Supported by a strong group of industry leaders, GreenTech, with key support from Millville Partners and Paradigm Partners, convened A View From the Top: Sustainable Roofs in Boston. Over 175 attendees heard panelists describe the key features, benefits, financing pathways, and project management best practices of implementing solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, vegetative, and high performance roofing technologies.
After the panels, attendees enjoyed access to a dozen industry vendors and service providers. Updates, links to images and video, powerpower presentations and contact information for presenters and exhibitors is forthcoming.
Due to an overwhelming response, the GreenTech initiative has suspended its Green Triple Decker Demonstration project. Thank you to all residents and owners who submitted applications. Applications will be reviewed by staff who will choose semi-finalists based on application strength. Interviews will be scheduled for the semi-finalists.
Many residents who contacted us were not eligible for the project, but may be good fits for another City of Boston initiative called Renew Boston. Renew Boston provides incentives for residents in the 60%-120% area median income demographic to conduct energy efficiency work. Please visit Renew Boston to determine whether this Recovery Act funded program is right for your home.
Sep 09, 10
On Tuesday, September 7, we met with CleanTech industry leaders, real estate professionals, and architects at the Institute for Human Centered Design to discuss the development of a CleanTech Incubator in the Innovation District.
Brent Larlee discusses incubator branding
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino called upon the BRA’s GreenTech initiative to create a cleantech incubator, following a meeting with a dozen cleantech CEOs in June. The City of Boston Cleantech Incubator is dedicated to accelerating the development and commercialization of Cleantech technologies, fostering innovation and strengthening job creation capacity within the industry, while amplifying the profile and brand of Cleantech in Boston.
Jim Hunt, the Mayor’s Energy and Environmental Services Cabinet Chief who participated in the discussion noted that “the mission behind the incubator dovetails nicely with the city’s sustainability and economic development goals.”
Often considered a component of successful industry cluster development strategies, incubators provide space for start-ups to grow, thrive, prototype, and perfect product and service designs by offering low cost (in some cases free) space in combination with a mix of additional features including access to professional services, lab space, or funding. Harder to quantify, but often linked with incubators, are the opportunities and environment they provide for creative interaction and cross pollination between occupants and even across disciplines. Incubator sponsors (governmental, academic, private sector) are motivated by the potential for industry specific localized economic development, or “clustering” (incubator “graduates” become attached and find space nearby), branding, and, in some cases equity.
Galen Nelson, Greentech Business Manager at the BRA, who has been tasked with spearheading development of the incubator, added “the Boston cleantech incubator will be part of a growing network of similar incubators state wide and complement an array of policy and program initiatives at the City level that boost market conditions for cleantech company growth.”
Tuesday’s discussion focused on the competitive advantages incubators offer cleantech startup companies, incubator management, function and ancillary service options, and possible strategic partnerships and funding opportunities. The group also struggled with the potential breadth of a cleantech incubator acknowledging that the industry has several diverse sectors, anchored by clean energy, that draw on multiple disciplines and require an array of facilities, equipment, and space configurations.
Dave Bergeron – T3 Advisors
Chris Bevacqua – General Electric
Jim Bowen – Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
Eric Graham – Fraunhofer Institute Center for Sustainable Energy
Brent Larlee – Waihaka Strategies
Michael LeBlanc – Utile, Inc.
Jhana Senxian – Sustainability Guild
Matthew Silver – IntAct Labs
David Silverman – map-lab,Inc.
Deb Stevens – Stevens Group
Steve Taub – General Electric
Jim Hunt, Chief, Energy and Environmental Services, City of Boston
Galen Nelson, GreenTech Business Manager, Boston Redevelopment Authority
Lisa Hemmerle, Economic Initiatives, Boston Redevelopment Authority
Samantha Hammar, Economic Initiatives, Boston Redevelopment Authority
Dr. Hans-Peter Meister, Wilson Rickerson, and Neil Veilleux of Meister Consulting Group generously provided moderation services to the group.
Over the next 3 months, the group will reach consensus on a vision for the incubator and begin to seek strategic partners and funders. Please stay tuned and contact Galen Nelson if you want to get involved.
Jul 01, 10
One of the core principles underpinning Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s Innovation District is that of an Urban Lab (sometimes called a Living Lab). The idea that urban buildings – public and private – can serve as important test sites for emerging technologies. Boston’s growing cleantech cluster is already taking advantage of Boston’s Urban Lab-friendly environment.
Utility scale solar PV inverter manufacturer Sat Con is using a modest array comprised of Solon and Solyndra panels to test their inverter’s ability to react to different panel configurations on the roof the Bronstein Center in the Innovation District, home to Sat Con, Fast Cap Systems, and Next Step Living.
Across the street, two met towers have been installed on the roof of the Boston Redevelopment Authority owned 12 Channel Street building. These towers will gather data for a planned installation of a vertical axis wind turbine prototype.
The urban lab is an important component of any industry cluster. We’re excited that Boston’s cleantech cluster is taking advantage of our considerable roof area, highly variable weather conditions, salty air, and wind to test promising designs and sharpen the performance of proven technology.
Jun 18, 10
The City of Boston Infrared Scan RFP is available now, in the Executive Director/Secretary Office, Boston Redevelopment Authority, Room 910, Boston City Hall, One City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201-1007 for a Non-Refundable fee of One Hundred and Fifty dollars ($150.00). Checks should be made payable to: “Boston Redevelopment Authority”.
Electronic copies are not available. If the respondent is from outside the Boston area, please send a check, along with a self addressed Fed Ex envelope (with which we will return the RFP and related documents to you) to: Executive Director/Secretary Office, Boston Redevelopment Authority, Room 910, Boston City Hall, One City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201-1007. Attn: Infrared Scan RFP
Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced today that the City of Boston will conduct an innovative infrared scan of the City, to identify building heat loss and to better understand and map the urban heat island effect. The BRA’s GreenTech initiative seeks responses to an RFP, which will be released shortly.
Infrared scanning equipment can detect heat leaking from buildings, particularly during the colder part of the year. This information can help homeowners, business owners, and energy auditors identify opportunities for air sealing and insulation, in order to reduce building heat loss during the winter and unwanted heat gain during the summer, while reducing energy expenses, and helping to meet the City’s aggressive green house gas reduction goals (25% reduction by 2020; 80% reduction by 2050). In fact, the City’s recently released Climate Change report charges that recommended climate mitigation measures could save Boston residents and business owners $2 billion over 10 years.
Ultimately, we believe the results of the scan will provide the City and energy efficiency ventures with a powerful marketing tool with which to reach residents and business owners, driving increased awareness and enrollment in existing energy efficiency programs while creating jobs.
Related Boston Globe coverage.