Newmarket Eco-Industrial Zone Project
Businesses and manufacturers throughout Boston are implementing broad sustainability measures to both green their facilities and reduce energy operating costs. While most may not have the capital to design and build a new energy efficient LEED certified building, many with strong sustainability goals have begun deploying energy efficiency improvements in fleet operations, lighting, water conservation, pollution prevention, and hvac and compressor equipment for refrigeration units.
Katsiroubas Bros., a wholesale produce distributor in the Newmarket District recently identified a series of solutions to reduce the electrical demands of their operation by replacing all of the lights to lower wattage and higher output which reduced usage by 92,972 kilowatts annually with a savings of $13,640.00 projected per year. By increasing insulation levels in their refrigerated trucks and installing idle-free systems that shut off automatically after 15 minutes their entire fleet has reduced fuel usage considerably. Katsiroubas Bros. has also increased their regional and local purchasing of produce from the Pioneer Valley Association, a group of 40 local farmers, while their green management team has begun tracking improvements on water, energy and trash usage throughout the entire business.
Here’s a link to Katsiroubos Bros. improvements-
Over the next six months the BRA’s Newmarket Eco- Industrial Zone Project funded through an EPA Sustainable Skyline’s grant will explore proven strategies for area businesses to increase building energy efficiency and facilitate the adoption of district-scale energy solutions including; combined heat and power (CHP), geothermal heating and biomass. Anti-idyling and plug-in solutions will be explored for the business district to reduce emissions from truck fleets, while cool and green roof solutions for targeted shading from street trees and awnings will be adopted to reduce urban heat islands. Stormwater management and asphalt coverage data will be compiled to identify district-wide strategies to reduce discharges into Fort Point Channel.
The creation of an eco-industrial zone will be a critical step in implementing district-scale synergies between businesses which will reduce their operating costs and make them more competitive as a sustainable model of economic growth for the city of the future.
The Eco- Industrial Park model was first implemented in the Kalundborg Eco-Industrial Park in Denmark where local manufacturers share resources through industrial symbiosis. At the heart of the project is a coal fired power plant which provides excess heat to 3500 homes, as well as a local fish farm whose waste sludge is then sold as fertilizer. By-products from the power plant scrubbers are used for a local gypsum manufacturer and the utilization of the excess heat prevents it from being discharged into the local fjord. Additionally other waste materials including fly-ash from the power plant are used in road construction and cement production.
More updates on this groundbreaking project to come…
The City of Boston brought together property owners, EV industry experts, EV manufacturers, regulators, and electric utilities today to discuss how to best prepare for the emergence of electric vehicles. Among this issues discussed were permitting and site evaluation, building and electric code changes, electric vehicle behavior and use predictions and data, how electric vehicle charging infrastructure is part of a broader effort to develop “green garage” design standards, and time of use charging rates (will we ever see them?)
The City will unveil a 3 charging unit pilot in the near future. Meanwhile, Chevy Volts (purchased in Connecticut and New York) and Nissan Leafs have already been spotted on Boston’s streets.
The City and BRA will soon begin a process to identify the best strategy to roll out charging infrastructure across the City, and to help owners of private parking spaces make the best decisions about this new technology.
May 11, 11
As part of an Integrated Waste Management plan the state is launching a stakeholder engagement process to develop recommendations for overcoming existing barriers to siting organic waste to energy and anaerobic digestion facilities. Massachusetts has set a goal of reducing solid waste disposal 30% by 2050 which aligns this timeline with the states greenhouse gas goals outlined in the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) in 2008. Additionally, the state will be implementing an organics ban in 2014 as part of this integrated approach to waste reduction.
The diversion of solid and organic waste materials from landfills has numerous positive economic and health benefits, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, waste hauling fees, miles traveled by waste hauling vehicles, a reduction in the number of landfills, and increased recycling rates.
The economic benefits of increased recycling rates have an enormous impact on the state by bolstering and supporting over 2,000 businesses associated with recycling, reuse, and re-manufacturing with an estimated 14,000 jobs and revenues of $3.2 Billion
Waste to energy facilities can become an important component of the renewable energy portfolio for the state as outlined in the Green Communities Act of 2008, as they are eligible for renewable energy credits.
One of the most promising non-combustion processes for converting waste to energy is through Anaerobic Digestion (AD), a process in which organic materials are broken down and utilized as feedstock in an oxygen deprived environment to produce biogas.
Greentech’s EPA funded Newmarket Eco-Industrial Zone Project is pursuing a number of sustainable strategies for local businesses to reduce their operating costs associated with energy and waste. The wholesale produce and meat distribution facilities in Newmarket collectively produce over 27,000 tons of organic waste, which is presently trucked off- site by waste hauling companies and would provide enough feedstock for a district based AD facility. This presents a tremendous opportunity for the district to secure a renewable energy source that is centered on a locally sourced waste product. The project will also be exploring the implementation of a district-scale energy facility that uses the biogas as a fuel source through a Cogeneration Plant to provide both electricity and district heat for the businesses within the industrial corridor.
Mar 15, 11
The 2011 award honors Boston businesses and individuals for an outstanding commitment to sustainability in the following categories: Green Business, Green Residential, Bike Friendly Business, and Sustainable Food.
Launched in 2007, the program is designed to highlight innovative approaches to energy reductions, water conservation, adaptive re-use of historic buildings, and sustainable landscaping methods.
This year the addition of the Sustainable Food category signals the city’s commitment to innovative food related businesses that are reducing their environmental footprint by reducing energy use, composting food waste, and increasing their water efficiency.
The city is home to some innovative urban agriculture start ups: City Growers, a for profit who’s mission is to transform vacant lots into urban sustainable farms. The Food Project works with teens on sites in Dorchester to provide a chemical free sustainable food system with a CSA program and donates over a quarter million pounds of food annually to local shelters. Top Sprouts is turning under-utilized rooftop space into productive vegetable gardens providing fresh vegetables and a greener roof for customers.
Green residential awards will honor residents that have incorporate sustainable practices into their home, yards and neighborhoods in the following sub-categories:
Climate Action Leadership, Waste Reduction, Green Home Conservation/ Renovation, and Sustainable Landscaping.
For more information or to download and submit nomination forms, please visit the http://www.cityofboston.gov/environmentalandenergy/greenawards/ Nominations should be submitted by March 25, 2011.
Here is the Green Awards nomination form.
Mar 14, 11
Community Resilience: Plan, build, deploy and maintain physical and social infrastructures such that vulnerability to natural and human hazards and disasters is reduced for all members of a community; ensure that communities are adequately prepared to respond to crisis in a manner that is effective and coordinated, and recovery is accelerated. (credit: STAR Community Index)
The earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant failures in Japan painfully highlight the importance of resilience, and the emerging consensus among planners and economic development practitioners that resilience must be prioritized along side job creation, conventional public safety, affordable housing, clean air and water standards, public education, etc. Resilience is indeed a recognized priority among those planning and building sustainable communities. And within that realm, cleantech plays a powerful supporting role.
While our hearts go out to the citizens of Japan, the disaster is a learning opportunity for communities around the globe that robust, sustainable energy supply systems, redundant and resilient water and food production and distribution systems, and resilient design deserve our attention and resources.
The nuclear plant failures have highlighted widely reported reminders that the plants, even when shut down, require power to maintain the cooling infrastructure necessary to prevent core meltdowns. Distributed generation, anchored by safe, clean renewable energy production and managed by smart grids and buildings can add stability and resilience to conventional grids and centralized power. At the building level, climate change adaptation experts within Boston City Hall are discussing the need to move power infrastructure out of basements, particularly in coastal, flood prone areas. Indeed, the emergency energy supply system at the Fukushima plant in Japan failed because the switching equipment was located in the basement and damaged by the flooding. While New England faces a much smaller risk of both tsunamis and earthquakes, sea level rise and powerful storms are already a reality.
Recognizing the need to maintain navigable, lighted roadways during disasters, the Dept. of Energy awarded a grant to Solar Boston, to develop a solar powered evacuation route through the City. And the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s effort to develop a vision for a district scale sustainable energy system in the Boston Marine Industrial Park includes an examination of relevant climate change adaptation strategies.
Storm events are increasing in frequency and severity, putting pressure on conventional stormwater management systems. Increasing permeable surface area, and integrating smart stormwater infrastructure including green and blue roofs, bioswales and raingardens with conventional approaches will upgrade urban areas to meet these new challenges, while creating good, local jobs and providing other environmental and human health benefits.
Future posts will examine local food production and passive survivability as it relates to community resilience. Here in New England, while storm and flooding threats may be the most widely reported, a disruption in heating fuels coupled with an extended cold snap could threaten property and lives. What design elements would constitute a dwelling able sustain human life in Boston under such conditions?
Mar 11, 11
Boston launched a new web portal for the City’s “Complete Streets” effort, a streetscape design guideline development process that integrates three key principles: multimodal, green, and smart. While the guidelines themselves are noteworthy, the development process was equally innovative and forward thinking. Led by the Boston’s Transportation Dept. under the leadership of Commissioner Tom Tinlin, many experts across as many discliplines, from within and outside City Hall, academia, R&D shops and advocates, community members and policy makers, participated in an iterative, months long design process that surfaced best practices and reached consensus on a wide array of competing challenges and priorities. The guidelines are a “living document” that will help promote an array of superior design elements on Boston’s roadways that have positive environmental, energy, and human health impacts.
Electric vehicle charging infrastructure, advanced stormwater management, improved biking lanes and related infrastructure - these elements and more will improve the user experience while growing the market for cleantech products and services.