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Archive for the 'Energy' Category

Coca-Cola Enterprises to install fuel cells at Elmsford plant


Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., the world’s largest bottler of Coca-Cola products, is turning to clean energy technolgoies to reduce the power use and environmental impact of its production plant in Elmsford.

The company plans to install two fuel cell systems at the plant to produce enough power and heat to meet 30 percent of the site’s needs. The fuel cells also will serve as a backup electricity source during power outages.

Fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen in an electrochemical process to produce electricity, heat and water. Since they don’t produce the emissions of traditional power plants, some scientists maintain that the fuel cell technology has the potential the potential to reduce petroleum use and decrease greenhouse gas emissions suspected of contributing to global warming.

“The fuel cell systems at our Elmsford facility will help us further our environmental commitment to our local communities, reducing our carbon footprint and our use of the local power grid,” said Ron Lewis, vice president of supply chain for Coca-Cola Enterprises.

Coca-Cola Enterprises said the fuel-cell installation in Elmsford is one of several environmental initiatives that the company has undertaken in the New York metro area. Others have included the purchase of 20 hybrid electric delivery trucks and an investment in water-saving technology at its New York production plants.

The company added that it may eventually add fuel cell technology at other production plants within its network of 431 facilities in North America and Western Europe.

UTC Power, a unit of United Technologies Corp., will own and operate the fuel cells under a 10-year energy services agreement with Coca-Cola Enterprises.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority said that it is providing $2 million to support the project. The authority, established by the state in 1975, provides energy technical and financial assistance to businesses.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Thursday, July 2nd, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
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Rockland Business Association plans “green” workshop


The Rockland Business Association will hold its second annual Green Council Seminar on Wednesday, June 3, from 8 a.m. to noon at Rockland Community College in Suffern. The program will focus on making businesses more profitable through the adoption of “green” principles.
The association will unveil a Web-based toolkit that will help businesses become more sustainable. Melissa Everett, executive director of Sustainable Hudson Valley, will speak on “Green Jobs in a Green Community: Connecting the Dots.”
A panel discussion will feature George Hoehmann from Camp Venture Inc., John Lorenzo from Instrumentation Laboratory, Arthur Barikyan from Orange & Rockland Utilities, and Ed Gray from Rockland BOCES.
Vendors will demonstrate green technology products and services, and Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef will speak. For more information, call the RBA office at 845-735-2100. Admission is $20 for members and $35 for non-members.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
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ConEdison Solutions named energy efficiency provider


ConEdison Solutions, an energy services company based in White Plains, said that it has been designated as an “approved provider of energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation services” at the Department of Defense and other government offices nationally. Under the program, the Defense Depart initiative could use various contractors to undertake up to $900 million in energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects at federal sites.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
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A 182-mile natural gas pipeline opens


The region gained a new source of energy after a 182-mile natural gas pipeline began fully operating today and delivering fuel to shippers.

It took 18 months and more than 2,000 workers to complete the $1 billion project that involved building a pipeline 30 inches in diameter from Corning to Ramapo.

The pipeline is expected to help meet the growing energy demand in the New York metro area by significantly expanding the supplies of natural gas for businesses and homeowners.

The project was built by Millennium Pipeline Company L.L.C. of Pearl River.

“This is an historic day for New York state and the Northeast,” Millennium President Dick Leehr said. “Many years of hard work and planning, permitting and eventual construction have finally come to fruition, enabling Millennium to deliver much-needed natural gas supplies as we enter the peak of the 2008-09 winter heating season.”

Construction of the pipeline started in June 2007, but most of the work took place this year.
While more than 90 percent of the pipeline was built within or next to existing pipeline rights-of-way, some of the most challenging work occured in Rockland County. Steep slopes and rocky terrain along the Rockland route required workers to blast away rock.

Even though the pipeline has started operating, land restoration and environmental monitoring work will continue in 2009.

“It is gratifying to see that a major collaborative effort involving skilled union workers from local communities and around the country, government officials at all levels, customers, partners, contractors, vendors and many other organizations came together to achieve this common important goal of meeting the region’s growing energy needs,” Leehr said.

The pipeline will use various pipeline interconnections to bring more natural gas to New York from Canada.

Pipeline customers include Consolidated Edison of New York, KeySpan Energy Delivery Long Island, Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation and Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Monday, December 22nd, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
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Starwood to invest in energy efficient TVs


The televisions that guests watch at 460 North American hotels are big energy hogs for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc.

That’s because the average hotel television runs six to eight hours during a typical day. Guests commonly waste even more energy when they leave their rooms without turning off the sets.

Looking to cut its energy bills, White Plains-based Starwood is embarking on an ambitious program that could see it install at least 80,000 energy efficient TVs at its North American hotels. Starwood anticipates that the payoff could be a $12 million reduction in energy costs over seven years.

Starwood, whose hotel brands include Sheraton, Westin and St. Regis, agreed to buy the new SmartPower(2) energy efficient televisions from Philips Electronics, the Dutch electronics giant. Compared to older models, the new TVs may cut energy consumption by up to 40 percent, according to Philips.

Starwood may invest as much as $100 million in the TVs.

The typical hotel room with one television and three light bulbs uses about 455 watts of energy daily, according to Philips. Replacing these with Philips SmartPower TVs and energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs can reduce the energy use to 153 watts.

“This is a defining agreement for us, and is indicative of the fundamental change in mindset we have implemented around procurement and sourcing, and the partners we want to work with to achieve this,” said Paul Davis, senior vice president of global sourcing at Starwood. “Philips has shown us that it is easy to simultaneously provide our guests with the very latest technology while making a sound business decision that significantly impacts costs and reduces energy consumption.”

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, October 28th, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
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Spano wants oil dealers to re-negotiate contracts


Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano wants oil dealers to renegotiate fixed-price contracts customers signed during the summer when prices were much higher than they are now.

Spano said a survey conducted by the county’s Department of Consumer Protection showed the average price has dropped to $2.78 a gallon. That’s a drop of 46.3 cents from a survey conducted Oct. 6. Prices have dropped $1.69 a gallon from their high in mid-July, he said.

The survey tends to underestimate the actual average cost of fuel oil in the county. That’s because many of the higher-priced dealers refuse to provide their prices when the county’s inspectors call them.

“Some customers, particularly seniors who were worried that there was no end in sight to the cost of oil, locked in rates over the summer when they were at their peak – about $4.50 a gallon, Spano said in a statement released by his office. “These consumers are now locked into sky-high prices, even though much lower-priced heating oil is available.”

Spano wrote to 69 home heating oil companies in the county asking them to “be sensitive to customers in this situation.”

He said that he understands that many oil companies bought oil at the higher prices, but he believes companies may have “some leeway” in pricing and should do what they can to help customers, particularly those on fixed incomes.

Posted by Allan Drury on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008 at 12:37 pm |
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ConEdison Solutions to be part of Arizona program


White Plains-based ConEdison Solutions said that its subsidiary, Custom Energy Services LLC, has been designated an Energy Performance Contractor by the state of Arizona. That allows the company to participate in an Arizona program that provides energy efficiency services to state agencies, state universities, community colleges, cities, counties and schools.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
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ConEdison Solutions gets NYPA contract


ConEdison Solutions has been awarded a contract by the New York Power Authority to provide upgrades and services to the nation’s largest state-owned power utility, ConEdison Solutions said today.

Under the contract, granted through competitive bids, ConEdison Solutions will provide efficiency upgrades, including  lighting, motors and controls at NYPA plants in Westchester and New York City.

Services will include conducting feasibility studies, evaluating existing and proposed systems, developing designs, purchasing equipment, installation, supervision of installation and commissioning of equipment, said White Plains-based ConEdison Solutions, a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison Inc.

The amount of the contract will be based on costs associated with individual projects and has yet to be determined, said ConEdison Solutions spokeswoman Christine Nevin. However, the contract’s value is estimated to be in the “low millions,” she said.

Posted by David Schepp on Friday, August 1st, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
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Power bills expected to soar


Monthly electric bills could climb 21 percent for Westchester County residents this summer in response to soaring costs to produce power from oil and natural gas.

Utility Consolidated Edison Inc. estimated that a typical Westchester residential customer using 500 kilowatt hours could face a monthly bill of $125.50 this summer, up from $103.48 a year ago. Business customers in Westchester and New York City could see their summer electric bills climb as much as 25 percent.

The higher utility costs could be an added burden for households already struggling with rising food and energy prices, including gasoline prices over $4 a gallon.

Con Edison, which serves 3.2 million customers in New York City and Westchester, said higher oil and natural gas are to blame.

“Fuel prices have gone up exponentially as anyone who has passed a gas station knows,” said Chris Olert, a spokesman for Con Edison.

Producing electricity from natural gas has gotten more expensive with natural gas prices up 39 percent this year. That can have a significant impact on Con Edison and its customers because about 43 percent of the power used in its service territory is generated from natural gas. Oil-generated power, which accounts for about 6 percent of electricity consumed in the region, also is more expensive with petroleum prices soaring to new records.

Con Edison buys most of that electricity from other suppliers and distributes it to local customers.

“Our objective is to get the best deal we can for customers,” Olert said.

The higher bills also include a rate increase of 4.7 percent approved by the state Public Service Commission in March.

Olert suggested that customers turn to conservation to keep their utility costs manageable. Con Edison offers a list of energy saving tips at www.coned.com/customercentral/energysavings.asp

“If you use less, you pay less,” Olert said.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Friday, July 11th, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
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SmartWatt opens office in Harrison


SmartWatt Energy Services reports it has opened an office in Harrison to service the New York City metropolitan area.

SmartWatt, which provides services and products for reducing energy consumption, has offices in the Albany area and Rochester.

Posted by David Schepp on Friday, June 20th, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
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Energy East deal in limbo, Schumer seeks meeting


New York’s senior senator, Charles Schumer, lashed out at the state’s Public Service Commission today, calling its demands “irrational and illogical,” following a non-binding ruling by an administrative law judge Monday to reject Iberdrola SA’s $4.5 billion buyout of Energy East Corp., parent to New York State Electric & Gas Corp.

NYSEG has nearly 90,000 customers in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties.

The commission is seeking “to place severe restrictions on the world’s leading wind power producer,” Schumer said in a written statement.

In his ruling, the judge urged the commission, should it decide to go ahead with the buyout, to require Iberdrola to sell of all of its wind-energy assets in the state, among other conditions.

But Schumer said that stipulation would risk jobs and a $2 billion investment in the state’s economy. The Democrat said he is seeking to meet with PSC Chairman Garry A. Brown about Iberdrola’s bid, which likely will be withdrawn if PSC rejects the plan.

“I am requesting this meeting to discuss the importance of brokering a deal that will keep customer rates low, provide system reliability and bring much-needed wind power to New York,” Schumer said.

The PSC is expected it issue its ruling on the buyout next month.

New York is the last of four Northeastern states to weigh in on the deal. Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine have approved the buyout.

Posted by David Schepp on Thursday, June 19th, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
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Business in the Burbs is our online news blog about businesses based or operating in the Lower Hudson Valley. Visitors here will also find items of interest to consumers in the region. Most contributions are from business reporters and editors covering Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.


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