 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on the south side of the church. After more than a week of dealing with foul weather, the panels were raised to the roof Wednesday, April 5.

“This is a fantastic thing for our church, for Smithtown, and for the surrounding community,” Mr. Reimertz said. “I figured out that the amount of energy in one year’s time we will save equals the amount of fumes a car emits after driving 12,000 miles.”

According to Mr. Reimertz, the project cost a little over $55,000, just about half of which ($27,500) is covered by a Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) solar rebate. Currently, LIPA offers rebates of $1.75 per kilowatt up to 10,000 kilowatts through its solar pioneer program. Since churches are exempt from state and federal taxes and not eligible for solar project tax rebates, St. Thomas of Canterbury received an enhanced rebate rate from LIPA of $2.75 per kilowatt.

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NYSERDA Announces Clean Energy Investment Programs

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently announced two new investment programs that will help the clean-energy industry grow the state.

The first is dedicated to encouraging new clean-power products. The other is directed to the manufacturing process, encouraging companies to find new ways to produce technology while using less fossil fuel and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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Push for Solar Jobs Act of 2011

Last week both Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) and the New York  League of Conservative Voters (NYLCV)  announced their intentions to push the Solar Industry Development and Jobs Act of 2011.

Introduced by Assembly Member Steve Englebright, the bill aims to meet 5,000 megawatts of solar energy produced in the state by 2025. The bill’s plan is progressive, requiring retail electrical suppliers to annually up their  sale of solar starting with a minimum of .05% in 2013 and increasing each year until reaching 2.5% in 2025. 

If implimented, the bill is estimated to create 22,000 jobs and roughly $500 million in annual wages.

 The bill in its entirety can be read here. To encourage your elected officials to take action, visit this web site and send them an email.

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