October 6, 2015 - Sustainable Pittsburgh
Energy Innovation (EI) is a biweekly newsletter of the Energy for the Power of 32 initiative

EI Energy Innovation

news and events accelerating sustainable development for the power of 32
Upcoming Events
September 15th - November 14th, 2015 [*time varies, see schedule*]
Locations vary: see details

Presented by: The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is announcing more than a dozen listening sessions and a 2-month comment period on the federal Clean Power Plan to hear from Pennsylvanians about the plan to cut carbon pollution. Fourteen listening sessions in locations across the state will take place between September and November.

The next session will be Thursday, October 22, 2015 starting at 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm at Muhlenberg College.

Comment submissions can be made here: or emailed to or mailed to 400 Market Street P.O. Box 2063 Harrisburg, PA 17105.

The listening sessions will begin September 15. Participants wishing to speak must register at 717-783-8727.

October 7th - October 8th, 2015 [2:00 pm - 8:00 pm (*Tours at 8:30 am October 8th, see schedule*)]
The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel
Presented by: West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund

For the past 15 years, the sustainable energy community in Pennsylvania has been making a difference with their investments: reinvesting in communities, reducing energy use with new technologies and helping to develop new sources of clean energy.

As either an energy pioneer or a future energy champion, you'll have the chance to:
  • Connect with the crowd that funds sustainable energy
  • Learn how others are bending the energy curve
  • Discover how businesses are moving the markets
  • See what the sustainable energy landscape looked like 15 years ago
  • Participate in optional field tours
  • Help to shape the future of renewables in Pennsylvania

October 14th, 2015 [7:00 pm]
60 S. Lincoln St., Washington, PA 15301
Yost Auditorium, Burnett Center - Washington & Jefferson College
Presented by: The Washington & Jefferson College

Modernizing the electrical grid system is vital to our nation’s competing in the global economy.  But, what does modernizing the grid mean?  It means making the grid a smart grid, a computerized grid with sensor, protection, control and communication capabilities.  These systems allow for the two-way communication of data about individual devices on the grid, which in turn allows for adjustment and control of each device.

Modernizing the grid will enable the system to readily integrate renewable energy sources, allow consumers to manage their electricity usage through demand response, reduce the number of power outages through self-healing, lessen environmental impacts of power generation, reduce the cost of energy, and make the grid system more resilient and resistant to attacks.  Overall, the grid will be more flexible, efficient and responsive to consumer needs.

October 16th, 2015 [9:00 am - 3:00 pm (Registration 8:45 am)]
1000 McKee Rd, Oakdale, PA 15071
West Hills Center, Community College of Allegheny County
Presented by: The National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium
Odyssey Day is a nationwide event to help educate fleet managers, municipalities, corporations, and others about alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and the important role these vehicles play in providing solutions to our nation's growing energy security and environmental issues.

This years' event will again be held at the West Hills Center of the Community College of Allegheny College on October 16, 2015 and we would like to invite you to attend.  Alternative fueled vehicles will be on display, and experts will be on hand that can answer any questions you might have.  Representatives from user organizations will be making presentations starting at 9:30 AM.


October 20th - October 21st, 2015 [*time varies, see schedule*]
2349 W. Marlton Pike Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Crowne Plaza Cherry Hill
Presented by: The Home Performance Coalition

The 2015 ACI Mid-Atlantic Regional Home Performance Conference is a two-day event where you will engage in conversations about the latest trends in residential energy efficiency, have access to industry leaders, the latest products and more! Join home performance contracting businesses, weatherization professionals, program administrators and others from every sector in the Mid-Atlantic region and learn more about:
  • Techniques and technologies for achieving high performance in the Mid-Atlantic region
  • In-depth sales trainings and growth strategies to take your business to the next level
  • Hot topics, such as healthy housing and IAQ, policy and research, and what the political landscape means for the industry
  • HVAC, with educational tracks that include business-focused and technical sessions to help those interested in moving into the whole house approach, and advanced technical sessions for home performance and HVAC contractors who are looking to sharpen their HVAC skills. Our Strategic Partner, NJACCA, is making sure the HVAC voice is heard and we look forward to providing the educational content you need to further your career and bridge your work to residential energy efficiency and home performance.

October 28th, 2015 [7:30 am - 3:15 pm]
1150 Camp Hill Bypass, Camp Hill, PA 17011
Radisson Hotel Harrisburg
Presented by: Manufacturer's Education Council

Receive priceless insights into:
  • Effective strategies to reduce energy costs & sound energy management
  • What's ahead in terms of natural gas prices & electricity rates
  • Energy efficiency & conservation plans
  • Electricity shopping & strategic energy procurement
  • Demand response
  • Financial incentives for solar energy
  • Energy assessments
  • Gas & electricity coordination
  • Creating value to your organization and proven techniques to reduce energy consumption
  • Best practices in energy management
  • Learn from some of Pennsylvania's leading energy experts!
TransTech Energy Business Development Conference

November 5th - November 6th, 2015 [8:15 am - 7:00 pm *varies, see agenda* (Registration 7:30 am)]
2 Waterfront Pl, Morgantown, WV 26501
Waterfront Place Hotel
Presented by: TransTech Energy
This conference targets the following:
  • Innovators and entrepreneurs: Pitch your company or project to investors, potential strategic partners, and project developers
  • Investors: Find emerging transitional energy and environmental technology companies with near term payback potential
  • Energy companies and manufacturers: Develop strategic partnerships with start-up companies and project developers
  • All: Join the discussion! Let's build on the momentum of TransTech and generate some excitement about the possibilities for new companies, advanced manufacturing and competitive industries!

November 16th - November 17th, 2015 [8:30 am - 6:00 pm *varies, see agenda* (Registration 8:00 am)]
400 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington DC 20001
Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill
Presented by: The Maryland - Washington DC - Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association
Maryland - Washington DC - Virginia Solar Energy Industries Association's (MDV-SEIA) Solar Focus Conference is the East Coast's premier solar energy conference.
10th Annual Pitt Electric Power Industry Conference

November 16th - November 17th, 2015 [*time varies, see agenda* (Registration 9:00 am)]
123 University Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
University Club, Pitt-Oakland Campus
Presented by: Swanson School of Engineering & the Center for Energy

In celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Electric Power Industry Conference (EPIC) and its core value of creating industry-government-community-academic partnerships, this year's conference theme is "Re-imagining Our Energy Future -- Building Upon 10 Years of Public-Private Collaborations."

The Swanson School of Engineering & the Center for Energy are also very pleased to announce that this year's conference keynote speaker will be City of Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto.

November 18th, 2015 [8:30 am - 5:30 pm]
123 University Pl, Pittsburgh 15260
University Club, The University of Pittsburgh
Presented by: The League of Women Voters

Dr. Bruce Pitt will present new research regarding birth impacts. Nationally known speaker and MacArthur Fellow Wilma Subra will discuss environmental health issues, air modeling, and ethane crackers based on her experiences in Louisiana.

Register [HERE] or call 1-800-61-SHALE. Admission is free, but there is a charge of $14 for lunch.

Presented by the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania’s “Straight Scoop on Shale Drilling” initiative and hosted by the Pitt Graduate School of Public Health

In 2012, Pennsylvania was among the leaders in the Mid-Atlantic states for growing the solar energy industry. That year, solar companies installed 54.4 megawatts of solar power on homes, businesses, schools and farm fields in Pennsylvania, building on the 134.7 megawatts installed in the previous two years. About 4,000 people were working as solar component manufacturers, engineers, sales people and installers in 2012. Using standard estimates of additional jobs created in supply chains and at consumer businesses where solar industry and supply chain workers and business owners shop, the total jobs impact would be about 7,000.

Fellow Robert Puentes, and Senior Research Assistant Joseph Kane argue that “metro areas should also be a big part of [the Clean Power Plan] discussion.”Metro areas are home to more than 2,600 of the country’s 7,000-plus power plants. In a new Brookings Interactive, Tomer, Puentes, and Kane break down the types of energy sources used for electricity generation within the top 100 metropolitan areas to show how dissimilar they can be throughout the country, and even at a local level.

When efficiency projects and programs are sold at least in part on their ability to create jobs, it’s only natural that people would want to know after the fact whether they lived up to their promise, but accurately quantifying the job creation impacts can be hard. The problem is that of all the different ways efficiency creates jobs, only a relatively small fraction are actually observable.

What will it take to make a cross-country drive in a light duty vehicle, the kind of car or truck many of us drive every day, a low-carbon pursuit?

According to Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI) scientist and modeling expert Paul Meier, it will take a combination of three advances: a large increase in the adoption of electric vehicle use, a huge uptick in biofuels production, and a change in the habits of U.S. drivers.


Changes in the energy sector could happen quickly. Embracing the inevitable, if yet uncertain, changes is hard to do and South Africa and Eskom are uniquely unprepared for the future. Perhaps the challenge should be put this way: it is far more risky to hold onto the legacy energy system than to adapt and change the electricity system.

Asset-backed securities, such as the one just offered by AES Distributed Energy, are a source of low-cost capital for solar project development. And low-cost capital is the lifeblood of solar projects and solar market growth.

As (expensive) tax equity funding for solar fades in the looming shift of the federal Investment Tax Credit, new classes of financing are going to emerge -- and asset-backed securities (ABS) is one of them.


Energy systems, including fossil fuel power stations, distribution grids, and the networks that reach to people’s homes, are all at risk from effects such as flooding, severe storms and sea level rises, according to a new report from the World Energy Council, which brings together energy companies, academics and public sector agencies.

When energy systems fail, the knock-on effects on other aspects of modern infrastructure - from water and sewage to transport and health - can be catastrophic.


Working from facilities in Munhall and West Homestead, ZeroFossil manufactures and installs batteries and solar-powered systems for homes and businesses to harness off-the-grid electricity, and rents out systems to power events such as the Thrival festival last month and the Maker Faire Pittsburgh this weekend.

The company this year started offering related services for large events, such as sound engineering and lighting specialists.

Under construction since 2012, The Tower at PNC Plaza is nearing completion, and the tenants started moving in last week. At 545 feet, it’s not nearly the tallest building in Pittsburgh, but it’s undeniably the most cutting edge.
Our mailing address is:
Sustainable Pittsburgh • 307 Fourth Avenue • Suite 1500 • Pittsburgh, PA, 15222 • USA