Smart States Win Clean Energy Awards

The national nonprofit coalition of public agencies Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) has been working for years to green American infrastructure.

This year, CESA’s State Leadership in Clean Energy Awards (PDF) were handed out to some its members working on everything from replacing closed landfills with solar farms to creating resilient microgrids that can survive global warming superstorms.

The eight awardees include core CESA members Alaska Energy Authority, whose hydropower innovations helped Kodiak Island decrease its reliance upon diesel on the way to becoming a 99-percent renewable community, as well as the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, whose Clean Energy Internship Program has productively connected the Bay State’s higher education graduates with its renewable energy industry. Additional core members Energy Trust of Oregon and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority were also respectively awarded for the first wastewater recovery facility “in the Pacific Northwest to achieve net-zero energy consumption” and streamlining access to prepackaged, modular combined heat and power (CHP) systems that capture wasted energy to power community homes, businesses and facilities.

As mentioned above, core CESA member Sacramento Municipal Utility District reused desolate land for solar power. But SMUD was also awarded for creating a co-digestion facility that transforms oil, grease and food processing waste into renewable energy, as well as dairy manure anaerobic digestion systems that supply power to Sacramento’s expanding grid.

Meanwhile, affiliate CESA members New Mexico Energy Conservation and Management Division and Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection were respectively awarded for their renewable energy production tax credits and aforementioned microgrid innovations. The Connecticut Green Bank was also awarded for its Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program, which allows business and multifamily residence owners access to long-term financing for smart energy upgrades.

“These award winners illustrate the tremendous creativity and commitment being shown by state agencies across the country in implementing clean energy,” executive director Warren Leon explained in a statement. “With eight very different programs highlighting diverse technologies including solar PV, wind, energy storage, hydropower, anaerobic digesters, microgrids, and combined heat and power, the 2014 State Leadership in Clean Energy award winners demonstrate that clean energy can create jobs, clean up the environment, and benefit local economies. These are programs to emulate.”

Although CESA members and affiliates nominated themselves, entrants were independently judged by the Department of Energy’s Steve Lindenberg, Solar Foundation’s Andrea Luecke, National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Robert Thresher, ex-Colorado governor Bill Ritter and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s Larry Sherwood. Free webinars on the winners can be viewed beginning in December.

This article appeared at Solar Energy