Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

EnergyWhiz Olympics at Florida Solar Energy Center-UCF

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

More than 300 students and teachers from throughout Florida participated in the 2007 EnergyWhiz Olympics at the Florida Solar Energy Center on Saturday, May 12. Events included solar car races, hydrogen fuel cell vehicle races, a photovoltaic design competition called “Energy Innovations” and a solar-powered boat demonstration.

Students from elementary through high schools took part in the alternative fuel competitions. The largest event, with 61 teams, was the Junior Solar Sprint. Middle-school students designed and built model-sized, solar-powered vehicles, which they raced during the competition. Awards were given to the top performing vehicles based on design, quality of craftsmanship, innovation and speed. (more…)

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EnergyWhiz Olympics to be Held at FSEC on Saturday May 12

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

More than 80 school teams featuring hundreds of students from around the state will participate in the fifth-annual EnergyWhiz Olympics again this year at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC).

The 2007 event will be held Saturday, May 12, from 9 a.m. to about 4 p.m.  The center is located on the campus of Brevard Community College/UCF at 1679 Clearlake Road in Cocoa.

Each year, students from elementary through high school take part in the competitions that feature alternative fuels in the Junior Solar Sprint, Middle School Science Bowl Hands-on Hydrogen demonstration, High School Hydrogen Sprint and Energy Innovations competition. (more…)

Walt Disney World Co. Wins 2006 Florida Energy Achievement Award

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

The Walt Disney World Company’s “Strive for Five” energy reduction program has been named the winner of the second annual Florida Energy Achievement Award. The award is presented by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) to a company, organization or individual that has made a significant achievement in the efficient utilization of energy, energy conservation, energy education or renewable energy in the state of Florida.

Jim Fenton, director of FSEC, explained that “Choosing the winner of this year’s competition was especially hard because we had a number of high-quality applications from private companies and utilities who are conducting energy-saving programs in the state and achieving significant results. Our committee felt, though, that Disney’s innovative company-wide program designed to reduce overall energy consumption by 5 percent by involving everyone from management to cast members stood out because of its wide impact as well as its individual components.” (more…)

Pinellas County Named State’s First Certified Green County

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) has recognized Pinellas County’s outstanding environmental stewardship by designating it as the first Certified Green Local Government in Florida.

Developed and administered by researchers at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), the Florida Green Local Government Standard focuses on improving local governments’ environmental performance in the areas of energy, water, air, land and waste. The standard examines governments’ internal environmental practices, incentives, ordinances and educational activities that aim to improve the environment.

Several Pinellas County departments developed special programs to move toward being a Green County. In order to obtain the Green Local Government designation, Pinellas County demonstrated that its operations met the Florida Green Building Coalition’s criteria, organized in terms of local government department functions. Some of the outstanding departments and their programs include:

  • Utilities – focus on water conservation and their progressive solid waste collection
  • Public Works – use of LED traffic signal lights
  • Environmental Management & Parks and Recreation – efforts to preserve wildlife habitat and properly care for public lands
  • Community Development – use of EnergyStar appliances in affordable housing units
  • Fleet Management – use of Biodiesel in the county’s fleet of diesel-powered vehicles
  • The Planning Department – integration of green land management policies into the county’s overall plans

Pinellas County Parks and Recreation Department maintains more than 4,100 acres of natural Florida landscapes and beaches. Weedon Island Preserve represents 3,000 acres of specially designated lands, managed by the Department of Environmental Management, which oversees four preserves and eleven management areas, all set aside for environmental preservation and education through passive public uses.

“We are extremely proud to receive this designation and appreciate the recognition of the effort put forth by county departments,” said Mary Campbell, Pinellas County Extension director, who coordinates the program. “Pinellas County has worked diligently for many years to achieve this level of environmental stewardship.”

The Florida Green Local Government Standard designates Green Cities and Green Counties for outstanding environmental stewardship. The program was developed by FSEC under a contract from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Florida Energy Office.

The Florida Green Local Government Standard is similar to other green standards used in Florida and many other states, yet unique since it targets local governments. There are two levels of the Florida Green Local Government Standard. Local governments that have applied for the designation are required to meet specific criteria. Each local government’s unique needs are considered in awarding credit points. When a city or county has met a minimum number of credit points, the local government earns the “registered” designation. If all appropriate credit points have been incorporated, the local government earns the “certified” designation.

The four registered governments, which intend to advance to certified status within three years, are Sarasota and Orange counties and the cities of St. Petersburg and Dunedin.

Since Certified Green Local Governments function in a more efficient manner through better internal communication, dollar savings, and effective risk and asset management, FGBC plans to develop grants and additional funding to encourage all of Florida’s local governments to follow the lead of Pinellas County.

Eric Martin, a senior research engineer at FSEC, spearheaded the development of this standard and served as FSEC’s evaluator for the designation process.

The Florida Solar Energy Center, a research institute of the University of Central Florida, is the largest and most active state-supported energy research center in the country. Current research activities include solar water and pool heating, solar electric and distributed generation systems, energy-efficient buildings, alternative transportation systems, hydrogen fuel, fuel cells and other energy areas. For more information about the center, visit www.fsec.ucf.edu or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at (321) 638-1015.

Edgewood Junior-Senior High Fuel Cell Team Successful

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Four students from Edgewood Junior-Senior High School in Merritt Island recently represented the United States at the International Youth Fuel Cell Competition in Hawaii. They were one of only two teams representing the United States at the competition, which was held in conjunction with the 30th Anniversary Fuel Cell Seminar.

Florida Solar Energy Center/University of Central Florida (FSEC/UCF) faculty and staff helped to mentor the team, which includes students Michael Granatosky, Melissa Ingram, Martin Moneysmith and Taylor Munsey and instructor Ryan Cilsick.

The team received received the Ovonics Special Award for the Most Insight into the Future of Hydrogen Storage. They were also first-place Winners of the Quiz Bowl and received first place in Car Engineering. They placed second in the Timepiece Artistic competition and were second to the Japanese team in the race of the hydrogen model cars. (more…)

Applications Now Open for the 2006 Florida Energy Achievement Award

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Applications are now being accepted for the 2006 “Florida Energy Achievement Award” that recognizes a company, organization or individual that has made a significant achievement in the efficient utilization of energy, energy conservation, energy education or renewable energy in the state of Florida.

The award is presented annually by the Florida Solar Energy Center to recognize statewide leadership in sustainable energy savings. The selected winner will have achieved significant results in energy efficiency, conservation, energy education or the use of renewable energy in their facility or program. Sarasota County Government received the first award that was presented in 2005. (more…)

EPEC Awards Program to be Held May 4

Monday, May 1st, 2006

The public is invited to attend a reception and awards ceremony for the Exemplary Projects in Energy and Conservation (EPEC) Awards program on Thursday, May 4, at 5 p.m. at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) at 1679 Clearlake Road, Cocoa.

The program was started three years ago as a joint effort between the National Energy Foundation, Johnson Controls and FSEC to recognize Brevard County students who have produced outstanding research relating to renewable energy or energy conservation. This year, 22 students will be honored for their individual projects, along with the top three Energy Patrols from Brevard schools. Three exceptional transportation-related projects will also be recognized by the Space Coast Clean Cities Coalition. (more…)

FSEC Honored with Innovation Award for SunSmart Schools Program

Monday, October 31st, 2005

The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) has been honored by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) with one of their 2005 Innovation Awards. The award was presented to the center for serving as project lead on “Florida’s SunSmart Schools Program,” a partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection/Florida Energy Office (DEP), the state’s electric utilities and the solar industry.

FSEC administered the activities that installed solar electric systems in several educational institutes in Florida, including K-12 public and private schools, vocational institutes and universities. (more…)

Sarasota County Government Wins the First “Florida Energy Achievement Award”

Friday, October 28th, 2005

The 2005 Florida Energy Achievement Award, a new program sponsored by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) to recognize significant achievement in the efficient utilization of energy, energy conservation, energy education or renewable energy in Florida, has been awarded to Sarasota County Government.

A wide variety of energy and environmental programs are demonstrating Sarasotas commitment to sustainable principles and practices as part of community building that integrates economic prosperity, social equity and environmental quality.

The FSEC awards committee chose Sarasota for its many programs that reduce organizational energy use, conserve water, and provide support to other agencies and businesses in their community that are interested in energy conservation.

Among the specific programs and activities are the countys policy that all buildings constructed or renovated meet the highest level of green building certification; a holistic approach to watershed management, conservation and protection; environmentally preferred procurement practices; a “green” building incentive/recognition program for local commercial and residential builders; presentation of conservation awards to individuals, businesses and organizations, and having the first school hydrogen fuel cell demonstration project in the country and new hydrogen education curriculum for their schools.

FSEC, the state of Floridas energy research institute, established the new award to recognize statewide leadership in sustainable energy savings. The award was created as part of activities celebrating the center’s 30th anniversary this year, and will be presented annually to an organization, company or individual in the state. In addition to an award given to the winner, there will be permanent recognition in the energy center’s complex in Cocoa.

For more information on this award, contact Ken Sheinkopf at 321-638-1007 or Sheinkopf@fsec.ucf.edu.

The Florida Solar Energy Center, a research institute of the University of Central Florida, is the largest and most active state-supported energy research center in the country. Current research activities include solar water and pool heating, solar electric and distributed generation systems, energy-efficient buildings, alternative transportation systems, hydrogen fuel, fuel cells and other energy areas. For more information about the center, visit www.fsec.ucf.edu or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at (321) 638-1015.

The Florida Energy Achievement Awards

Monday, August 29th, 2005

The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) is pleased to announce the creation of the “Florida Energy Achievement Awards.” This new annual award will recognize a company, organization or individual that has made a significant achievement in the efficient utilization of energy, energy conservation, energy education or renewable energy in the state of Florida.

The award will be presented each October to recognize statewide leadership in sustainable energy savings. The selected winner will have achieved significant results in energy efficiency, conservation, energy education or the use of renewable energy in their facility or program. (more…)