NLSC Openings

How can you save New London over $100,000?
By increasing New London’s recycling rate 10%

Increasing recycling among city residents is one of many projects of the New London Sustainability Committee (NLSC).

The NLSC is currently looking to fill several openings.

As a member of the NLSC, you will have the opportunity to examine, recommend and
encourage sustainable practices and initiatives that positively impact New London’s
environment, economy, resources and quality of life for its citizens.  The NLSC issues
reports and recommendations as requested by the City Council or on its own initiative.

Some past/current/future initiatives of the NLSC include:
+    Increase recycling rates to lower city waste disposal costs and help the environment
+    Conduct a city-wide greenhouse gas audit using ICLEI tools
+    Promote green building features in city schools
+    Mayors’ Climate Accord
+    New London sustainability fair (2008) featuring Gina McCarthy, former CT DEP Commissioner

If you are interested, email Ken Hanson, NLSC committee chair at kenrichanson AT sbcglobal DOT net or via Twitter @NLSUST

New London residency is required to be a voting member of the committee, but the committee also welcomes as volunteers non-residents with a desire to increase sustainability in New London.


NLSC Needs New Members

We are looking to fill several positions.  If you are interested send an email to kenrichanson AT sbcglobal DOT net.  Or message @NLSUST on twitter.

More to come soon…


A couple of items we have going on:

1. We are getting underway with an ICLEI program to audit New London’s greenhouse gas emissions.

2. We have micro-grants (up to $2000) for programs to increase clean energy sign-ups.

More to come…

The Thermodynamics Of “An Idea Whose Tide Has Come”

As an advocate of sustainable development, and renewable energy technology, I was excited to see the January 19th article  “An Idea Whose Tide Has Come” in The Day (New London, CT) . The article presents a case for placing turbines in the tidal currents off of Connecticut and Long Island, New York, specifically off of Race Point and Plum Gut. I am skeptical of the estimates put forth by Natural Currents Energy Services, which were described in the article.


The article’s suggestion that a turbine of 3 ft by 3 ft by 8.5 ft will generate 10 megawatts (MW) of power, allowing 100 turbines to produce 1,000 MW, violates the conservation of energy principle. The theoretical power available from the kinetic energy of the water, that which is realized as it flows, is equal to the product of one half of the mass flow rate and the square of the velocity. Assuming the turbines have a 3 ft X 8.5 ft intake, the maximum allowable by the given dimensions, and a sustained supply current of 7.5 knots, the upper limit given, just under 68 kilowatts (kW) may be produced. This is far below the 10 MW suggested.  Basic laws of Thermodynamics, as well as the cyclic nature of tidal currents, ensure far less will be realized by a practical device. It is likely many more turbines would be required to produce the 1,000 MW suggested.


In July 2007 New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation reported a 1,000 kW hour per day output from turbines installed for the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) project. This equates to an average power output of just under 42 kW. Assuming such turbines were used over 23,000 would be required to produce 1,000 MW.


This should not discourage those researching ways of bringing renewable energy to the area. I applaud Natural Currents Energy Services for proposing the plan, and The Day for running articles drawing attention to this important and promising technology. (This information in this post has also been included in a letter to the editor of The Day). – MJP


– Some prior meeting agendas and minutes have been added to the Agendas/Minutes page.

– Congratulations to the Greater NL Farm to City Coalition on winning a grant from the CT Dept. of Agriculture for $49,000 to develop the local food system!

– What has the NLSC been up to lately? We are moving closer to joining ICLEI and we have been raising awareness about the importance of the NL elementary school renovations earning LEED certification.

Zero Energy Homes in Hartford

Hartford Courant column about zero-energy Homes in Hartford, in a decaying part of town, using a combination of energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies. Thanks Laura C. for the heads up.

As Green As It Gets – Energy Homes Could Be Boon For Hartford Section
by Tom Condon, Hartford Courant, November 16, 2008

Post Fair

Thanks to all who attended, exhibited, spoke at the New London Sustainability Fair, including a special thanks to NLSC chairperson Kenric Hanson for organizing, Gina McCarthy for delivering the keynote speech, and Dr. Lou Allen of the New London Science & Tech. Magnet High School for hosting. Ms. McCarthy, Commissioner of the CT Dept. of Environmental Protection gave a speech that was both inspiring and very funny. She reminded the audience that good things, like sustainability initiatives, take time and effort to develop. She also contrasted sustainability of today with environmental regulation of the 1980s. Borrowing phrases from President Clinton’s 2008 DNC address, she described the latter as an “example of power”, likening it to a powerful but blunt instrument that is slow to be employed. Sustainability, on the other hand, is best communicated through the “power of our example”. And this example can be set by governments, committees like ours, and especially individuals. From clean energy sign-ups (of which there were several at the fair) to recycling to energy efficiency improvements around the home, to questioning the health impacts of chemicals around us, the opportunities are vast. A number of ideas were generated for sustainability initiatives in New London, many of which would involve people from all over town, from the public schools, local colleges, city government, environmental groups, etc. Stay tuned New London. Here are a few photos from the Fair (thanks to Kim Blake).

Gina McCarthy Speaking

Gina McCarthy speaking

NLSC Members Pre-Fair

NLSC Members Pre-Fair

The Re-New London Table

The Re-New London Table