What's Happening at the IEE + Info Session

2 Feb 2017

What's Happening at the IEE + Info Session

7:45am - 9:00am

Our info session is for 1L and 2L’s and any other students returning next fall who may want to join the IEE, apply for the Energy Clinic this summer or next fall or perhaps just learn more about JD/MERL or JD Energy Certificate options and our great new summer energy classes or future energy industry job opportunities.

IEE Research Teams and Energy Clinic Projects

This semester, the IEE Research teams will be tackling four projects and our Energy Clinic is bursting at the seams with multiple exciting projects and record enrollment:

  • Community Renewable Energy Development: The Energy Clinic is currently working on expanding the development of locally owned community solar as well as micro-hydro in Vermont and across New England. The clinic focuses its work on transactional law and policy with the goal to help local community members and institutions reduce their carbon footprints in a cost effective manner that increases community ownership of clean energy resources. Clinic teams are actively involved in NH, VT, ME, CT and MA this semester exploring exciting new models for renewable energy development. Apply by 2/15 for Summer and Fall clinic enrollment.
  • Powering Energy Efficiency & Impacts Framework: Low-income households are disproportionately burden by energy costs. This IEE project will create a geospatial database of federal, state, utility, and local energy efficiency programs in a five-county region of North Carolina, improving the targeting and design of energy efficiency programs serving low-income and vulnerable residents. Because bringing together the different data sets raises privacy concerns, IEE Energizers have been tasked with developing data sharing agreements for each of the data providing partners.
  • R-Street Institute White Paper: This increasingly influential market-focused DC think tank has commissioned the IEE to write a policy paper on stakeholder governance procedures in Regional Transmission Organizations, the entities that manage the nation’s electric grid. The IEE's tasks are two-fold. First, investigate whether current RTO stakeholder governance processes promote the efficient operation of the electric grid. Second, produce a set of recommendations to enhance the competitiveness and efficiency of RTO markets. IEE 3L’s Rikaela Greane and Ashleigh Krick are leading this research effort.
  • Promoting Electric Vehicle Adoption at the Local Level: IEE Students are researching municipal-level policies and incentives that are being employed to spur the adoption of electric cars in communities worldwide. Researchers will be cataloging these efforts at the city and town level, which will ultimately help develop a roadmap for municipalities to use to encourage the use of electric vehicles.

Alumni in Energy

Speaking of electric cars, we were thrilled to hear that one of our most recent MERL graduates just landed a great job in the EV field. After a successful externship, Brandon Oldham (MERL '16) is now working as an Associate for Government Affairs and Market Development for Greenlots, a leading EV charging infrastructure company based in California. We wish Brandon well, and plan on sending him more externs in coming years!

New Summer Energy Courses by NRDC and European Experts

The Energy curriculum at VLS continues to improve, as we're offering exciting new summer energy classes. During the third week of Term 1, NRDC Energy and Transportation Program Director Kit Kennedy is teaching Clean Energy Advocacy as the final module of our Essentials of the Electric Grid course. Then, during Term 2, Anna Marhold of Tilburg University in the Netherlands is teaching Global Energy Law and Policy focused on clean energy policy in the EU. Keep both in mind when registration opens up for the summer session.

New Funding for Climate Justice Work

In December, the Energy Clinic was awarded a $70,000 grant from the Jane's Trust Foundation to support our Climate Justice program. These funds will be spent to support the Energy Clinic's work on advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency access to low income communities in New England, including our low-income community solar program.

Electric Battery Book Launch

In a couple of months, a book researched and written entirely by an IEE team will be published by Praeger. The Electric Battery: Charging Forward to a Low Carbon Future was written by IEE Director Kevin Jones, and students Sara Barnowski, Matt Roche, and Media Fellow Ben Jervey.

We are particularly proud of one promotional quote, provided by Vermont's own junior Senator: "At a time when scientists tell us we must aggressively transition away from fossil fuels to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we will need to be able to store sustainable energy for use in homes, businesses and transportation. In Charging Forward, the authors show how the electric battery is a key to achieving our sustainable energy revolution." - U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders

Finally, a huge welcome back to Jenny Thomas, who has returned to South Royalton from a brief sabbatical (too brief for her; too long for the rest of us!) in Palestine!

So come on over to the Nina Thomas Classroom on Thursday, FEB 2 from 12:45-2pm and learn more about these projects and everything underway at the Institute for Energy and the Environment.

Questions? Concerns? Contact Ben Jervey at BenjaminJervey@vermontlaw.edu