Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Cochin International Airport Goes Solar

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

By Phil DeVita


Last week while scanning through the aviation links I received through email, I came across an article in the digital version of Time magazine for a 12 MW solar project at the Cochin International Airport in India.  What caught my attention was that HMMH worked on this project early on during the design stages.  Unbeknownst to me, Cochin will be the first solar airport in the world generating all of its electrical needs from the sun.  We have worked on many solar projects at airports; however, most of the projects are designed to offset a relatively small portion of the overall electrical needs at the airport. Airports are a large user of electricity, so for an airport to size a solar project to meet all of its demand is truly unique!

The project is comprised of over 46,000 solar panels on 45 acres of land.  Before requesting bids from interested parties to develop the site, Cochin International Airport approached HMMH to evaluate solar glare from the panels to ensure that the project was compatible with airspace associated with the airport, specifically the FAA interim guidance in lieu of similar airport solar PV guidance in India.  As part of the evaluation, we looked at multiple sites and preferred designs to ensure potential glare at the air traffic control tower and for pilots on approach to Runway 9/27 was consistent with the FAA interim guidance.

It’s great to see more and more airports are committing to solar for generating on-site power.  Solar when sited correctly at airports presents a great opportunity to generate renewable energy while reducing carbon emissions and meeting sustainability goals.  Cochin International Airport has set the bar for other airports and is a shining example that solar generation has a bright future in meeting the large energy demands required at an airport.  We are proud to say that not only have we worked on the largest airport solar project in the world at Indianapolis International Airport (17.5 MW), but have also worked on the first airport entirely powered by solar panels!

Kingston Wind Independence Turbine Acoustical Monitoring Study Released

Monday, August 17th, 2015

HMMH is pleased to announce the release of the Kingston Wind Independence (KWI) Turbine Acoustical Monitoring Study report prepared for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). HMMH conducted the study in response to a request from the KWI operator and the Town of Kingston (MA) Board of Health to MassCEC and MassDEP to address questions and concerns voiced by local residents regarding noise from the wind turbine.

The study represents one of the most comprehensive programs of field measurements and data analysis of wind turbine sound conducted in the U.S. It is based on two separate acoustical monitoring campaigns – attended monitoring of turbine on and turbine off sound levels at the quietest times of night between December 2013 and April 2014, and continuous unattended monitoring of background ambient sound levels with the KWI turbine off for a five day period in September 2014. Field data collection of ambient and wind turbine sound levels represent a multitude of different conditions – seasons, weather, wind speed and direction, time of day, background noise levels – from a diversity of receptor sites around the wind turbine. The data and analysis was provided to MassCEC and MassDEP to assess potential wind turbine noise impacts, as defined by the MassDEP’s noise policy.

HMMH is pleased to have contributed scientific data and analysis on ambient and wind turbine produced sound to inform policy and impact assessment. HMMH provided all of the raw acoustical monitoring data as part of the report which is now available for public review. For more info on the project click here.

MA ESGR Awards Dinner

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

by Kurt M. Hellauer

ESGR_Awardx500George Charos – Area Chair/MA ESGR,
Robert Miller – Co-founder/HMMH, Amie Hellauer,
and Tom Boyle, Area Chair Emeritus/MA ESGR
Photo Credit: Christine Deveau, MA ESGR

I am pleased to follow-up on my prior note that HMMH has been awarded the 2015 Pro Patria Award – Statewide Winner in the Small Business Category” by the Employer Support to the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), Massachusetts chapter.  The award was presented at a banquet and ceremony held in Fitchburg, MA on June 12, 2015.  Ironically, a scheduled military drill weekend, followed by two-week trip to California for field work (noise measurements) prevented my being able to attend the festivities.  My absence felt like an Annual Training tour that I would do for the Army Reserve, but without the uniforms or the military orders.  Company business took Mary Ellen Eagan out of state that day as well.  However, I was very excited and proud that my wife of nearly 25 years, Amie, along with one of HMMH’s founders, Bob Miller, could attend in our stead.

Amie knew well the experiences about which I and Mary Ellen have written previously (Dept. of Defense Patriot Award, LTC Kurt Hellauer) and was an excellent stand-in for me.  Bob Miller, a veteran of the Vietnam War and former Air Force pilot (F-102 Delta Dagger) was pleased to accept the award on behalf of Mary Ellen and HMMH.  The Pro Patria Award is the highest recognition a state chapter of ESGR can give each year.  One award for each of three categories of employers are recognized: Large Employers, Small Employers, and Public Sector Employers.  This award is related to, but distinct, from our recognition as a Freedom Award national semi-finalist.

New NBAA Noise Abatement Procedures Released

Monday, June 29th, 2015

by Robert C. Mentzer

On June 25th 2015, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) released an update to its recommended Noise Abatement Program (NAP).  Details of their announcement can be found here.  This was a complete repackaging of their program and related materials many of which have been in place for decades.  HMMH worked with NBAA to evaluate the noise footprints generated by the prior and updated procedures with several in-use business jet types.  HMMH also assisted NBAA with the development of language to describe and identify how these changes may affect airports.

NBAA’s updated Noise Abatement Program was developed with modern aircraft performance and air traffic control (ATC) requirements in mind. With this revision, NBAA continues to provide operators with guidance to reduce noise impacts that is suited to the current operating environment, as well as new tools for aircraft operators and airports to address the noise concerns of adjacent communities.

The updated program includes:

  • Noise abatement best practices for flight crews
  • Updates to NBAA’s “close-in” noise abatement departure procedure and approach and landing procedures
  • Noise abatement guidance for other aviation stakeholders, including airports and air traffic control facilities

The revised NAP retains the recommendations for the existing standard departure procedure, but includes a new option for high-density airports. The high-traffic option – which allows for a shorter thrust cutback area – may allow the procedure to be used at busy airports where it was not feasible before.  The new guidelines do not include the former “close-in” departure procedure, which was found to have no significant impact on noise reduction for today’s Stage 3 and 4 aircraft, which climb so fast that they reduce power while over airport property, reducing the benefit to communities outside the airport boundary.

Since the former “close-in” departure procedure has been eliminated and several airports recommend NBAA procedures, NBAA included the following page on their site to assist Airport operators understand the changes to the NAP:

Massachusetts Energy Priorities Expressed by Commissioner Judith Judson

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

by Stephen Barrett


I had the honor of recently moderating a panel of experts with the new Massachusetts Commissioner of the Department of Energy Resources, Judith Judson.  Commissioner Judson was appointed on April 21st so her appearance at the Environmental Business Council of New England’s (EBC) breakfast marked the end of her first month on the job, which is enough time to be engaged in many hot issues facing the state, but too little time to be in a position to communicate specific policies still in development.  But she did kick off by stating her five energy priorities for the Commonwealth which is helpful for understanding the context of the discussion:

  1. Stabilizing ratepayer energy costs
  2. Retaining national leadership status in energy efficiency and clean energy
  3. Maintaining progress in clean energy procurement toward achieving greenhouse gas emission goals contained in the Global Warming Solutions Acts.
  4. Facilitating operations of safe and reliable energy infrastructure
  5. Working to modernize the grid

The Commissioner explored more deeply many topics of interest to EBC members.  She said she likes data and cited some interesting statistics including: 10% of all electricity consumed in Massachusetts in 2015 is from renewable energy; 350 of the 351 towns in Massachusetts have at least one solar installation on a home or business; $2m are available from the Commonwealth in rebates for buyers of electric vehicles; and a study out of Texas demonstrated that deploying 5,000 MW of energy storage on the grid is cost-effective.  The latter point may be of particular interest to Commissioner Judson as she has worked in the private sector over the past decade for companies involved in developing innovative technologies to help make the grid run more efficiently, including Massachusetts-based Beacon Power and its flywheel technology.

In response to a question from panelist Matt Shortsleeve of Solect Energy about obstacles to continued growth in the Massachusetts solar industry due to net metering caps and fulfillment of the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) II Program, the Commissioner acknowledged the problem with pending uncertainty for private investors with the start/stop nature of these programs.  However, she said that the Baker Administration is interested in putting in place mechanisms to facilitate sustained and long-term growth with market predictability which considers the changing role of the utility companies as more power is generated locally.  The administration continues to review the Net Metering Task Force’s Report released in April to help formulate a path forward.  Other topics discussed among the panelists included maintaining Massachusetts’ position as #1 in the country in Energy Efficiency, working with the regional on gas supply to stabilize electricity prices, purchasing more renewables through long-term contracts to meet Green Communities Act goals, working to facilitate the development of regional electric vehicle infrastructure network, and prospects for offshore wind in New England with the problems faced by Cape Wind and the commencement of construction this month of the country’s first offshore wind project off of Block Island, Rhode Island.

With so much ground to cover, the Commissioner promised to make a return visit in the fall to provide an update.