Each year Environmental Business Journal recognizes outstanding business performance in the environmental industry with our EBJ Business Achievement Awards. 2011 marks EBJ's 14th annual business achievement awards. Winners are divided into business achievement by size and segment, M&A awards, new practice areas and international expansion. Outstanding projects and new technology devleopment or applications are awarded Project Merit Awards or Technology Merit Awards. Finally companies are recognized for contributions to the industry and society at large. Congratulations to the winners, thanks to all parties submitting nominations and all are welcome to San Diego for the official awards ceremony at the Environmental Industry Summit on March 14, 2012 at the Hotel del Coronado.
Between July and December 15, 2011, EBJ and CCBJ accepted nominations from members of the environmental industry for the annual EBJ and CCBJ Business Achievement Awards Program. Nominations should be submitted to email@example.com as 200-word essays in either specific or unspecified categories. Categories or size designations may be altered each year depending on the volume of nominations, the number of worthy recipients, or the emergence of new categories. Nominations can be submitted by companies themselves, people or companies representing other companies, company partner or clients, EBJ and CCBJ staff, and EBJ and CCBJ editorial advisory board members. The EBJ andCCBJ Business Achievement Awards are then selected by a committee of EBJ/CCBJ staff and EBJ/CCBJ editorial advisory board members and released in early January.
To be considered for an award, achievements must have occurred in 2011 or (for multi-year projects) have reached a major milestone in 2011. In addition to the essay (200 words max.), please provide or include links to supporting materials, especially third-party reports or documents.
The 2011 EBJ and CCBJ Business Achievement Awards will be presented in a special ceremony and awards banquet at EBJ/CCBJ's Environmental Industry Summit X in Coronado, near San Diego, California, on the evening of March 14, 2012. The Environmental Industry Summit is an annual three-day event hosted by EBJ and CCBJ. Dates for the 2012 Summit are March 14-16, 2012 and award recipients are invited to attend to receive their award.
EBJ will award gold, silver, bronze medals and honorable mentions for 2011 in the following categories:
Business Achievement: Small Firms (less than $20 million)
Business Achievement: Mid-size Firms ($20 million to $100 million)
Business Achievement: Large Firms (more than $100 million)
Mergers & Acquisitions
New Practice Areas
Project Merit Awards
Technology Merit: Remediation
Technology Merit: Water/Wastewater
Technology Merit: Waste Management & Pollution Control
Technology Merit: Analytical Techniques
Industry Leadership Awards
CCBJ will award gold, silver, bronze medals and honorable mentions for 2011 in the following categories:
Business Achievement: Growth
Business Achievement: Finance
Consulting & Engineering: Climate Change Practice
Consulting & Engineering: Renewable Energy Practice
Renewables Portfolio Development
Technology Merit: Solar Power
Technology Merit: Energy Storage
Technology Merit: Light Rail Manufacturing
Project Merit: Solar Power
Project Merit: Green Building
Project Merit: Adaptation
Project Merit: Renewable Development
Project Merit: Wind Power
Project Merit: Landfill Gas
Product Introduction Award
NGO Activist Award
Nominations should describe distinguishing achievements such as revenue growth or profitability gains; turnarounds; new science or product; entry into a new sales channel, market segment or geographic area; noteworthy management initiatives; diversification, acquisition or integration achievements; or initiatives on behalf of consumer education or the industry in general.
Nominations should be received no later than Wednesday, December 15, 2011.
Please send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org in Microsoft Word format.
2011 EBJ Business Achievement Award Winners
Environmental Business Journal is proud to announce its 14th annual business achievement awards. Our 2011 winners succeeded in a still uncertain business climate, so we salute the dedication and commitment of the companies awarded. Congratulations to the winners, thanks to all the companies that submitted nominations, and we hope to see you in San Diego for the official awards ceremony at the Environmental Industry Summit on March 14-16, 2012.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT: SMALL FIRMS
(less than $20 million)
Environmental Operating Solutions, Inc. (EOSi; Bourne, MA), for revenue growth of approximately 130% to about $10 million during 2011. EOSi is a developer of nutrient removal products for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities. The products are derived from non-hazardous agricultural chemicals that supply energy for denitrifying bacteria in wastewater, thereby saving costs compared with traditional nutrient removal technologies. EOSi attributes its stunning growth in 2011 in part to regulatory requirements—rules requiring controls on nutrient discharges in National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits are beginning to take effect—as well as to the value proposition of the technology and the high productivity of EOSi’s staff of 13 professionals, which has remained constant throughout this high-growth period. A recent investment by Cultivian Ventures LP (Carmel, IN), a food and agriculture-focused venture capital fund, is expected to enable a broadening and deepening of strategic raw material supplier and logistic relationships with the agricultural sector, thereby stabilizing the supply chain for its products. EOSi will also explore the addition of other nutrient removal technologies to leverage its base of expertise and will be looking to buy, license, or form partnerships in the nutrient removal business.
SILVER MEDAL: Mabbett & Associates, Inc. (Bedford, MA), for achieving 62% growth in gross revenue during 2011 to nearly $8.5 million, 315% revenue growth over the past five years, and, through that five-year period, growth in the number of veterans employed by the firm from less than 7.5% to almost 40% of its professional technical staff. Mabbett & Associates is a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, that has provided integrated multi-disciplinary environmental, health, and safety, and sustainable energy consulting and engineering services for over 30 years. According to Mabbett, the growth over the past five years is sustainable based in part on several factors: the continued implementation of a multi-faceted marketing and business development program; the award of multi-year major contracts from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the General Services Administration (GSA), the Army Corps of Engineers, and other federal clients; extension of its service reach through continued geographic expansion; enhanced proven relationships; and the initial development and continued strengthening of an excellent performance record with federal agencies, private clients, and project partners. Some existing clients have worked with Mabbett since the firm’s inception in 1980.
BRONZE MEDAL: EcoAnalysts, Inc. (Moscow, ID), for increasing revenue from $3.8 million in 2010 to $5.5 million in 2011, an increase of 45% for the second year in a row. EcoAnalysts is an aquatic monitoring and ecological consulting company that claims to operate North America’s largest taxonomy laboratory. The company was ranked at number 36 on Inc. magazine’s 2011 list of the fastest growing environmental firms, and at number 2,402 overall. Since 2009, EcoAnalysts has seen its revenue increase by 121%. 2011 net profit margin increased to 18% from 16% in 2010. The revenue increase in 2011 was driven largely by an increase in taxonomy laboratory output and the addition of project management services for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. With the addition of a director of Canadian business development in Vancouver, British Columbia, revenue from Canadian operations has expanded by 15% over the past year.
BRONZE MEDAL: TerraTherm, Inc. (Fitchburg, MA) for continued growth in revenue and geographical deployment of its suite of In Situ Thermal Remediation (ISTR) technologies, including Thermal Conduction Heating (TCH), Advanced Electrical Resistance Heating (ERH), and Steam Enhanced Extraction (SEE). TerraTherm’s revenue increased 113% between 2008 and 2010, while contract backlog increased 101% in 2011 to $29.5 million. The firm is forecasting a revenue increase of 100% in 2012 to more than $31 million. In addition, verbal awards and follow-on work is expected to add another $88.5 million in project revenue over the next several years. To execute the work the company recently secured bank financing totaling $8 million, to be used to purchase capital equipment and provide working capital. International work continues to surge with sublicensees and partners working in 11 countries.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT: MID-SIZE FIRMS
($20 million to $100 million)
GOLD MEDAL: Chambers Group (Santa Ana, CA), an environmental consulting firm with strengths in the core service areas of environmental documentation, biology, and cultural resources, for rebounding from the recession and growing revenue from $8 million in 2009 to $17 million in 2010 and more than $30 million in 2011. Over this period, profitability increased by 550% and staff from less than 50 employees to more than 220 employees. Prior to 2009, much of Chambers’ revenue came from the real estate development market and school expansions. The company says that it basically “turned on a dime” and repackaged its core services to concentrate on offering them to the energy (traditional and renewable), mining, and transportation sectors, which were growing. A conscientious decision was to strategically hire specialists to service these market sectors and to concentrate on building depth of offering. Chambers has been successful in its make-over, demonstrated by its client list, which now includes over 50 mining companies, every major utility in California, plus many renewable energy developers. All offices have expanded and they open a new office in El Centro, California. to better serve the Renewable Market Sector.
SILVER MEDAL: Dade Moeller & Associates, Inc. (Richland WA) for increasing revenue by 34% to $55 million, up from $40.9 million in 2010. Dade Moeller is an employee-owned company providing professional and technical services to 156 federal, state, and commercial clients in support of environmental, nuclear, radiological, and worker safety operations. Fifty percent of the company’s 70 new employees in 2011 were hired to support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) efforts to assess environmental damage in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP oil spill. Also in 2011, the company expanded in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and moved its radio-analytical and calibration laboratory there to support current and future operations, including its 104 commercial contracts, which contributed $2.3 million to the company’s 2011 revenue. The firm’s Dade Moeller Training Academy offers 30 courses at five locations, as well as on line, and is positioned for growth in 2012 with the advent of seven new worker safety training courses and 2 new training sites. In 2011, the ZweigWhite Hot Firm List ranked Dade Moeller as the third fastest growing environmental consulting firm in North America.
BRONZE MEDAL: Trihydro Corp. (Laramie, WY), for revenue growth of more than 15% in 2011 and average annual revenue growth of 10.5% over the last three years. Trihydro, which provides environmental consulting, engineering and surveying, air quality and process management, information technology, sustainable business solutions, and water and natural resource services to public and private clients, attributes the significant growth in 2011, to strategic hires and the acquisition of Denver-based Aquifer Solutions, which strengthened Trihydro’s position as a leader in in-situ remediation and significantly expanded its footprint in the federal cleanup market. Net growth in employees in 2011 was 37%. Trihydro also continues to focus on increasing its international portfolio, completing 12 projects in South America. The firm implemented an exchange program with a key alliance in Brazil, whereby professional staff from each company spent time working at each other’s offices in order to share technical and business knowledge and develop working relationships. In addition, recognizing the firm’s expertise in mining closure and post-closure services, the Chilean government invited the company to attend a mining-focused conference in Chile.
BRONZE MEDAL: Sovereign Consulting Inc. (Robbinsville, NJ), for approximately doubling revenue over the past five years, to $48 million in 2011 from $26.6 million in 2007. Also during 2011, Sovereign announced the opening of its first Pacific Northwest office (Seattle) and the expansion of its staff to include mine remediation and reclamation expertise. Sovereign’s key partnerships with RE Invest Solutions, LLC, a brownfield redevelopment company, and Integrity Energy, LLC, a solar energy company, facilitated the initiation of major new brownfield and solar projects in the Northeast this past year. RE Invest/Sovereign acquired the former Carlisle Tire and Wheel property in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and will work with the municipality and the Cumberland County Redevelopment Authority to redevelop the property. In addition, Sovereign/Integrity is constructing a roof-mounted solar photovoltaic system atop a warehouse building in Branchburg, New Jersey. The $3 million system will produce enough energy to power 100 homes. In the federal market, Sovereign and its joint venture partner Tidewater Inc. won a $65 million multiple-award contract from the Navy for remedial construction, remedial operation, and long-term management services at sites in Virginia, West Virginia, and the Northeast. Sovereign’s remedial technology group also expanded its capabilities in partnership with TRS Group, Inc. in winning a major project with the Maryland Department of Transportation to perform remediation via electrical resistance heating at a site in Easton, Maryland.
HONORABLE MENTION: McKim & Creed (Raleigh, NC), for a return to revenue growth in 2010 and 2011 despite having had a significant presence in segments of the environmental market—land development and municipal water—that suffered badly during the economic downturn, and for enjoying its best year ever in terms profit on gross revenue. Revenue grew from $41.4 million in 2010 to a projected $45 million in 2011, after having fallen from $64 million in 2007 to about $40 million in 2009. McKim & Creed had acquired a land development specialist firm in early 2008, about six months before the global financial crisis hit the land development market hard. Over the period from early 2008 to late 2009, the firm cut about $10 million, or 40%, from a $28 million payroll. McKim & Creed’s recovery is due in part to making tough business decisions, to success within its Geomatics Division—a unit that provides sophisticated subsurface and hydrographic data collection—to diversification into growing energy markets such as renewables and smart grid development, and to staying very close to energy sector clients that turned to the firm when major needs arose.
HONORABLE MENTION: ERRG (Martinez, CA), for growing revenue from $58.3 million to $61.1 million during 2011 while increasing contracted backlog to more than $50 million. As a testament to the outstanding year the firm enjoyed ERRG was recognized with two prestigious industry awards. The Department of Defense (DOD) selected ERRG as a Nunn-Perry winner for exceptional performance in DOD’s Mentor-Protégé Program, and the Small Business Administration (SBA) selected the company as the Region 9 Prime Contractor of the Year for the successful completion of a high-profile project at the Former Hunter’s Point Shipyard in San Francisco. The company was also successful in winning two new indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (ID/IQ) contracts, one from the Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District, and the other from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest. These new awards are expected to provide ERRG with $75 million of additional contract capacity. ERRG also undertook successful projects for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the U.S. Forest Service, the National Guard Bureau, and the California Department of Toxic Substances (DTSC). In order to support the increased workload, ERRG opened new offices in Sacramento and Phoenix. The company now has eight offices and over 280 employees.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT:LARGE FIRMS
(more than $100 million)
GOLD MEDAL: Ecology and Environment, Inc. (E&E; Lancaster, NY), for generating a record $169.2 million in revenue during its 2011 fiscal year—an increase of $25.1 million over FY 2010—and a 64.5% increase in net income. E&E attributes its increased earnings to expanded services in renewable energy, mining, linear projects, and sustainability and its leadership in providing multidisciplinary solutions for large, complex projects in emerging global markets such as the Middle East, Africa, and South America. Recent acquisitions in the mining and alternative energy sectors and the increasingly active domestic markets for E&E’s international subsidiaries, especially in Brazil, Peru, and Africa, are also fueling growth. E&E’s energy sector is driving growth in the United States, with net revenues from environmental services for the full life cycle of renewable energy projects increasing 37% over the previous year. Revenue from E&E’s solar sector doubled in 2011, and strong growth in the firm’s wind sector continued with a current total of more than 380 projects in 35 states. Also, business from the geothermal sector increased 155% in 2011.
SILVER MEDAL: Tetra Tech, Inc. (Pasadena, CA), for increasing gross revenue to more than $2.57 billion during the company’s 2011 fiscal year, and increasing net revenue to $1.79 billion—an improvement of 22.7% over FY 2010. Growth was driven by strong demand for Tetra Tech’s water-related services from mining, energy, and industrial clients. Over the past year, Tetra Tech successfully expanded its geographic reach and diversified its client mix, increasing its headcount to 13,000 employees in 330 offices worldwide. The company worked in more than 135 countries, up from 100 last year, and generated approximately 30% of net revenue from international clients—a significant milestone, considering that international business accounted for only 5% of revenue two years ago. Important new contract wins in water and environmental markets included: a $62 million clean water protection program with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; a $16 million U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Indonesia clean energy development program; and a $20 million contract to provide technical support for the Mexico Low Emissions Development (MLED) program, a cornerstone of USAID’s global climate change initiative. Tetra Tech’s backlog at the end of FY 2011 grew to $1.95 billion, an increase of 5.2% compared with FY 2010.
BRONZE MEDAL: POWER Engineers (Boise, ID), for growing gross revenue by nearly 13% to approximately $229 million in 2011 while increasing profitability by 17%. POWER Engineers provides engineering services for power delivery and generation to a broad range of industries. The company is a global leader in serving the geothermal energy industry, and it has a strong niche in providing engineering services to the food processing and packaging industry, focusing on “inside the box” processes and controls. POWER Engineers’ revenue growth has averaged 15 to 18% annually over the last 10 years, despite a flat 2009, as much of the industry experienced. The company attributes its solid 2011 growth to strength in key market segments, such as renewable energy and high-voltage transmission line development. In the renewables market, POWER Engineers serves the large utilities, such as Iberdrola and Southern California Edison, and it expects the renewables market to stay strong in 2012, along with the transmission market, which CEO Jack Hand sees as “huge” and as active as he has seen in his more than 30 years in the energy engineering business.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT: MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
GOLD MEDAL: Tetra Tech, Inc. (Pasadena, CA) for completing five significant acquisitions during its 2011 fiscal year. The acquisition of Quebec-based BPR, a multidisciplinary consulting and engineering leader, brought on board more than 1,600 employees and $170 million U.S. in annual revenue. Tetra Tech next acquired Fransen Engineering (Richmond, British Columbia). As part of Tetra Tech, Fransen has more than doubled its headcount, rapidly expanding its service offerings in water treatment and tailings management for Canadian oil sands producers. The acquisition of Proteus EPCM Engineers (Perth, Australia) established Tetra Tech’s presence in Australia, where the high-growth economy is driven by strong demand for natural resources. Proteus, which has about 150 employees and $30 million U.S. in annual revenue, is also serving as a gateway to new markets across Asia and Africa. Tetra Tech also brought on board its first Latin American acquisition, 60-person Metalica Consultores (Santiago, Chile). Finally, Tetra Tech acquired PRO-telligent (Arlington, VA), a firm with $100 million in annual revenue and 600-plus staff, including highly specialized, security-cleared foreign affairs and international development experts.
SILVER MEDAL: TRC Companies, Inc. (Lowell, MA), for its execution in 2011 of a highly successful acquisition program to support the company’s growth strategy. In addition to investing in organic growth initiatives, TRC is focused on pursuing strategic acquisitions to enhance its service lines and expand in the Midwest and Texas. Its acquisition of Alexander Utility Engineering (AUE) established a foothold in the growing communications engineering market, expands our power engineering presence in Texas, and advances our overall growth strategy in that region. AUE’s strong customer relationships and access to various vertical markets presents a number of cross selling opportunities. TRC also acquired the Environmental Business Unit of RMT, Inc., adding depth and capability to its service portfolio and significantly expanding its presence in the Midwest and Texas. The acquisition also provided access to a deep roster of industrial clients and opens substantial cross-selling opportunities. Finally, TRC acquired The Payne Firm, Inc., thereby enhancing its position in the private equity transactions market and legal sector, and complements our Exit Strategy services through cross-selling opportunities. The addition of Payne expands our North American footprint, strengthens our presence in the Midwest and opens access to international project work through the Inogen Environmental Alliance.
BRONZE MEDAL: CDM SMITH Inc., (Cambridge, MA) for its 2011 acquisitions of Wilbur Smith Associates (Columbia, SC), a consulting firm that specializes in transportation, infrastructure, and community development planning, engineering, and economics, and E3 Consulting Australia Pty Ltd., an environmental science and engineering consultancy with offices in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney, Australia. Wilbur Smith Associates employs about 1,000 at 56 offices in eight countries and has completed projects in more than 100 nations. E3 specializes in environmental assessments, remediation, sustainability, and coastal and water resources management for public- and private-sector clients. According to an industry analyst, CDM Smith’s acquisition of Wilbur Smith was noteworthy because it demonstrates that employee-owned buyers can play in the M&A game along with the large publicly traded companies, and that employee-owned buyers and sellers can combine smoothly.
HONORABLE MENTION: EnerNOC, Inc. (Boston, MA), for acquisitions that propelled the company into new client segments and new geographies. In January 2011, EnerNOC acquired M2M Communications, a provider of wireless machine-to-machine technologies that allow even the most remote businesses and operations to participate in demand management programs. This technology gives EnerNOC, which currently manages approximately 7,000 megawatts (MW) of demand response, access to a largely un-penetrated market—agricultural demand response. According to EnerNOC, this market potential is estimated to be more than 10,000 MW in the United States and even more worldwide. EnerNOC also acquired Energy Response Pty Ltd, the largest demand response provider in Australia and New Zealand. This acquisition significantly strengthened EnerNOC’s presence in western Australia’s and marked its entry into eastern Australia’s electricity market and the New Zealand electricity market. Energy Response was active in capacity, energy, and ancillary services markets and had established the largest network of commercial, institutional, and industrial demand response providers across Australia and New Zealand.
EBJ PROJECT MERIT AWARDS
PMC (Rancho Cordova, CA) for the completion of a Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan (BPMP) for the City of Rio Rancho, New Mexico. The BPMP recommends adding 50 miles of new trails, 82 miles of new bicycle lanes, 18 miles of new bicycle routes, and many pedestrian and bicycle connection and amenity improvements throughout Rio Rancho. These improvements and others outlined in the plan will equal an annual reduction of almost one million miles of vehicle travel per year and a result in an annual reduction of 745 million metric tons of carbon dioxide when fully implemented. The BPMP’s main goal is to increase resident’s access to healthy modes of transportation such as pedestrian and bike trails, but it also calls for access to a wide variety of recreational opportunities, taking advantage of the city’s beautiful weather, which allows for year-round outdoor activities. The project was supported by funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
CH2M HILL (Denver, CO) and Brown and Caldwell (Walnut Creek, CA), for the design of the Brightwater Treatment Plant in King County, Washington, the largest membrane bioreactor installation in North America at 39 million gallons per day (mgd). The Brightwater design incorporates numerous innovations to ensure that the county receives maximum long-term benefits. These features include chemically enhanced primary clarification for treatment of peak wet-weather flows and cost and energy-saving design of the aeration basin blower system. The facility produces Class A reclaimed water for irrigation and non-potable use. Biosolids are dewatered and distributed off-site for beneficial use. The Brightwater facilities are fully enclosed and ventilated using a three-stage odor-control system, producing no detectable odor at the property line. A former automobile wrecking yard has been transformed into the facility’s 120-acre park-like setting, incorporating streams, wetlands, trails, and overlook structures. In addition, an environmental education/community center, designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum standards, provides public meeting space, interpretive displays, and teaching and laboratory facilities.
RegScan, Inc. (Williamsport, PA), in collaboration with the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), for developing a one-of-a-kind regulatory tracking product for Pennsylvania oil and gas operators. Based on RegScan’s patent-pending Socrates Project and Task Management technology, the IPAA Environmental Compliance System - PA was officially launched on October 5. The product chronologically outlines all the regulatory requirements for oil and gas development in Pennsylvania. The on-line system is fully integrated with the RegScan GCS 2.0 research databases, which contain volumes of state and federal environmental regulations. The databases are continuously updated, so the most current information is always available. In developing the product, IPAA, a respected advocate for responsible development of domestic oil and natural gas, offered subject-matter expertise, while RegScan handled production and the majority of the marketing efforts. Because of increased consumer demand, a product for West Virginia is currently in development.
Marstel-Day LLC (Fredericksburg, VA), for the development of a “renewable energy engagement plan” for the U.S. Air Force to proactively engage with key stakeholders and find solutions to the complex issues of compatible renewable energy development. The development of renewable energy sources and associated transmission infrastructure can pose a variety of encroachment challenges to Air Force operations, mostly in the form of tall structure and radar interference. Sparsely populated open space considered ideal for Air Force operations and training are often areas with high renewable energy generation potential, particularly in the southwestern United States. The engagement plan focuses on Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas and provides a roadmap for internal and external engagement. Key elements of the plan include stakeholder identification and analysis, themes and messages, industry and trade association outreach, case studies, permitting process timetables, and forecasting analysis. By using this plan, the Air Force has developed a way forward in the form of a phased action plan to collaborate with developers and other stakeholders to maximize renewable energy potential while ensuring that the Air Force can train and operate effectively.
TRC Companies, Inc. (Lowell, MA), for providing environmental and engineering consulting support to the city of Haverhill, Massachusetts, in the city’s $100 million transit-oriented redevelopment project. In November 2011, an abandoned, contaminated former automobile repair and refueling site opened as a 127,000 square foot parking garage with a pedestrian walkway. Now the city anchor to spur downtown living, parking, and transportation, the garage connects to major transportation hubs. TRC’s supplementary projects, the Hamel Mill Lofts and the Hayes at Railroad Square housing projects, cumulatively containing over 350 units, are nestled together steps away from the new garage. TRC worked closely with the city to manage all environmental and engineering aspects for the garage, from site investigation to remedial design and implementation through to construction. Services included: engineering design associated with soil excavation, dewatering, and restoration of the site to pre-existing conditions; preparation of design drawings and specifications to remove contaminated soil and groundwater; removal and recycling/disposal of five underground storage tanks (USTs) and an estimated 3,700 tons and 150,000 gallons of petroleum-impacted soils and groundwater, respectively; groundwater monitoring during garage construction; and installation of a contaminant vapor barrier under the garage.
WRScompass (Tampa, FL) for its work on a sanitary sewer rehabilitation project for the city of Live Oak, Florida. Under this $14.5 million design/build contact, WRScompass evaluated the use of trenchless technologies for the city’s 80-year-old sanitary sewer system and developed and implemented a strategy for improving the quality of the system while minimizing impacts on the local residents. WRScompass says it was selected for this contract in part based on its ability to assist the city in obtaining funds for the project from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), as well as its experience in using trenchless methods. WRScompass was responsible for all aspects of the work, including CCTV inspections, sewer cleaning, evaluation, engineering, and implementation of the design. WRScompass used a combination of point repairs, pipe bursting, and cured in-place piping (CIPP) to rehabilitate over 200,000 feet of sewer lines. According to the company, the work saved the city billions of gallons of water that were previously lost to leaks. Design/build delivery allowed WRScompass to complete all aspects of the work within 15 months; engineering costs equated to less than 7% of the contract value.
AECOM Technology Corp. (Los Angeles, CA), for the development and implementation of a solid waste management master planning project in Anbar, Iraq. Realizing that the people of Anbar were in dire need to improve their quality of life in this war-torn country, UNICEF retained AECOM to develop a solid waste management master plan for the Anbar Governorate, which has a population of 1.5 million. The landfills in Anbar do not meet international standards, and waste is generally burned openly in uncontrolled dumps without regard for residents and results in extensive air and water pollution. AECOM pulled together an international technical team of solid waste management engineers and social scientists to evaluate conditions and to develop a logical, systematic, long-term plan to address solid waste collection, disposal, recycling, composting, and financial management. The technical information exchange facilitated by AECOM’s experts directly benefited the Anbar region as well as expanded the capabilities within AECOM to perform similar studies throughout the Middle East.
WSP Environment & Energy (Reston, VA), for its environmental work in connection with the Flats at Atlas District development in Washington, DC. The Flats is being developed by Clark Realty Capital as a 257-unit apartment community with 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space on a site previously housing a multi-story retail store and an automobile repair shop. Site investigations conducted by multiple parties discovered petroleum-contaminated soil from an old fuel oil tank. When previous buildings were demolished, the tank was left in place. WSP was retained to develop and implement the remedial action plan, which was to be implemented during construction. Over a 10-month period, WSP oversaw the removal of over 43,500 tons of petroleum-contaminated soil and the removal and disposal of four previously undiscovered underground storage tanks. A major challenge of the project was that the site’s previous owner retained liability for remediation. Through continuous communication and cooperation, WSP served as an intermediary to bring all parties to agreement and close out the remediation portion of the project.
Korea Environment Corporation (Keco), for establishing a national waste monitoring system serving South Korea. The Allbaro system monitors all industrial waste handling processes, from discharge to transport to final treatment, using the internet or radio frequency identification (RFID) technology in real time. Waste dischargers, collectors, transporters and final treatment businesses feed information on the waste management process into the Allbaro system, which was initially used only by general hospitals and designated waste dischargers. In 2011, the system’s scope was expanded to encompass all kinds of industrial waste. According to Keco, this achievement represents a milestone in South Korean waste management and, as a real-time, on-line waste management system operating on a national scale, is unique in the world. The company says that the Allbaro system decreases waste management costs by KRW 264.4 billion (about $230 million U.S.) and reduces CO2 emissions by 5592.6 tons annually through the use of the internet instead of paper-based tracking, and it prevents the illegal treatment of waste and indiscriminate waste disposal.
SCS Engineers (Long Beach, CA), for its role in the redevelopment of the former Mission Brewery site in San Diego, California, into an affordable housing residential complex. Under contract with AMCAL Mission Funding, LP, SCS provided environmental consulting and construction services, including mass grading and pad certifications. Services also included the completion of various environmental studies and a soil management and health and safety plan. To prepare the site for vertical development, SCS conducted mass grading as well as soil removal and re-compaction to accommodate foundations and structural slabs. SCS also oversaw the environmental monitoring of the excavation, supervised the implementation of the community health and safety plan, and assisted with soil removal. According to SCS, the new complex will provide numerous benefits to the city of San Diego and achieve multiple objectives, including the provision of greatly needed additional affordable housing units, the delivery of quality on-site social services, community investment, redevelopment, and a “smart growth” opportunity to provide transit-oriented development.
Sullivan International Group, Inc. (San Diego, CA), for the development of HELIOS in collaboration with Pratt & Whitney/UTC over the past 12 years. According to the developers, HELIOS simplifies the business processes and information management requirements needed to ensure compliance with federal, state, local, and corporate EHS requirements, while integrating with other key internal business systems. The application consists of 25 separate software modules utilizing a centralized enterprise database to provide EHS professionals with easy access to regularly used applications, web sites, and EHS tools. The product was developed in conjunction with P&W’s environmental, health, and safety (EHS) organization, and originally implemented as an enterprise software package called EHSdesk. In December 2011, Pratt & Whitney licensed the EHSdesk intellectual property to Sullivan as a perpetual, exclusive license. The Sullivan-branded instance of the Web EHSdesk platform will be marketed as HELIOS starting in 2012.
Covanta Onondaga L.P. (Jamesville, NY) for the environmentally sound operation of the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Facility. The facility, which consists of three energy-from-waste boilers, has operated at utilization rate of 92% over the past five years. The facility processes 990 tons of municipal solid waste daily and generates approximately 39.5 MW of electricity, enough energy to power 30,000 households. Odors and dust are drawn from the tipping floor into the boilers with the combustion air. Pollution control systems reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx), mercury, acid gas, and particulate matter. The ash is used as daily cover at a landfill, and 10,000 tons of scrap steel and 450 tons of non-ferrous scrap are recycled annually. Onondaga is a zero-water-discharge facility for industrial, process, and storm water. The facility has eliminated the use and disposal of hazardous chemicals and mercury-containing switches.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT: REMEDIATION
EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc. (Hunt Valley, MD), for the development of the Green Site Remediation (GSR) Toolbox to help the company’s professionals foster the use of green and sustainable elements in soil and groundwater remediation projects. The GSR Toolbox applies a tiered-tools approach to virtually any phase of a project’s life cycle. The complexity of available tools varies sequentially from qualitative to quantitative in step with the project’s progress. Application of the GSR Toolbox begins during site investigation when, following EPA’s TRIAD approach, EA maximizes the use of real-time field measurements and minimizes laboratory-derived wastes and the carbon footprint associated with invasive drilling activities or multiple field mobilizations. During the feasibility study/design phase, the GSR Toolbox focuses on analyzing life-cycle scenarios and comparing remedial technologies based on sustainability metrics such as short- and long-term energy and water consumption, air emissions, ecosystem impacts, material consumption, and waste minimization or recycling. When implementing sustainable technologies, the GSR Toolbox promotes the use of environmentally preferred products and clean construction techniques, including the use of solar-powered systems, green-fleet equipment, cleaner fuels, and waste-to-energy solutions.
Groundwater & Environmental Services, Inc. (GES; Neptune, NJ), for development of the green remediation indicator (GRI) tool as part of the company’s green and sustainable remediation practice. While “carbon footprint” commonly refers to the CO2 generated by a remedial solution, another important factor is CO2 generation per mass of contaminant reduction or recovery. The GRI calculates the comparative site-specific carbon footprints of remedial strategies using this perspective. When factoring in life-cycle duration, a long-term monitored natural attenuation remedy may in actuality have a significantly greater mass of CO2 produced per mass of remediated contaminant than a short-term aggressive technology (such as in-situ chemical oxidation injection). Accordingly, large carbon footprints should be accompanied by significant risk reduction. The GRI tool offers a forward-thinking process to implement the most effective solution within a practical “whole site” approach that also includes resource conservation through efficient use and re-use of energy-efficient, aggressive remediation or long-term low-impact technologies.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT: WATER/WASTEWATER
American Water (Voorhees, NJ) for its receipt of patent 8,012,352, for “Optimized Nutrient Removal from Wastewater,” also known as NPXpress, in September 2011. The NPXpress technology helps municipalities, which are facing both increasing operating costs and more stringent environmental regulations, to reduce those costs while improving the removal of nitrogen and phosphorus. Because the technology operates at lower oxygen levels, electricity consumption for aeration is reduced by 50%. In addition, the process can eliminate the need for costly chemical addition (methanol) by up to 80 to 100%. The low aeration conditions select for an ancient type of microbe, the ammonia-oxidizing Archea bacteria, that was only discovered in 2005. These microbes process ammonia using a different metabolic pathway, requiring only one molecule of oxygen for each molecule of ammonia. Because of these unique operating conditions, the microbes also accumulate phosphorus, which is removed in the sludge. Finally, because nitrogen is processed in a different manner, the treatment does not produce nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas that can be emitted by conventional wastewater plants.
EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc. (Hunt Valley, MD), for developing Toxicity Identification Evaluation (TIE) strategies to help municipalities and industrial companies more effectively—and at less cost—identify chronic toxicity in effluent wastewaters and sediments. Applying EPA’s Whole Effluent Toxicity Assessment approach, TIE strategies use a series of physical and chemical fractionation procedures to isolate and determine the acute and chronic toxicants of concern in effluent, stormwater, and sediments. Once the toxicant is identified, EA engineers and scientists design appropriate management practices or control options to reduce or eliminate the potential for environmental issues. EA professionals have developed national TIE protocols, presented numerous TIE papers at scientific meetings, presented short courses, and authored a complete compendium on TIEs. Over the past 10 years, EA has performed these analyses in freshwater, estuarine, and marine ecosystems at more than 125 U.S. facilities.
TECHNOLOGY MERIT: WASTE MANAGEMENT & POLLUTION CONTROL
EQ – The Environmental Quality Company (Wayne, MI), for its development of a recycling program to manage spent N-Methyl-2-Pyrrolidone (NMP), a non-hazardous solvent used in lithium-ion battery manufacturing. In the production of batteries for electric and hybrid automobile equipment manufacturers, battery manufacturers will generate approximately one million gallons of spent electronic-grade NMP annually. EQ markets and redistributes recycled NMP once the solvent is reclaimed. NMP is used to dissolve and transport nickel, magnesium, and cobalt (NMC) powder. Once the NMC powder has been released onto the electrode plates, the material is cooled, condensed, and collected as a waste by-product. Utilizing EQ’s more than 20 years of experience in the distillation and recycling of solvents, EQ receives the by-product NMP in bulk from the manufacturers and distills it into an industrial-grade NMP. Key benefits of EQ’s process include the lower temperature it is able to achieve using vacuum distillation.
Soil-Therm Equipment, Inc. (Agoura Hills, CA), for its development of the Mobile DEGASSER, a technology for capturing and destroying volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during the transfer of fuels and liquids from production operations at refinery locations to delivery vehicles. Soil-Therm describes the Mobile DEGASSER as safer than the conventional method, which involves the use of internal combustion engines, for destroying the toxic hydrogen sulfide gases present in many of these liquid products. The technology uses Soil-Therm’s patented Jet-THERM combustion process, which affords VOC destruction of greater than 99.9% at a processing rate of 100 pounds per hour. A control touch screen operator panel allows remote monitoring of the VOC destruction process. Soil-Therm designed, manufactured, and demonstrated the Mobile DEGASSER system at the Alon Refinery in Big Spring, Texas.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT: INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Locus Technologies (Mountain View, CA) for achieving 56% revenue growth in 2011 and a 20% increase in staff. Locus won a significant multi-year contract to manage more than 40 years of environmental data at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Los Alamos National Laboratory, a win that enabled the company to further expand key capabilities in enterprise sample planning, laboratory invoice tracking, and full business process support. Locus also signed up DOE’s Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1 in southern California, expanding Locus’s DOE customer base. Locus opened a new office in Asheville, North Carolina, and established a GIS center of excellence. New customers in 2011 included Kodak, Arizona Public Service, Southern California Edison, Energenic, Roca Honda, and multiple mining customers, such as Stillwater, Denison, Geovic, and Strathmore. Locus also entered a new market, the food industry, signing up such companies as Del Monte Foods, Safeway, and Sugar Cane Growers. Locus entered into a strategic business alliance with ChemADVISOR, Inc. that will provide Locus customers with direct access to a world-class chemical database for environmental compliance, regulatory frameworks, and waste disposal needs. Locus also introduced what it’s referring to as the industry- first iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch application for field data collection, called eWell.
Environmental Data Resources Inc. (EDR; Milford, CT), for growth in the deployment of its PARCEL Platform, a product that helps environmental consultants and other property due diligence professionals write, review, assemble, and deliver Phase I environmental site assessments, property condition assessments, and other types of due diligence reports. Currently, more than 7,000 professionals at over 3,000 companies use PARCEL for end users in such diverse industries as telecommunications, financial services, and healthcare. In 2011, PARCEL users reached a milestone—175,000 prepared reports (and counting), a tribute to the web-based platform’s versatility, effectiveness, and widespread adoption.
3E Company (Carlsbad, CA), for the introduction of several new products and services that address environmental, health, and safety (EHS) product life cycles and supply-chain obligations. New products and services launched in 2011 included the following: 3E Mobile – MSDS, which 3E claims to be the first mobile site to offer instant access to hazardous materials inventories and associated material safety data sheets (MSDSs) via smartphone; the 3E Integrated MSDS Data for MSDgen, which features the integration of 3E’s MSDS management service with its MSDgen MSDS authoring system; and Ariel WebInsight version 7.0, the latest version of 3E’s web-based chemical regulatory compliance reference tool. This version of Ariel includes a new Green Score Analysis module, which provides access to critical information needed to quickly assess the EHS regulatory and sustainability footprint of chemical products and aid in the development and selection of safer and more environmentally friendly ingredients.
BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT: NEW PRACTICE AREAS
The Phylmar Group, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA), for its recent launch of the Phylmar Affiliate Network Inner Circle, an exclusive international group comprising small to medium-size environmental, health, and safety (EHS) and sustainability consulting firms. Inner Circle members have access to a network of more than 500 affiliates in 50 countries, thereby expanding their firms’ technical and geographic reach. The Inner Circle builds on Phylmar’s innovative business model allowing members to effectively compete with much larger EHS consulting firms on a global scale. The Inner Circle also provides members with the opportunity to partner with non-EHS consultancies that provide services and products to Inner Circle members to increase their competitive position. Partners, to date, have been drawn from a variety of industry sectors, including marketing and financial services. During the Inner Circle’s first year, 17 members were signed up, along with five partners.
EcoAnalysts, Inc. (Moscow, ID), for significantly increasing its revenue through expansion of its services into the global marine bioassessment and biodiversity market. EcoAnalysts has grown its marine project-related revenue from $200,000 to $3.5 million over the past two years. This growth was achieved through client diversification, government contracting, and strategic hiring, including a new director of marine services. Projects included a National Coastal Condition Assessment for EPA, bioassessment work related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), fast-track processing of deep-sea samples from the largest offshore sampling program within the South China Sea, and benthic marine community analysis projects in near-shore Canadian waters.
CH2M HILL (Denver, CO) for growth in its practice related to reducing biological threats from extensive biological warfare programs. In 2008, the firm won a multi-year, multiple-contractor program for biological threat reduction and a key task in the country of Georgia, a former Soviet Union state with significant Cold War biological production and laboratory capabilities. Using skills developed from managing large-scale infrastructure, decontamination, and environmental programs, CH2M HILL is providing engineering and construction services for containment laboratories at Biosafety Level -3; integrating threat agent detection and response efforts; and developing cooperative research programs to harness the capabilities of Georgian scientists. Total fees could exceed $100 million in revenue. With this contract, CH2M HILL became known as a major support contractor for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). In less than four years, CH2M HILL now has a self-sustaining practice to provide a full suite of services to DTRA’s Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. After targeting this new practice area, CH2M HILL has developed and executed a strategy to penetrate the market. Formerly focused on former Soviet Union states, the new practice area offers threat reduction, chemical-biological defense, and program management on a worldwide basis.
AECOM Technology Corp. (Los Angeles, CA), for growth of its Nanotechnology Initiative, a program to respond to growing opportunities for safely using nanotechnology-based materials for better environmental results. AECOM’s nanotechnology-related service offering includes: EHS services to ensure compliance with best practices and guidelines; risk assessment to determine the potential effects of products on employees, consumers, and the environment; environmental toxicology to evaluate the ecological impacts of products; and remediation services employing nanomaterials engineered to address specific contaminants for faster, cheaper, and more-focused cleanups. AECOM has nanotechnology-related projects in Russia, Australia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and the United States. For example, collaborating with a major aerospace company and university partner, AECOM investigated the environmental fate and transport of nanomaterials used in enhanced groundwater remediation and developed methods to control and stop their movement in the subsurface. In Russia, AECOM is working for RUSNANO to review designs of key Sochi 2014 winter Olympic venues and advise on the cost-effective introduction of nanotechnology-based products.
Environmental Management and Planning Solutions, Inc. (EMPSi; San Francisco, CA) for the successful launch of a new “environmental constraints and permit expediting” practice in 2011. The practice focuses on siting time-sensitive projects, primarily energy-related, on federal lands. Using the Constraint Assessment for Siting (CAS) model, the practice is able to delineate the optimal areas for development. The CAS model is built on an extensive data library built over the last four years and provides interactive maps associated with energy development potential and known environmental constraints. Proposed development areas are assessed along with alternatives. Permitting timeframes are then assigned to each alternative, allowing developers to easily understand the trade-offs between time, cost, and technical feasibility, according to EMPSi. Maps are exported to Google Earth data layers to allow presentations “on the fly” so that developers, regulators, and the public can easily view specific constraints in a graphic mode. The analysis is designed to support any subsequent compliance actions, including NEPA compliance and local permitting.
Groundwater & Environmental Services, Inc. (GES; Neptune, NJ), for its work in engaging shale-gas industry peer groups in EHS issues. GES has coordinated forums and on-line venues to serve as knowledge and support centers with the aim of helping shale-gas exploration and production (E&P) companies improve their safety performance, regulatory compliance, and community relations in the Marcellus Shale region. Participants represent oil and gas companies, service and equipment providers, regulators, and representatives of state executive and legislative branches. In April 2011, GES led a roundtable discussion on the potential development of a sustainable transportation program based on natural gas vehicles (NGV). The group has continued discussions through such outlets as the Linkedin group “PA Energy Evolution – NGV Advocates,” which has now grown to 50 members. GES also hosted a forum focused on diverse aspects of working safely in the Marcellus Shale region. Introduced by industry representatives, the forum highlighted various health, safety security, and environmental issues, from subcontractor management to transportation, site security, spill response, and well-pad compliance.
Golder Associates (Atlanta, GA), for training over 300 industrial hygiene (IH) professionals worldwide in just two years to accommodate the global demand for industrial health expertise. More than 75 major companies have enrolled employees in Golder courses to achieve international IH certification. Golder claims to be one of the first organizations approved to provide such training, based on its qualifications, track record in IH education, and instructors. The company has conducted more than a dozen five-day courses in Singapore, India, China, and Malaysia and has scheduled courses in 10 countries throughout 2012. Dr. Jas Singh, a certified industrial hygienist and former board member of the American Board of Industrial Hygiene, directs the IH curriculum and leads Golder’s 12 certified consultants. While the IH profession is mature in North America, the demand has been ramping up in countries where an expanding industrial base requires thousands of qualified professionals. Because certification is a long road, IH organizations have developed a modular certification solution to fulfill this critical need.
Commonground (Milford, CT), for expansion of its business-to-business social network and information resource for environmental consultants and real estate stakeholders. On the commonground network, users and providers of environmental, engineering, property assessment, and due diligence services congregate to discuss relevant topics, gain critical insights, and generate business opportunities. Commonground made great strides in 2011 to ensure that industry-created and vetted training is more accessible to professionals around the country through commonground University (cgU). Most recently, commonground added a course covering ASTM’s E2600 Vapor Encroachment Screen to the curriculum. Also, a free quarterly webinar series with continuous replays brings expert knowledge on the latest trends and regulation to members. As a resource for professionals entering the industry, commonground has also created a mentor program that features some of the industry’s most influential and experienced professionals as trusted resources. The site’s job board has also connected dozens of out-of-work environmental professionals with new opportunities during these challenging economic times.
Rebecca Rubin, president of Marstel-Day LLC (Fredericksburg, VA), for working with the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce—a five county organization—to host three short videos on climate and sustainability. Depending on how one defines “small business,” small firms employ between 60 and 90% of the country’s workforce. Most small businesses will turn naturally to their local Chamber of Commerce for business leadership, including for sustainability initiatives. Recognizing that this “green arena” is a weak point for many local and regional chamber branches, Rubin teamed with the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber to develop the videos, which have the following titles: “Be a Climate Leader, Not A Climate Loser”; “Green Tips for Federal Vendors and Suppliers”; and “Going Green Can Boost Workplace Morale.” Marstel-Day and the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber also launched a Green Business Council, chaired by Rubin, and the chamber is taking steps to reduce its ecological footprint. Next steps include green innovation awards, forthcoming in spring of 2012 at the “State of the Chamber.” As a result of these initiatives, the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber has taken a strong leadership role in attracting green business to the region.
TestAmerica Laboratories, Inc. (Darien, CT), the largest environmental laboratory firm in North America, for launching in March 2011 a series of 15 free educational webinars related to current challenges faced by the environmental community. TestAmerica’s Ask the Experts webinar series was designed to provide a forum for sharing the company’s technical expertise with the environmental community and to enhance the knowledge and awareness of the participants in understanding these complex issues. Among the webinar topics covered were shale gas exploration, incremental sampling methodologies, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, vapor intrusion, sediments, petroleum biomarkers and dioxins. The webinar series has been extremely successful, with over 3,500 registrants for the events. With the high level of interest and success in the initial series of webinars, the series will be continued in 2012 with a new slate of presentations.
Ishwar Murarka, chief scientist and president of Ish Inc. (Raleigh, NC), for his long career in the research and development of techniques for improving waste management practices in the electric utility industry. An Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) veteran of almost 20 years, Murarka led EPRI’s Land and Groundwater Protection and Remediation business area until 1998. He initiated and oversaw millions of dollars of applied research directed at characterizing, managing, minimizing, and remediating utility-industry wastes. Under his leadership, EPRI developed numerous innovative risk management and fate and transport models as well as investigative, remedial, and treatment technologies. Also during those years, he led the well-attended biennial manufactured gas plant (MGP) conferences. He has served on national committees and as a peer reviewer for numerous efforts, including those chaired by EPA and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), in the areas of coal ash management, heavy metals and polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) chemistry and treatment, and dense non-aqueous-phase liquid (DNAPL) remediation. Murarka retired from EPRI in 1998 and founded his own consultancy serving the electric utility industry.
CH2M HILL (Denver, CO) for its launch of WaterMatch, a grassroots, goodwill initiative that harnesses the power of social networking to promote the beneficial reuse of municipal effluent for industrial and agricultural use. The WaterMatch website uses social networking and geospatial mapping to connect water generators with water users. Once on line, water users will use the WaterMatch Map to find wastewater treatment plants close to their current and future operations and then use the social networking function to connect with the utilities operating those plants. WaterMatch enables access to information and creation of local relationships to enable the expansion of municipal effluent reuse in their operations; promotes public-private partnerships and the reduction of freshwater use around the world; and increases water supply diversity and reliability, because municipal effluent offers a secure source of good-quality water. WaterMatch MeetUps are being organized and held around the world to allow municipalities and businesses to find reuse matches and discuss other common local interests.
WSP Environment & Energy (Reston, VA), for its role in helping the information and communication technology (ICT) industry quantify and demonstrate how its products and services help organizations reduce their carbon emissions, engage users on sustainability issues, and deliver financial value. For example, in collaboration with Accenture, WSP completed a “Green Cloud Assessment” for Microsoft revealing that the environmental benefits of running enterprise applications in the cloud included a per-user footprint that was at least 30% lower than that of traditional on-premise infrastructure. Prompted by this study, salesforce.com commissioned WSP to assess the efficiency of its platform. This effort required a different approach but again confirmed the carbon efficiency of the cloud as a tool that can mitigate the impact of business growth on the environment. WSP contributes to a working group of the GHG Protocol Initiative focused on the ICT sector, which in 2012 will publish guidance for a common approach to calculating carbon emissions of ICT products and services.
Sullivan International Group, Inc. (San Diego, CA), for its community involvement and, in particular, its assistance to military veterans, whether by helping wounded veterans with basic necessities, trying to improve the quality of life for disabled American veterans, or helping fellow Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Businesses overcome business hurdles. Sullivan is an active sponsor and sends employee volunteers to the annual National Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, Colorado, providing severely disabled veterans with an opportunity to challenge themselves and to enjoy the same camaraderie they experienced when they were on active duty. Sullivan’s contribution includes on-site, hands-on volunteer support and financial resources to help to make these important events happen. Most recently, Sullivan was the title sponsor of the DAV Summer Sports Clinic in San Diego in September 2011. Sullivan’s sponsorship helped over 450 disabled veterans enjoy a week of fun and games on San Diego’s waterfront with a block party celebration. In 2011 alone, the company provided more than $40,000 to support the DAV Sports Clinic.
AECOM Technology Corp. (Los Angeles, CA), for combining waste management with counter-insurgency (COIN) economic development and social contribution in Afghanistan. AECOM is providing support to U.S. military forces in waste management and the sustainable development of solid waste recycling and reuse initiatives with Afghan partners. Working through the Army Corps of Engineers’ Huntsville Center, the program will reduce the solid waste stream and the incineration of large quantities of unsorted solid wastes at military facilities in the country. At the same time, the program will support a COIN economic development strategy for partnering with Afghanis to build sustainable business capacity in waste recycling beyond base boundaries. The integrated solid waste management programs center on source segregation, collection and reuse, and waste composting. First-year program results of a potential multi-year contract include: development of a food waste composting program and facility that will be owned and operated by Afghan women’s partnership; additional supply-chain local business opportunities; establishment of segregation and reuse contracts and vendors for recyclables in multiple locations; and successful land-farming projects for treating petroleum-contaminated soil.
2011 CCBJ Business Achievement Awards Winners
The 2011 CCBJ Business Achievement Awards will be presented to recipients in attendance at a special ceremony at Environmental Industry Summit X at the Hotel del Corondo in San Diego, Calif. on the evening of March 14, 2012. The Environmental Industry Summit is an annual three-day event (March 14-16) hosted by Environmental Business International, Inc., the publisher of CCBJ and Environmental Business Journal. Congratulations to the 2011 award winners. CCBJ encourages all interested companies to participate next year.
(Disclaimer: Company audits were not conducted to verify information or claims submitted with nominations.)
Siemens (Munich) is ranked by CCBJ as the world's largest climate change industry (CCI) firm by revenues, with between $20 billion and $30 billion of FY 2010 sales attributable to products and services that reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as wind turbines, highly efficient gas turbines, light rail systems, energy-efficient equipment and services and adaptive traffic management systems. All of these products and services are grouped under Siemens Environmental Portfolio (which also includes some non-GHG mitigation technology), and for the year ending September 30, 2011, Siemens reported that its Environmental Portfolio revenues grew to €29.9 billion, 8% growth over the prior year, a remarkable achievement in the continuing global recession. Siemens also reported that its FY 2011 Environmental Portfolio revenues were 20% above the target the company originally set when it was launched in 2008.
In addition to revenues, Siemens' environmental products and services have also resulted in 317 million metric tons of accumulated annual CO2-equivalent reductions for its customers, in the company's reckoning, a figure that Siemens compares to the total emissions Berlin, Delhi, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, New York and Tokyo. Siemens Environmental Portfolio's products and solutions meet one of three criteria-energy efficiency, renewable energy and environmental technologies-and fall into eight categories: renewable energy, fossil power generation, power transmission and distribution, industry solutions, water, building technologies, mobility and healthcare.
SolarCity (Foster City, Calif.) for geographic diversification and sales growth with its SolarLease and SolarPPA business, which serves residential and small business customers who want solar power systems on their homes and businesses but don't want to (or can't) finance the large upfront capital costs to own their own PV system. While privately held SolarCity doesn't disclose revenues, it claims to have added 1,200 employees since 2007 and served more than 15,000 individual customers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Washington D.C., Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas. Large customers include WalMart, Intel, eBay and the Federal government.
In February 2011, Google and SolarCity announced a $280 million fund to finance residential PV systems. And in November 2011, SolarCity and Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced a financing agreement for SolarStrong, SolarCity's five-year, $1 billion initiative to build approximately 300 MW of solar power capacity for privatized U.S. military housing communities across the country. The deal was greatly aided by SolarCity's $344 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Echelon (San Jose) has achieved a credible claim to being, in the company’s words, the world’s leading open-standard energy control networking company. Echelon technologies connect more than 35 million homes, 300,000 buildings and 100 million devices to the smart grid, and help customers save 20% or more on their energy usage, according to the company.
After booking modest 6% growth in 2010, Echelon’s revenues have grown by 63% in the nine months ending September 30, 2011, driven mostly by sales to utilities, which rose by $41.1 million, or 128% year-on-year for the nine-month period. Echelon has a fast-growing international business, with major projects in Europe, Russia, Japan, Brazil and China. In December 2011, the company was honored with an Export Achievement Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
By targeting high-growth regions with its energy control networking systems, subsystems and components, Echelon is further establishing its presence as a global force in the smart grid industry, according to the company. It achieved significant milestones in 2011, including the approval of its smart meters in Brazil, a new partnership with Holley Metering to serve the smart grid market in China by connecting 300 million homes and businesses, and an important street lighting win in Oslo, Norway.
Molycorp (Greenwood Village, Colo.), the only U.S-based producer of rare earth materials that is fully integrated across the mine-to-magnets supply chain, has achieved extraordinary sales growth since its August 2010 IPO. The company booked revenues of $263.9 million for the nine months ending September 30, 2011, while its revenues were just $13.5 million through the same period in 2010. Much of the revenue is attributed to increased rare earth oxide (REO) production at its existing Mountain Pass facility, as well as increased prices for rare earths. Molycorp also made two acquisitions in April 2011 that have added to its annual revenue: Molycorp Silmet (formerly AS Silmet), which produces high-purity REOs and rare metals in Estonia, and Molycorp Tolleson (formerly Santoku America, Inc.), an Arizona facility that produces high-purity rare earth metals and alloys, including Neodymium-Iron-Boron (NdFeB) alloy and Samarium-Cobalt (SmCo) alloy used to manufacture highly prized permanent rare earth magnets.
Molycorp, whose rare earth materials are critical to clean energy technologies such as wind and hydro power turbines, batteries and motors for electric vehicles, fuel cells, and compact fluorescent and LED lighting, is modernizing and expanding its Mountain Pass, Calif., rare earth mine, mill and manufacturing facilities. The first phase of the $895 million project will enable Molycorp to produce REOs at an annual rate of 19,050 metric tons by the end of third quarter of 2012, according to the company. Molycorp is also linking its rare earth material supply chain to key end use technologies. The company formed a joint venture with Japan’s Daido Steel and Mitsubishi to manufacture NdFeB magnets and invested $20 million in Boulder Wind Power, a development company pioneering new, highly efficient wind turbine technology.
Business Achievement: Finance
Google (Mountain View, Calif.) quietly ended in November 2011 its quest to develop renewable energy technology that would generate power more cheaply than coal (RE<C). That announcement on google’s green blog came as no surprise to observers who had noted the company was shifting investment from its main coal-beating champions—enhanced geothermal power and the brayton engine technology for concentrating solar power (CSP)—to investments in traditional renewable energy projects.
Google’s investments in clean energy projects totaled $915 million by the end of 2011, according to the company, after its December announcement of a $94 million investment in a portfolio of four solar PV projects being built by Recurrent Energy near Sacramento. Earlier in 2011 the search engine giant, whose revenues rose 31% to $27.3 billion in the nine months ending September 30, had invested $168 million in BrightSource Energy’s 392 MW Ivanpah CSP project, $100 million in the massive 845 MW Shepherds Flat wind farm under development in Oregon by Caithness Energy and an undisclosed share in a $280 million fund established with SolarCity to finance residential PV systems. Google is also driving the renewable energy market with its own clean power purchases, including the PPA announced in April with NextEra Energy Resources for 100.8 MW of capacity from NextEra’s Minco II Wind Energy Center under development in Oklahoma’s Grady and Caddo counties.
It took guts to paint such a prominent target on the back of coal power, the number-one source of greenhouse gases in the world. Google was a pioneer in focusing so much on the Brayton engine design for CSP, but it was by no means alone in being optimistic—overly so, as it turned out—about the near-term potential for enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) technology. EGS made headlines in 2007-2008 because of an MIT report projecting that 100,000 MW of capacity could come online as EGS technology opened up vast new geothermal resources. Google deserves credit for taking such a bold risk—and for being willing to acknowledge that the challenge of “tak[ing] this [technology] research to the next level” was beyond the company’s capabilities.
Renewable Funding (Oakland, Calif.) for quickly recovering from the nearly mortal blow delivered by Federal morgage agencies in July 2010 to the company’s breakthrough idea for renewable energy and energy efficiency in the residential sector—property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing—and pushing ahead to help federal, state and local governments deploy similar models to ignite energy efficiency investment in the commercial building sector.
In January, 2011, Renewable Funding was selected to provide technology and finance administration services for Energy Upgrade California, a public-private collaboration to integrate state, local, and utility retrofit programs and services and provide a common platform for consumers, contractors, and program managers. As part of the program, the company is administering a loan loss reserve fund aimed at attracting private-sector lenders to the County of Los Angeles’ Energy Upgrade California Program; in August it issued an RFP for lenders.
In October 2011, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced the GreenFinanceSF-Commercial program aimed at using PACE financing to support investments by commercial building owners in energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation. Renewable Funding is also one of the six financing partners stepping up to pledge at least $50 million to the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge.
Consulting & Engineering: Climate Change Practice
WSP Environment & Energy (WSP) for achieving a position as one of the world’s leading advisors on sustainability and climate change issues. WSP’s specialist Sustainability & Energy practice employs more than 150 professionals, drawing on expertise from WSP’s approximately 9,000 professional staff worldwide. In North America alone, WSP’s Sustainability & Energy practice grew revenues by 30% in 2011 and is strongly positioned to maintain this growth trajectory in 2012 and beyond, according to the company.
Through 2011, the firm has provided greenhouse gas management support to seven of 11 companies named to the Carbon Disclosure Project’s S&P 500 Carbon Performance Leadership Index, including Bank of America and Cisco Systems.
In 2011, WSP clients achieved an average score of 86, while the average score for S&P 500 companies was 62. Bank of America described WSP’s support as “critical” in helping the company articulate its commitments and achievements and ensure that its approach and methodology was appropriate. The bank had a score of 97 for 2011.
While many of the details of client assignments are not disclosed publicly, WSP has worked with the above listed companies and others to develop their sustainability visions and strategies, design principles and standards, product and service innovations, customer engagement, impact assessment and external relations initiatives. Its GHG advisory work includes scope 1, 2 and 3 inventories, development of corporate GHG reduction goals, strategies and projects.
For one major corporation, WSP has recently performed a climate change risk assessment and adaptation plan for a strategic location in the United Kingdom. The work was focused on climate change impacts for 2020, 2050 and 2080 time horizons and involved: a review of regional climate information and location specific climate scenarios; an evaluation of operations likely to be impacted over the three time horizons; a set of recommendations to address the residual climate change risks; and a climate change action plan which defines responsibilities and a monitoring program for implementation.
Parsons Brinckerhoff (New York) for its work developing and implementing projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and incorporate climate change adaptation strategies in planning and transportation, and for its consulting engineering services in renewable energy and compressed air energy storage.
In 2010 and 2011, the firm worked with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to motivate and support state DOTs to respond to climate change. Parsons Brinckerhoff assisted in developing AASHTO’s climate change website (climatechange.transportation.org), conducted national webinars, oversaw a weekly climate change news brief and ran one-day workshops on climate change for DOTs in seven states and the District of Columbia.
Parsons Brinckerhoff was contracted by the Strategic Highway Research Program to research and advise on how GHG emissions can be integrated into highway planning; the firm identified cost-effective strategies and produced a practitioners’ handbook. On the policy front, Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Cindy Burbank worked for the Center for Climate and Energy Strategies (the renamed Pew climate change group) to develop legislative policy recommendations for GHG reductions from transportation.
In the planning realm, Parsons Brinckerhoff partnered with the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations in 2011 to raise awareness of climate change among MPOs and assist MPO staff to identify strategies, tools and best practices. Also in 2011, the firm completed a climate change mitigation and adaptation policy plan for the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission.
Parsons Brinckerhoff has also been in the forefront of research and advice on climate adaptation for transportation. In 2011, the firm’s work for the National Academy of Sciences, Federal Highway Administration, Maryland State Highway Administration and other clients focused on understanding the implications of climate change at the organizational and project levels and helping develop guidance for incorporating adaptation strategies to ensure transportation network resiliency in the face of climate uncertainties.
In renewable energy, Parsons Brinckerhoff works with a variety of clients on conventional hydropower development and relicensing and technology assessments for tidal power. In energy storage, the firm is in the early phases of design for NYSEG, an Iberdrola subsidiary, on a 150 MW advanced compressed air energy storage demonstration plant funded with $29.3 million in Recovery Act funds. The professional services division of Balfour Beatty, Parsons Brinckerhof had revenues of $2.5 billion in 2010.
Consulting & Engineering: Renewable Energy Practice
Ecology & Environment for achieving revenue growth of 37% in 2011 from its U.S. renewable energy practice, which includes feasibility studies, conceptual design and project siting, environmental assessment, permitting and construction monitoring.
E&E doubled solar revenues generated from its utility-scale practice group, helping clients permit and build approximately 3,800 MW of PV projects across eight states. It completed a third-party EIS for the Bureau of Land Management on the Lucerne Valley Solar Project, as well as an EA and permitting for the California Valley Solar Ranch Project, which will be the largest solar PV project in California and one of the largest in the world.
E&E has cumulatively been engaged in more than 380 wind power projects, and in 2011 it developed all biological data to permit a very large 134-turbine, 201 MW project in Kansas. The firm’s geothermal business grew by 155%, with contracts in Imperial County and the June release of the DEIS for the West Chocolate Mountain Renewable Energy Evaluation Area.
E&E also earned revenues from renewable energy projects in Brazil, Chile and Peru. E & E do Brasil completed over a dozen transmission line projects related to hydroelectric power in 2011, including socioeconomic studies for IE Madeira’s Coletora Porto Velho-to-Araraquara 600-kV project, in which wo 2,375-km transmission lines will cross five states to interconnect the ER Madeira hydroelectric complex with the National Grid System.
Professional Services: Climate Change Practice
Climate Focus (Amsterdam) for its climate change policy consulting and advisory work for companies, governments, NGOs and multilateral funding agencies like the World Bank. With a staff of just over 20 economists, engineers, attorneys and other professionals, Climate Focus has achieved a position as a leading source of independent expertise and advice on international and national climate policy, project design and finance.
Among Climate Focus’ 2011 accomplishments: winning an assignment (with Gaia Carbon Finance and Triodos Facet) from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to support the development of carbon finance in Turkey; publishing a handbook on CDM Programme of Activities (which allows carbon credits to be generated by multiple projects under one managing entity) in Spanish; held an international webinar on the potential for small-scale renewables in rural electrification; authored or co-authored reports on climate change and agriculture, adaptation funding, design of nationally appropriate mitigation actions, the future of joint implementation projects in Europe, and other critical topics.
The firm has particular expertise in the development of policies to shape what could be an enormously important use of carbon finance in developing countries: REDD+, which stands for reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation, combined with broader sustainability goals.
Climate Focus was the lead consultant to the Verified Carbon Standard in developing a methodology framework for REDD projects, which passed audits by SQS and the Rainforest Alliance in December 2010. And in 2011, Climate Focus staff led or co-led REDD methodology training workshops in South Africa, Mexico, Thailand, Panama and internationally through webinars.
Technology Merit: Climate Change Adaptation
CLIMsystems (Hamilton, New Zealand) for achieving a leading position in the climate change risk and adaptation assessment industry. Evidence of the firm’s accomplishment in this regard can be seen in the extensive citation of models generated with the company’s SimCLIM software in the October 2011 guidance document on sea level rise issued by the IPCC’s Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impacts and Climate Analysis.
CLIMsystems has taken technology developed in a university environment and made it commercially available for governments, academics, multilateral lending agencies and consulting & engineering firms such as CLIMsystems’ affiliates and partners CH2M HILL and Stratus Consulting. In 2011, the SimCLIM modeling system was used in coastal assessments in the Philippines and Alexandria, Va. CLIMsystems has also assisted with building capacity for the UNFCCC reporting for Second National Communications in Vanuatu, Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Nauru, and Eritrea. The company has also completed projects in China through the Asia Pacific Network, and Vietnam’s Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology, and Environment has adopted the SimCLIM software system.
Formal software linkages with other software providers were created with the Decision Support Systems for Agrotechnology Transfer and the new eWater product range developed in Australia. CLIMsystems is also the primary developer of GENIES (Global Environment and National Information Evaluation System) for urban impact analysis for five multilateral development banks.
With a scientific advisory panel of Nobel laureates and leading climate scientists, and partners supporting software developments, CLIMsystems is positioned to maintain leadership in understanding and translating climate science risk into decisions and action for climate resilience.
Technology Merit: Wind Power
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (Boston) for developing the first large wind turbine blade testing facility in the United States. The Wind Technology Testing Center (WTTC) Large Blade Testing Facility seeks to improve U.S. competitiveness in the wind turbine manufacturing industry by offering convenient and cost-effective testing and certification to international standards—such as IEC, GL and DNV—for wind turbine blades up to 90 meters in length. The CEC says the facility will allow large and small blade companies to test new and innovative products, methods or components without having to wait years to get into an overseas facility.
The $40 million facility, funded by a Recovery Act grant, charges approximately $500,000 for a battery of tests and certification, ranging from fatigue testing to lightning protection. As of December 2011, three manufacturers had commissioned tests of four blades since the facility opened in May. The WTTC building itself deploys a number of energy-efficient features, including recovering heat from the hydraulic system for space heating.
Project Merit: Energy Efficiency & Demand Response
Comverge (Norcross, Ga.) for winning a bid to develop Africa’s first electric utility demand response program, a 16-month pilot with South Africa’s Eskom to create and co-manage an open market for DR. Comverge will aggregate 500 MW of load, including at least 100 MW of capacity to be brought to market by new domestic curtailment service providers that Comverge will recruit, train and certify.
According to Pike Research, the Eskom program will provide “improved grid reliability, balance supply and demand, and ultimately address the nation’s power supply [constraints], which is currently under strain with peak demand of around 37,000 MW.” Pike projects this win driving revenue growth for Comverge in 2012 and helping it gain an edge in a new market over competitors such as EnerNOC and Oracle, which Pike suspects also bid on the deal.
If successful, the pilot could launch a “growing international DR business, which is one of Comverge’s key strategic goals for 2012 and beyond,” wrote Pike’s Marianne Hedin, noting that March 2011, the company established its first international subsidiary. Pike estimates the global DR services market will grow at an average 37% annually through 2016, with growth in emerging markets of between 42% and 50% in that period.
Project Merit: Energy Efficiency
Michaels Engineering (La Crosse, Wis.) whose Michaels Energy division has targeted convenience stores with energy management and efficiency measures that typically achieve energy savings of 15% to 20% at costs of less than $.08/kWh and $0.80 per therm of natural gas, according to the firm. Michaels uses its own proprietary set of standardized measures which the firm says goes deeper than the prescriptive and direct-install programs that utilities offer but is still affordable and easy to implement by contractors. Michaels built its measures list after auditing convenience stores in the Midwest.
C-stores are small, typically between 3,500 and 5,000 square feet, but with lots of refrigeration, coffee makers and hot-food dispensers they are very energy dense, consuming between 90 and 210 kWh per square foot annually, according to Michaels.
Michaels is also targeting community banks and another class of trade that it hasn’t disclosed yet. In an industry where intellectual property is difficult to develop, Michaels wishes to hold its list of measures proprietary, but told CCBJ that it focuses on O&M and includes installing electrically commutated evaporator fan motors and LED case lighting.
With about 145,000 convenience stores operating in the United States (according to the National Association of Convenience Stores), Michaels Energy is targeting an enormous market that hasn’t received a lot of attention from the energy management and efficiency industry.
Project Merit: Solar Power
SunPower (San Jose), which won a CCBJ bronze award in 2010 for revenue growth, deserves similar honors for 2011, as its revenue grew by 36% to $1.75 billion for the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2011. But CCBJ is singling the company out for its achievements as a developer and builder of large PV projects. That business grew dramatically in 2011, driving SunPower’s Utility and Power Project segment to $872.9 million for the nine-month period, 67% growth year-on-year. The company booked revenues (under percentage-of-completion accounting method) for a 20 MW project in Ontario and three U.S. plants totaling 60 MW, according to SunPower’s Q3 report.
In June 2011 SunPower and client Glimcher Realty Trust (Columbus, OH), a real estate investment trust, completed what they say is the largest rooftop PV system in North America. The 4.8 MW facility at the Jersey Gardens shopping mall in Elizabeth, New Jersey, was designed and built by SunPower using its T5 Solar Roof Tile technology. Glimcher has entered into a power purchase agreement to sell the electric power to Clean Focus Corp. Gerdling Edlen’s renewable energy and financing subsidiary Gerdling Edlen Sustainable Solutions.
Another 2011 milestone for SunPower was the completion of permitting for its 250 MW California Valley Solar Ranch, which upon completion will be the largest solar PV project in California, according to the company. CVSR is unique in that it incorporates a 14,000-acre conservation program to be managed in perpetuity for special status species—an unprecedented benefit from a utility-scale project, according to SunPower’s principal environmental consultant, Ecology & Environment.
Project Merit: Solar Power
Southern California Edison (Rosemead, Calif.) for dramatically increasing the solar-generated electricity it uses in its vast service territory of about 50,000 miles that stretches from the eastern Sierra to Orange County and incorporates about 14 million people.
SCE is not the largest utility buyer of solar-generated power in the United States—that honor goes to Pacific Gas & Electric Co., which was recognized by CCBJ in 2009 for its renewable portfolio development. But SCE is a close second, with its solar procurement and customer-owned generation growing rapidly. By the end of 2010, SCE had signed power purchase agreements (PPAs) for about 1,600 MW of PV projects.
In 2011, the utility (which had revenues of $8.06 billion for the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2011) signed some mammoth solar PPAs, including one for 711 MW with SunPower and one for 250 MW with First Solar. SCE is committed to procuring 500 MW of PV-generated power under its Solar Photovoltaics Program (which will include 125 MW of utility-owned generation), and PV projects will likely be a major component of energy SCE procures under the new (commission-mandated) renewable auction mechanism. In terms of customer-owned PV capacity, SCE has approximately 350 MW of projects underway or installed on its grid, with a 2016 goal of 805 MW under the California Solar Initiative (CSI).
SCE also achieved at least two important solar energy milestones in 2011. In December, the utility and its partners, industrial real estate owner Prologis and consumer packaged goods manufacturer Kimberly-Clark (Kleenex, Scott, Huggies), completed a 4.9 MW PV array, one of the largest in the United States, on Kimberly-Clark’s Redlands distribution center. Prologis managed construction while SCE is the investor and owner.
In November, SCE broke new ground in utility procurement of concentrating solar power (CSP), striking a deal with Brightsource Energy to compensate the developer for the added value of a SolarPLUS molten salt storage system that will allow the facility to provide baseload and even peaking power when it comes online in 2016 or 2017. As detailed in CCBJ’s April/May 2011 solar energy edition, deployment of storage is seen as critically important to the future of CSP, which is suffering due to the rapid price decreases in PV modules. While Brightsource and other CSP developers still have to prove that storage can deliver flexible power at reasonable prices, SCE’s contract can be seen as a signal of the utility’s confidence that Brightsource, at least, will achieve this goal.
Project Merit: Solar Power
JinkoSolar (Shanghai) for what the company claims is the largest solar PV system installed on an industrial high-rise building anywhere in the world. The 1.2 MW rooftop PV array uses 5,292 JinkoSolar modules to cover approximately 300,000 square feet of The Dependable Companies’—a logistics service company providing trucking, warehousing, freight forwarding and air freight—headquarters in East Los Angeles.
While larger multi-MW rooftop PV arrays are becoming more common, this project is arguably unique from the perspective of the five-story industrial building’s height—110 feet. To ensure the system stands up to the significantly higher wind loads than a typical low-elevation PV system would endure, a hybrid racking system with ballast attached at strategic high-wind points was used, as well as a hinge-and-lock feature that allows each module to be lifted up for maintenance access.
Premier Power (El Dorado Hill, Calif.) was the EPC Contractor; Clenergy (Palm Desert, Calif.) manufactured the racking system; Current Electric (Orange, Calif.) was the electrical contractor; and Tecta America (Rosemont, Ill.) was the roofing contractor.
Project Merit: Solar Power
New Jersey American Water (Voorhees, NJ) for developing a 112 kW PV power plant in a uniquely challenging location: the surface of a reservoir that freezes and thaws regularly in winter months. A subsidiary of American Water Works Co., a water supply and wastewater treatment company with revenues of $2.04 billion for the nine months ending Sept. 30, 2011, New Jersey American Water is “extremely confident” that the $1.35 million system will survive in a freeze-thaw environment and believes that the system will be the first in the world to successfully do so. “Limited floating solar photovoltaic systems have been installed in warm-weather climates,” said American Water’s Denise Venuti. “These systems, however, have previously not been able to survive freeze/thaw weather cycles.”
EPC contractor ENERACTIVE Solutions used a specialized docking and polystyrene float system manufactured by Poralu Marine and a “creative” anchoring system manufactured by Seaflex to ensure the system withstands severe weather conditions. The cost for modules and construction was $880,000; design/build and construction management came to $297,000, and New Jersey American Water spent $173,000 in labor, overhead and other costs.
The floating array was chosen in large part because the 1920s vintage water treatment plant to which it supplies electricity was surrounded by protected lands where a ground-mounted array wouldn’t have been permitted. American Water is evaluating the array’s performance and its potential for a wider deployment on other reservoirs.
Project Merit: Solar Power
CH2M HILL (Englewood, Colo.) for supporting the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar America Communities program to accelerate the adoption of solar energy in 25 U.S. cities. CH2M HILL developed a web-based Solar Mapping tool that allows a city’s residents to assess the precise solar potential of each building in a neighborhood, rooftop by rooftop, through a combination of aerial imagery and advanced 3-D modeling, providing a proven method of jump-starting the conversion to solar energy.
In 2011, CH2M HILL completed and released the PV Cost Convergence Model and the PV Economic Development Report for Solar America. The cost model forecasts when solar energy costs may become competitive with existing grid electricity rates in each of the 25 Solar America Cities, and the economic development report is designed to help cities develop their strategies for increasing local solar energy generation capacity as well as recruiting and retaining PV manufacturing companies and suppliers.
Project Merit: Wind Power
RWE Innogy (Essen, Germany) for its enormous offshore wind power development program. Building on experience from its existing 60 MW and 90 MW wind farms offshore from the United Kingdom, RWE Innogy is building offshore wind plants in Europe with capacity of 1,000 MW and expects to obtain permits for an additional 5 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2014, according to the company.
With significantly higher capacity factors than onshore facilities, offshore wind is expected to constitute most of the growth of European wind power capacity over the next decade, But building offshore wind plants is significantly more expensive, complex and difficult. RWE Innogy’s 325 MW Thornton Bank wind farm has been underway since 2009, with completion expected in 2013.
That project represented a milestone in the European wind power market, which is largely balance sheet funded by the energy companies building them. RWE Innogy says Thornton Bank is the largest project financed offshore wind so far, with eight private European banks, the European Investment Bank and German and Danish export credit agencies providing around €900 million.
To develop the engineering and construction capacity needed for its offshore wind development plans, RWE Innogy announced in January 2011 a five-year €50 million partnership with Linnhoff Offshore AG and NSB (both in Buxtehude, Germany). Linhoff will support RWE with port logistics and coordination of activities by sea and air, while NSB will help supervise construction of two installation vessels that RWE Innogy describes as the largest of their kind in the world.
Project Merit: Wind Power
China Longyuan Power, China’s largest developer of wind power capacity, achieved a stunning 52% annual growth in installed capacity, exceeding 6.9 GW by June 2011, according to the company’s mid-year report. While installed capacity figures for the end of the year weren’t available, the company reported that it had received approval for 39 new projects totalling 2 GW. It also reported commissioning the first 99 MW of the 150 MW Jiangsu Rudong pilot offshore wind farm, the nation’s largest.
China Longyuan Power is also branching out into other renewable energy technologies. A December 2011 news release reported that the Company had commissioned three PV projects with combined capacity of 58 MW. And in November, it agreed to buy from its parent company, China Guodian Corp, wind energy and biomass assets worth 1.51 billion yuan ($238.2 million)
In 2011, China Longyuan also made its first leap into the global wind energy market, taking an equity stake in Ontario-based Farm Owned Power’s 100 MW wind farm under construction in Shelburne, Ontario.
Project Merit: Energy Storage
AES (Arlington, VA.) whose AES Energy Storage subsidiary has a solid early lead in the emerging business of using advanced batteries to provide energy and grid services to electric utilities. Formed in 2007 when the grid-scale energy storage business was little more than a gleam in the eyes of energy engineers and investors, AES Energy Storage had commissioned more than 76 MW of lithium-ion battery energy storage systems by the end of 2011.
AES Energy Storage’s first projects were four pilots of between 1 MW and 2 MW that were commissioned in 2008. Projects commissioned since have been in the 8 MW to 32 MW range, targeted primarily to providing operating reserves with high power, short duration storage of 15 to 20 minutes. By the end of the year, the company was bidding on much larger projects including 100 MW/400 MWh for El Paso Electric and 400 MW/1600 MWh for the Long Island Power Authority.
By taking aim at projects of that size, AES underscores its assessment that a single large-capacity energy storage system can provide multiple values to electric utilities and load-serving entities—peak energy; reserve capacity, frequency regulation and other ancillary services; load-following; congestion management; T&D deferral and others—and receive appropriate compensation for this bundle of services in a single power purchase agreement (PPA).
AES Energy Storage is also pioneering grid electricity storage in northern Chile, where grid operators in the electrically isolated region have dealt with reliability challenges by requiring generators to hold back spinning reserve capacity, for which they’re compensated but typically at rates below energy prices. AES’ Chilean subsidiary Gener, which already operated fossil, hydro and biomass units, obtained government approval for first a 12 MW and then a 20 MW storage facility. Now, Gener’s generation plants in Northern Chile can use all their capacity for energy sales, while its battery systems provide spinning reserves revenues. AES Energy Storage calls this service “capacity release for generators.”
Project Merit: Energy Storage
Xtreme Power (Kyle, Texas) for going live with its 15 MW/10 MWh battery energy storage system in March 2011 at First Wind’s 30 MW Kahuku Wind Project on Oahu, the first large-scale integration of wind power and storage in the United States and perhaps globally.
Xtreme’s Dynamic Power Resource (DPR), a dry cell battery system that incorporates proprietary formulas of copper, lead, tellurium and other alloys, smoothes the wind farm’s power output by charging or discharging up to 1 MW per minute, according to the company.
Xtreme was also selected by Duke Energy to install a 36 MW/24 MWh battery system at Duke’s 153 MW wind farm in Notrees, Texas. Energy storage is seen as a key enabling technology for greater integration of variable generation resources such as solar and wind power, as well as providing other benefits such as non-polluting frequency regulation and relieving transmission and distribution constraints.
Project Merit: Energy Storage
Eagle Crest Energy (Santa Monica, Calif.) for sheer perserverance and patience in pursuit of a good idea: using abandoned quarries in Riverside County to build the 1300 MW Eagle Mountain pumped storage hydropower (PSH) facility. First investigated in the early 1990s by Eagle Crest principals, the Eagle Mountain PSH project went through preliminary design in 2004 and was formally proposed to FERC in 2006. It is now considered by PSH industry observers to be the second furthest along in the FERC permitting queue behind Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s 400 MW Iowa Hill PSH project on the Upper American River.
As a closed-loop system that is not connected to any natural water bodies, Eagle Mountain will have a lighter impact on habitat and natural resources than open-loop PSH systems. But given its use of 2,200 acres of federal and private land, the project went through extensive analysis to identify and manage impacts on wildlife habitat, recreation, aesthetics and the aquifer that will be tapped to supply the system’s stock of working water.
Eagle Crest Energy is devoted solely to this project. While the outfit expects to receive its permit in the first half of 2012, it will need some firm energy deals before obtaining the necessary project financing. The basic components of value of the proposed PSH system are power capacity and arbitraging peak and offpeak prices. It would also facilitate integration of variable wind and solar power in Southern California by providing frequency regulation and load following services.
Project Merit: Climate Change Adaptation
AECOM Technology Corp. (Los Angeles) for developing an economic cost benefit framework to analyze major climate change adaptation investment decisions for infrastructure networks and coastal settlements. The company says its framework bridges the gap between climate science and effective decision-making in an uncertain environment to assist governments and private-sector entities with planning for impacts of climate change, including sea level rise, higher temperatures, drought and rainfall induced flooding. AECOM successfully applied this framework in Australia to the Melbourne Commuter Rail Network, Sydney and Melbourne coastal regions, and for managing water supply and demand in Victoria.
The AECOM team used multiple modeling inputs, ranging from projected climatic changes and cost impacts of weather events, to costs and benefits of adaptation options. Using a comprehensive economic model, costs and benefits of each option were assessed against other options and the cost of inaction. The outputs provided optimized cost and timing of when or whether to implement adaptation options such as early warning systems, planning controls or structures including flood barriers or other protection devices or systems.
AECOM’s decision making approach is flexible and applicable to all facets of infrastructure, including settlements, transport (roads, rail, bridges), utilities (water, power, telecommunications) and maritime (ports, offshore, subsurface structures), according to the company. Decisionmakers can overlay specific asset requirements within this model to develop highly specialized results detailed information about timing, scale, costs and benefits of adaptation options to achieve greatest value for the community, asset owners and investors. AECOM conducted over 100 climate change related projects in 2011.
In a specific adaptation assignment, AECOM worked with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Bay Conservation and Development Commission and California Department of Transportation to assess climate change vulnerabilities and risks in Alameda County, part of the San Francisco Bay Area. This pilot project, testing the Federal Highways Administration conceptual risk assessment model, has produced a detailed vulnerability analysis of sea level rise impacts on transportation infrastructure. Detailed mapping was done for six inundation scenarios by mid- and end-of-century, including high tide, high tide plus a 100 year storm, and high tide plus 100 year storm and wind wave effects.
Project Merit: Renewable Energy Development
3Degrees (San Francisco) for providing developers of wind, solar and other renewable energy projects secure revenue streams through the purchase of long-term contracts for renewable energy certificates (RECs). In 2011, 3Degrees won “best trading firm” from the readers of Environmental Finance, top U.S. REC dealer by Energy Risk and green power supplier of the year from the U.S. Department of Energy.
In the REC market, 3Degrees is a wholesaler and retailer, not a broker; The firm takes title to RECs and carbon offsets and markets them using a wide variety of sales contracts to both compliance and voluntary buyers. 3Degrees, which has about 50 employees, doesn’t disclose its revenues or volume of RECs purchased, but a spokesperson told CCBJ that the firm makes “hundreds” of purchase commitments annually with renewable generators.
3Degrees also runs voluntary green power programs, and in November 2011 the firm announced its engagement by the Maine Public Utility Commission to launch a new, voluntary statewide green power program. The firm also announced that it had won a competitive bidding process to be a green power supplier to the CTCleanEnergyOptions program in Connecticut, was selected by Seattle City Light to manage customer outreach for the utility’s Green Up offering and had renewed a green power contract with Puget Sound Energy. “With these new and renewed contracts, 3Degrees and its utility partners will offer green power options to over 7.7 million residential and commercial utility customers in seven states, [48% growth in customers since 2010],” stated 3Degrees in a news release.
Project Merit: Renewable Energy Development
Clean Energy Collective (Carbondale, Colo.) for its pioneering work developing a new business model for community solar, which can make solar PV ownership available to an enormous customer base of individuals and institutions whose premises or financial circumstances won’t accommodate a traditional PV array. By sharing ownership of large PV arrays (and potentially wind turbines), community solar can also bring down the costs of residential solar PV sharply by obtaining the benefits of scale only available to a large commercial or utility-scale project.
Working with its first utility partner, Holy Cross Energy, CEC developed a solution to the challenge that had confronted earlier attempts to develop shared-ownership models for PV: how to pay for long-term O&M and administer on-bill credits. CEC created a third-party escrow account—to which 5% of energy sales are dedicated—for O&M like those used by local governments to fund long-term maintenance of roads and bridges. For on-bill crediting, CEC developed proprietary software called RemoteMeter which integrated with utility billing systems.The Institute for Self Reliance called CEC’s model “pioneering,” and in November 2011, the Department of Energy named CEC the “Innovative Green Power Program of the Year.”
CEC’s first two projects with Holy Cross have nearly 1 MW installed and an additional 2.5 MW approved for development. The firm is “actively building” another 1.6 MW of capacity in three other utility territories and is in some stage of development of 33 MW, according to the company’s website. CEC recently partnered with San Miguel Power Association, a western Colorado rural electric co-op, to launch its first utility-branded program.
Project Merit: Renewable Energy Development
AECOM Technology Corp. (Los Angeles) for providing comprehensive permitting for the City of Palmdale’s proposed Palmdale Hybrid Power Plant which will thermally integrate 570 MW of clean-burning natural-gas combined-cycle technology with 50 MW of solar parabolic trough mirrors. AECOM’s permitting work culminated in California Energy Commission authorization in August 2011 and issuance by the EPA in October 2011 of the first Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit to address new GHG control requirements. Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Pacific Southwest regional administrator commented, “ Palmdale’s use of solar technology is a model for new electric power plants across the nation. This hybrid design proves that plants can provide energy while having less impact on the environment,” according to text provided by AECOM.
AECOM supported Inland Energy and the City of Palmdale through the lengthy federal-state regulatory process, performing baseline natural resource surveys and impact assessments, assisting with evidentiary hearings and stakeholder workshops and obtaining the permits.
Project Merit: Renewable Energy Development
CH2M HILL (Englewood, Colo.) for developing new concepts of integrated conventional and renewable energy facilities in Colorado and Nevada. CH2M HILL’s IDC Architects is developing a vision for the 640-acre Niobrara Energy Park in Weld County, Colo. Located above the Niobrara oil play, the developer, Harrison Resource Corp., hopes to eventually attract wind, solar and natural gas generators. While no actual development projects have been announced, Harrison completed zoning in March 2011 for 45 different energy land uses, including cloud computing data centers, a 50 MW PV plant, a 200 MW gas-fired power plant and other renewable power and energy storage technologies. Located in northeast Colorado between Fort Collins and Cheyenne, Wy., the facility has existing 230 kv transmission lines, natural gas pipelines, rail and fiber optic lines.
CH2M HILL’s IDC Architects is also designing the Star Peak Energy Center, which targets development of geothermal, solar and wind power and utility-scale energy storage on 10,000 acres of land about 110 miles north of Reno, Nev. The developer, natural gas exploration and production outfit Presco, hopes to lure occupants such as data centers attracted by the potential of being powered by onsite carbon-neutral geothermal. Other targeted users are manufacturers such as photovoltaic solar panels, algal biofuel production and universities or research laboratories with ongoing renewable energy programs. An option IDC assessed for making the project more energy efficient is the use of waste heat from one process to support other processes on the site.
Project Merit: Carbon Capture & Storage
Saskpower (Regina, Sask.), Saskatchewan’s publicly owned electricity generation, transmission and distribution utility (C$1.75 billion in 2010 revenues), for breaking ground on what is slated to become the world’s first carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility integrated with a coal power plant.
In April 2011, the provincial government approved construction of the Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project. The C$1.24 billion project, expected to be completed in 2014, will capture about 1 million tonnes of CO2 annually from a new 110 MWunit at the 824 MW Boundary Dam Power Station, one of three of the company’s coal power plants that constitute roughly 50% of its generating capacity of 3,513 MW. SNC Lavalin has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the capture portion of the project, with Stantec serving as owner’s engineer for the power island. In December 2011, a 70-foot long, 500,000-pound aqueous amine-based CO2 stripper designed by SNC Lavalin and CanSolv Technologies arrived at the site (delivered on a flatbed trailer with 224 tires, noted the Estevan Mercury). In early January 2012 a 650-ton crane was lifting it into place.
CCS may not be popular (of more than 800 people responding to a CBC survey on Saskatchewan’s GHG mitigation strategies, only 3% endorsed the technology over nuclear, renewables and conservation), scientists and policy experts, including authors of reports for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, consider CCS absolutely essential to mitigating emissions from coal power. Only with early deployment of demonstration projects like Saskpower’s Boundary Dam III will CCS reach a trajectory to contribute meaningfully to global GHG mitigation by mid-century.
The Climate Action Reserve (Los Angeles) for building integrity and value in the North American voluntary carbon market and creating offset protocols that will become the foundation for the offset portion of California’s mandatory carbon trading market in 2013. By the end of 2011, CAR had issued more than 19.9 million Climate Reserve Tons—a huge increase over 2010, when its cumulative total was 10.3 million CRTs. Other 2011 accomplishments include adopting a rice cultivation project protocol and publishing a draft Mexico forestry protocol (which could pave the way for adoption, already signaled by California’s Air Resource Board, of California-Mexico forest offset trading).
A nonprofit with a staff of 24 and FY2010 revenues of $4.6 million, CAR was established in 2001 by the California Legislature (as the California Climate Action Registry) and soon gained a reputation for rigorous standards and “compliance-grade” protocols, especially after the passage of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act in 2006.
With other state and regional climate initiatives emerging, and federal legislation looking likely, CCAR collaborated with state, provincial and tribal governments to help create the North American GHG emissions registry, The Climate Registry. In 2008, CCAR changed its name to the Climate Action Reserve, and the original emissions inventory reporting became a program under the Reserve.