Energy & Clean Technology Connections: Your Law Firm Link to Industry News - March 2014


In the March edition of Energy & Clean Technology Connections, we bring you recent industry highlights, the latest news from Capitol Hill, and a list of upcoming energy industry events. For links to industry grant opportunities and stories from the business, policy, and research sectors of the energy and clean technology industry, please see our new Energy Navigator.

Quick notes: We are proud to support the May 14 and 15 World Energy Innovation Forum, chaired by Ira Ehrenpreis. We hope to see you there! Also – thanks to our friends at Surge Accelerator in Houston – we are glad to be part of the team. Please see below for more on Surge.

Leaders in the News

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Harvest Power has opened an anaerobic digestion facility that processes organic waste into biogas for electricity generation in central Florida. When operating at full capacity, the company’s Central Florida Energy Garden will process more than 120,000 tons of organic wastes annually while producing 5.4 MW of combined heat and power and natural fertilizers. The company disclosed that Walt Disney World Resort is the facility’s first customer, with additional businesses in surrounding communities signing up every day. For more information on this project, please visit

Washington Update

The topic of energy efficiency has been front and center with Congress over the last few weeks. On February 27, Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) reintroduced their energy efficiency package, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2014 (S. 2074). The bill, which faltered on the Senate floor last year due to disagreements over amendments, now includes ten bipartisan amendments on issues ranging from energy efficient federal data centers to water heaters. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (R-MI) has promised that his committee will consider the legislation if it clears the Senate.

Meanwhile, the House has also focused in on energy efficiency and is soon expected to vote on its own energy efficiency package. The Better Buildings Act (H.R. 2126), led by Representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT), seeks to establish a “Tenant Star” program through the Environmental Protection Agency, thereby promoting energy efficiency in tenant-occupied commercial buildings. The package also addresses loosening water heater standards, increasing government data center efficiency, and encouraging commercial building energy benchmarking.

In late February, the US Supreme Court took up the implementation of greenhouse gas emissions regulations and heard oral arguments in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Energy Protection Agency (EPA). This case centers on whether the EPA’s regulation of mobile emissions triggers certain stationary source permitting requirements. The court’s decision is expected to shed light on how federal agencies should interpret federal statutes.

Finally, on March 4, President Obama released his fiscal year 2015 budget request. In this request, the President has reaffirmed his commitment to clean energy initiatives by investing approximately $6.9 billion in base funding for clean energy programs across several agencies. Furthermore, the budget calls for the establishment of an Energy Security Trust, in which a $2 billion investment over the course of 10 years will support research and development into cost-effective technologies for moving vehicles off of oil. The budget also aims to reduce US reliance on oil imports and allocates funding to various bureaus in the Department of the Interior to this end.

The weekly Energy & Environment Update from ML Strategies provides an overview of what’s happening on and off Capitol Hill and around the world that may impact energy and environmental policies and industry players. Read the Update here.

Event Highlights

In upcoming events, we look forward to the World Energy Innovation Forum to be held at the Tesla Factory in California’s Bay Area on May 14 and 15. The World Energy Innovation Forum, chaired by prominent industry leader Ira Ehrenpreis, convenes the who’s-who in the energy innovation sector to discuss the important energy issues and opportunities of our time. The event will host the leading investors, entrepreneurs, corporates, policymakers, and other prominent members of the energy ecosystem for two days of conversation, dialogue, and networking.

Attendees will have the extraordinary opportunity to hear first-hand from Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, just named Fortune’s 2013 “Businessperson of the Year,” who will help kick off this year’s Forum. The Forum will feature many other key leaders in the energy innovation sector, all of whom will take to the podium to address the pivotal energy issues and opportunities of our time. For additional information regarding the various panels and keynote speakers, please visit the following website: Agenda.

This event marries the best in thought-provoking discussion with the best in industry networking in the most exciting venue in our industry. Please be sure to reserve your spot at the Forum ASAP, as attendance is limited to the first 500 delegates.

Innovator Profile

The Houston-based SURGE Accelerator connects energy-oriented start-ups with industry leaders and mentors in order to solve the world’s energy problems using technology. The mentor-driven venture accelerator puts energy tech start-ups through an intensive 12-week program and provides each company with $30,000 in exchange for a share of equity. The program ends with their demo day, known as SURGE Day, for the startups to present to more than 600 investors and customers, which previously have included corporations such as Shell, Halliburton, and Austin Ventures. Start-up ventures from the two previous SURGE Accelerator programs have successfully raised $25 million in funding and created over 150 jobs. This year, 11 new energy-technology companies, ranging from an electricity pricing software company to a subsurface imaging software company, have been accepted as members of the SURGE Accelerator’s third class.


CleanTech Open Northeast – Boston Kick Off

March 11, 2014
Boston, MA

More Info »

Cleantech Forum San Francisco

March 11 – 13, 2014
San Francisco, CA

More Info »

11th Annual Renewable Energy Conference

March 12, 2014
Westborough, MA

More Info »

CleanTech Open Northeast – New York City Kick Off

March 19, 2014
Brooklyn, NY

More Info »

Solar Summit 2014

April 14 – 16, 2014
Phoenix, AZ

More Info »

The World Energy Innovation Forum

May 14 – 15, 2014
The Tesla Factory, Fremont, CA

More Info »

Cleantech Forum Europe

May 19 – 21, 2014
Stockholm, Sweden

More Info »

Grid Edge Live 2014

June 24 – 25, 2014
San Diego, CA

More Info »

NextWave Greentech Investing 2014

August 2014
Menlo Park, CA

More Info »

Water Innovation Summit

September 23 – 24, 2014
Berkeley, CA

More Info »

Cleantech Tour of China 2014

November 2 – 7, 2014

More Info »

US Solar Market Insight 2014

December 9 – 10, 2014
San Diego, CA

More Info »

Topics:  Clean Energy, Clean Tech, Energy, Power Plants

Published In: Energy & Utilities Updates, Environmental Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Mintz Levin - Energy & Clean Technology Matters | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »