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NICE3 Promotes Innovative Technology

Organization(s) Connecticut Dept. of Environmental Protection
Project Description NICE3 (National Industrial Competitiveness through Energy, Environment, Economics) is a US Department of Energy (DOE) program that provides research development and demonstration grants for the first commercial demonstration of new technologies with significant savings in energy, pollution, and cost. The grants are typically awarded to state/industry partnerships. Since 1995 Connecticut DEP and Connecticut industries have been awarded $2 million for 5 NICE3 projects. This program has been of tremendous benefit to Connecticut industries and has resulted in impressive energy, cost, and pollution savings. These savings have then been passed on to industries throughout the US through successful commercialization of the technologies. In general, the NICE3 program enables companies to commercialize new technologies that may not have otherwise made it to the marketplace. There are major benefits of DOE support through the NICE3 program:  The grant funding levels (up to $500,000 per project) are high enough to make a significant contribution to the high cost of first-time commercial demonstrations.  The grant money is leveraged by an industrial cost share of at least 50 percent. The development of a fundable NICE3 project application involves enlisting active support for the technology from demonstration partners, technology end users, state and federal agencies, and technical assistance providers. This support network is crucial to the demonstration and successful commercialization of any technology. The NICE3 program is structured so that this support network must be incorporated into projects that are selected for funding. More specifically, NICE3 funding for Connecticut projects has resulted in the following quantifiable benefits to industrial competitiveness and energy and environmental improvements. In 1996 Whyco Technologies of Thomaston, Connecticut was awarded a $390,400 DOE grant to demonstrate and commercialize a "Waste Minimizing Plating Barrel." The DOE funds were matched by over $690,000 from Whyco. After successful finalization of the commercial design of the barrel and demonstration at Whyco's metal plating facility as part of the NICE3 project, the company has manufactured and sold over 600 barrels to other electroplating companies. The result is an estimated 358 billion Btu/year in energy savings and over 22,800 tons/year reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Each new plating barrel yields energy savings of 50 percent over conventional plating barrels, up to 40 percent increase in productivity, and up to a 60 percent decrease in loss of plating solution due to "drag out." Assuming a 50 percent penetration of the 100,000 plating barrel market in the US, projected energy savings would climb to 25.2 trillion Btu/year and 1.5 million tons of reduced carbon dioxide emissions. This is a true clean manufacturing success story that would not have been possible without DOE funding and support. Another NICE3 project that is currently running in Connecticut is "Energy Conserving Tools for Combustion Dependent Industries." The technology, developed by Advanced Fuel Research in East Hartford, CT, is a portable, low cost multi-gas analyzer that performs continuous emissions monitoring and greatly improves the combustion efficiency of industrial boilers and advanced gas turbines. The project was awarded $279,867 from DOE and is matched by $304,867 from industry. Demonstrations are currently underway at the Pratt & Whitney engine testing facility in East Hartford and at other sites. The substantial improvements in dependability and efficiency brought by the new analyzer can lower energy costs Northeast States Pollution by 70 percent. The savings from the projected 275 units installed by the end of 2003, will be 4.8 million kW hours and $45 million dollars in capital and labor costs. The NICE3 project, which started in May 2000 and is still in progress, has already resulted in sales of two units, 11 potential sales (2 which are under serious consideration), and 7 new contracts brought in through the demonstration partners. Another Connecticut NICE3 project involves a technology that regenerates hydrochloric acids from steel pickling. The projected benefits are: a 95 percent energy savings, a 52 percent cost savings, and a 91 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. The demonstration partner, US Steel, has been pleased with the results to date. NICE3 funding for this project is $450,231, with an industry cost share that will far exceed that amount. These are just some examples of the benefits and impact of the DOE's NICE3 program. In sum, the program brings energy efficient technologies to the marketplace, builds strong partnerships that support innovative efficient technologies, and facilitates the transfer of such technologies to other industrial sectors. The Connecticut DEP in conjunction with NICE3 is accomplishing the program objective of advancing US competitiveness through energy efficiency and clean manufacturing.

More Info www.dep.state.ct.us/wst/p2/p2View/nice.htm
Project Contact
Name Lynn Stoddard
Phone 860-424-3297
Project Keywords
Areas of P2 Expertise Energy Efficiency
Activity Keywords Funding and grants, Research and development
Newsletter Northeast States Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 11 No. 2, Summer 2001


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