newhaven harford railbase map 1HARTFORD: The Springfield-Hartford- New Haven railroad line appears to be staying on track with as the State Bond Commission has approved $50 million in additional funding.

The funding will support the design and environmental permitting for new CTrail Hartford Line stations in North Haven, Newington, West Hartford, Windsor, Windsor Locks and Enfield as well as 7.5 miles of double track from Windsor to Enfield Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Commissioner James P. Redeker said,  “The funding approved by the State Bond Commission reinforces our State’s continued commitment to providing new regional passenger rail service on the Hartford Line.”

The new CTrail Hartford Line will launch in 2018 increasing the number of round trip trains from six daily Amtrak intercity and regional trains to a total of 17 round trip trains a day to Hartford, and 12 trains per day to Springfield. 

The majority of the existing rail stations will be replaced and several new stations will be built.  The expanded service and new stations are expected to increase ridership, improve the high speed and passenger rail system serving the northeast, expand intermodal transportation options, encourage economic development and create more livable and sustainable communities.

By, Jan Ellen Spiegel, ctmirror.com 

SUFFIELD: “This is beautiful,” Kevin Sullivan proclaimed, navigating his truck at a snail’s pace around the perimeter of about 11 acres of his farmland here. The rows are ramrod straight, perfectly aligned. But no crops here. Solar panels are what’s poking through the dirt – 8,812 of them.

They’re Sullivan’s homegrown effort to fight climate change and, as important, give his longtime nursery and greenhouse operation a new lease on life after winding up in the wrong column of a balance sheet.

Without the income he now gets from leasing his field so it can generate two megawatts of renewable power for a nearby town, “I’d be done,” he said. “There’d be eight houses on this piece. I have to do something with my land if I want to survive.”

ecological news design 105045800 ConvertedBy: Jan Ellen Spiegel, CTMIRROR.COM

WASHINGTOM: Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is breathing at least a temporary sigh of relief over the Trump administration freeze of Environmental Protection Agency grants and contracts.

Since the freeze was first reported Monday by the Huffington Post, along with a multi-agency gag order, DEEP has been trying to get clarification from EPA regarding the status of its many funding sources from the agency.

Natural Gas, Fuel Cells, Off-Shore Wind and Solar Projects Are Competiting For Legislative and Regulator Support

 Eversource Invests in Massive Wind Project Off Martha’s Vineyard Mass Governor Opens Sea Passage For Off-shore Wind Power

 

By Mitchell Young

Dong Sept 16

BOSTON: Hartford based, Eversource [NYSE: ES, previously Northeast Utilities] has announced a 50-50 partnership with Dong Energy of Fredericia, Denmark, to develop Bay State Wind, a proposed offshore wind power installation. Located approximately 15 to 20 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard it is estimated to include 100 wind turbines and cost at least $1 billion. Eversource has committed $10 million to get the project rolling.

Eversource CEO, Jim Judge hailed the project and positioned it as a regional innovation saying, “New England is setting the pace for a national clean energy future with its proven track record in energy efficiency and bold clean energy goals,” adding, “our partnership with DONG Energy on Bay State Wind represents a significant opportunity to help make those goals a reality and we look forward to delivering this renewable and reliable source of power to customers.”

By Jan Ellen Spiegel ctmirror.com

gas pipeline

A construction crew prepares to bend a section of 36-inch diameter pipe to follow the contours of the terrain in Cromwell as part of the expansion of the Algonquin natural gas pipeline. 

A construction crew prepares to bend a section of 36-inch diameter pipe to follow the contours of the terrain in Cromwell as part of the expansion of the Algonquin natural gas pipeline.

Connecticut’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy, enacted three years ago, set the state on its first-ever, broad-based approach to energy use and development in the face of climate change.

The strategy, generally referred to by its initials CES, put considerable focus on natural gas, then far cheaper than oil, as a cleaner bridge fuel to renewable energy options down the road. It called for conversions from oil to gas for heating, and it stressed the need to expand natural gas pipeline capacities to carry the large amount of fracked gas that was available so that power plants could switch from oil or coal to natural gas and new natural gas plants could be built.

That was the plan anyway.

Three years later, as state officials update the CES as required by law, they face dramatically changed energy, environmental and political landscapes that raise questions about whether the last three years may have been partly wasted and how to regroup.

 Metro NorthNEW HAVEN:  Metro North has ordered up to 94 additional new M8 rail cars for the New Haven Line.

Metro North already has 405 M8s for the New Haven and New Canaan lines, 60 of the new railcars are on firm order and another 34 are on option. The additional cars will be in service within three years and more fun is in store for riders, ten cars are being retrofitted as Café Cars.

On the other the fun may be somewhat limited as like the new cars all the M8s are being retrofitted to include security cameras in engineers’ cabs and customer areas. The cars will be manufactured in Lincoln, Nebraska, and tested in New York and Connecticut.

Iftikhar Ahmad

Ahmad

 
Evan Matthews
Mathews

Ports in Southern New England are getting new leadership. Iftikhar Ahmad is flying in as the new director of T.F Green Airport in Rhode Island. Ahmad was most recently the CEO at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International, after “flights” at airports in Houston, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

In Connecticut, Evan Matthews will be steering the Connecticut Port Authority as its new executive director. Matthews was previously port director for the Quonset Development Corporation in Rhode Island.

The Connecticut Port Authority is a quasi-public agency created in 2014 and is responsible for marketing and coordinating the development of the state’s ports and maritime economy. 

Connecticut is home to three deepwater ports:  Bridgeport, New Haven, and New London. According to a study published in 2010 by the Connecticut Maritime Coalition, prior to the onset of the “Great Recession.” Connecticut’s maritime industry contributed more than $5 billion to the state’s economy and employed more than 30,000 people.

The Authority cites a Connecticut  Department of Economic and Community Development analysis that found the industry has rebounded from the recession, now employing slightly more than 30,000 people.

sunMiddletown: Greenskies Renewable Energy has been ranked as the nation’s No. 1 solar developer among commercial contractors on Solar Power World’s 2016 Top 500 Solar Contractors list.

Solar Power World’s fifth annual Top Solar Contractors list is the “most recognized annual listing of North America’s top solar contractors.”
Thje magazine groups the Solar companies by the markets they serve (commercial, residential, utility) and by the specific service sector they represent (construction firms, developers, rooftop contractors, electrical subcontractors, etc.)