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Past Work by the Clean Energy Corps

Past Corps Members

  • Simon Pereira, B.S. Geography - GIS; Natural Resources Conservation (2020)
  • Connor Hughes, B.S. Natural Resources Conservation (2020)
  • Jennifer Taylor, B.S. Mechanical Engineering (2020)
  • Charles Misenti, M.S. Sustainability Science (2019)
  • Nicholas Pontes, B.S. Environmental Science (2019)
  • Graham Sahagian, B.A. Finance; B.F.A. Chinese Language and Literature (2019)
  • Varsha Suresh, M.S. Sustainability Science: Renewable Energy (2018)
  • Matthew Raymond, B.A. Sustainable Building Science & Technology (2018) 
  • Juan Toro-Killion, B.S. Geography; Hospitality & Tourism Management (2018) 
  • Jeremy Price, M.S. Sustainability Science: Renewable Energy (2018), Master of Regional Planning: Land-use & Environmental Planning (2017)
  • Rebecca Howard, B.S. BDIC: Sustainability Science (2019) 
  • Rachel Bratton, B.S. Environmental Science; Resource Economics (2019)
  • Francesca Cigliano, B.B.A. Management and Sustainable Community Development, (2018)
  • Nicholas Cutrone, B.S. Natural Resource Conservation; Resource Economics (2019) 
  • Emily Hespeler, B.S. Environmental Science (2019)
  • Ian Weishar, B.S. Forest Ecology & Conservation (2017)
  • Christos Saledas, B.S. Environmental Science (2017)

Recent Corps Projects

Greening Municipal Fleets:  Data Analysis and Report

CAFE Summer Scholar Dugan Becker worked as a member of CEE's Clean Energy Corps to investigate municipal vehicle fuel usage levels, trends, and patterns in rural communities, identify best practices for reducing vehicle fuel usage and its associated costs, and provide practical resources to rural Massachusetts communities seeking to advance vehicle efficiency. His report addresses the transportation‐related issues unique to rural communities by:

  • Identifying the major barriers that frequently prevent rural communities from achieving optimal fuel efficiency in their fleets
  • Pinpointing some of the primary sources of fuel consumption/inefficiency within rural communities
  • Enumerating some of the promising tools and techniques available to communities to assist in their reduction efforts

The full report is available here:  Reducing Municipal Vehicle Fuel Consumption in Rural Massachusetts Communities

Municipal Aggregations Survey

In collaboration with CEE staff and the Western Massachusetts Community Choice Energy group, Corps member Varsha Suresh compiled current and historic electricity rate data for both electric utilities (e.g. National Grid, Eversource) and municipal aggregations, which purchase electricity in bulk for residential and business customers in their respective cities or towns.  We analyzed this data to determine whether municipal aggregations in Massachusetts are meeting stated goals of aggregation, including price savings, price stability, and increased renewable energy content in the electricity supply. 

Download the final report here:  A Survey of Municipal Aggregation Performance in Massachusetts

Renewable Thermal Mapping

Together with CEE staff, Corps members worked to create geographic information system (GIS) databases and visualizations that helped to identify promising locations and commercial sectors that might benefit from renewable thermal technologies such as solar hot water, heat pumps, modern wood heating, district heating, and more. Corps members compiled factors such as the size, location, business type, and fuels used in commercial facilities with large heating demands that might best take advantage of renewable thermal technologies. Regional heating demands can then be compiled and visualized together with strategic partners (e.g., heating supply companies) that can help to outreach to and further develop these markets.

UMass Heat Load Analysis

As the UMass central heating plant approaches its current heating capacity, CEE partnered with the UMass Physical Plant to analyze new options for heating buildings on campus. Corps members worked with the Physical Plant and the Office of Sustainability to identify buildings that may be appropriate candidates for distributed renewable thermal technologies in place of the steam district heating system currently used throughout campus. 

GIS Analysis of the Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out Program

Corps member Varsha Suresh Bangalore mapped the rates of woodstove change-outs across the Commonwealth, using data available for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

Download the project poster here:  Facilitated Woodstove Replacement Within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure at UMass Amherst: Analysis and Recommendations

Reflecting national trends, the use of EVs at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) is on the rise.However, barriers to EV adoption remain. Working with CEE staff, UMass Transportation Services, and EV experts across the field, Emily Hespeler looked at current EV policies in place at UMass, analyzed usage trends at campus charging stations, and investigated case studies at other schools. Emily's findings help to elucidate current campus infrastructure usage patterns and provide general recommendations for strengthening the EV infrastructure at UMass Amherst.

Download the final report here: Electric Vehicle Infrastructure at UMass Amherst: Analysis and Recommendations

Northampton, MA: Exploring the Relationship Between Home Age & Energy Efficiency

The City of Northampton, Massachusetts is seeking to reduce its carbon footprint by increasing the number of residents investing in home energy improvements. As such, the City has developed the HeatSmart Northampton campaign – an outreach program designed to encourage residents to replace older oil and natural gas heating systems with renewable thermal energies. To assist in this effort, Corps member Francesca Cigliano used GIS spatial analysis to analyze energy and property data, and correlate energy efficiency data with building age and location.  Francesca’s work enables the City to better target outreach activities toward likely adopters of home energy improvements.

Download the project poster here: Northampton, MA: Exploring the Relationship Between Home Age & Energy Efficiency

ArcGIS Analysis of MassDEP Boiler Database for Clean Energy Strategies

The MassDEP Boiler Database contains data on ~7,000 power plants and industrial boilers, which could be candidates for district heating, combined heat and power, or conversion to renewable fuels.  Corps member Christos Saledas brought the data into ArcGIS and queried the database based on fuel source, throughput, and location to identify likely candidate facilities for these technologies.  Christos’s work will enable Clean Energy Extension to target outreach to facilities with high potential to adopt innovative clean energy strategies.

Download the project poster here: ArcGIS Analysis of MassDEP Boiler Database for Clean Energy Strategies