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HARC Newsletter | October 2017 | Energy Issue


A Vision of Energy for the Future
One of HARC’s key areas of focus is energy, and that is in large part due to our founder, George P. Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell pioneered new techniques for oil and gas drilling that led to the modern age of domestic natural gas development. He also championed natural resource protection and the quest for clean and renewable energy sources. He understood the important role of science in finding solutions to address climate change and enable mankind to adapt to a changing environment. This vision forms the foundation of HARC’s energy program. Our researchers work with partners throughout Texas and the U.S. to mitigate environmental impacts of oil and gas production and work to facilitate the transition to clean and renewable sources of energy for the future.
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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) - A Scientific Approach to Sustainability
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a comprehensive approach to analyzing the environmental aspects of all inputs and outputs associated with the materials and processes in a product life cycle. LCA identifies and quantifies the interactions among materials, processes and ecosystems. It incorporates sustainability with analytical parameters, giving us criteria by which to measure environmental performance. In this way, LCA powerfully informs innovation, giving substance and metrics to our visions of sustainability in design.
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Featured Projects
Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems (EFD) Program
The HARC Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems (EFD) Program provides unbiased science to address the environmental and societal aspects of all oil and gas activities. Research focuses on water resources and treatment technologies, flaring mitigation, air quality, engine emissions and more. EFD works collaboratively with partners in industry, academia, environmental groups, and regulatory authorities, engaging diverse perspectives to define challenges and develop solutions. The EFD Program has performed research in technologies and practices to improve environmental performance, including field research to better understand the challenges, test new ideas and document results.
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Featured Researcher
Gavin Dillingham, PhD
Program Director, Clean Energy Policy
Dr. Gavin Dillingham is Program Director for Clean Energy Policy at HARC and Director of the US DOE’s Southwest Combined Heat and Power TAP. Dr. Dillingham joined HARC in 2012 where he leads research and program efforts focusing on improving the climate resilience of the electric power infrastructure and built environment.
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Announcements & Upcoming Events
HARC Works to Increase Distributed Generation Interconnection in Texas with Web-Based Tool
If you are looking to install a combined heat and power, solar power system or any other distributed energy system that is larger than 10 MW in Texas, the interconnection process to connect the system to the grid can be complex.
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Closing Session: Cities In the Driver's Seat - Leading Meaningful Transformation to a Cleaner Grid
HARC Program Director for Clean Energy Policy, Gavin Dillingham, PhD will be participating in the closing panel at the TREIA GridNext Conference in Georgetown, TX on October 24th.
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Dr. Richard Haut to help recognize academic awardees at Houston Energy Day Festival, October 21st
Presented by Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) and Consumer Energy Education Foundation (CEEF) and with tremendous participation from numerous sponsors, the Energy Day Festival is Houston’s largest annual FREE family festival showcasing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Energy Day has interactive demonstrations and exhibits teaching students and their families about the various forms of energy, science, technology, efficiency, conservation, and careers available across the energy industry.
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HARC’s green building profiled in Gensler’s Impact by Design 2017
Impact by Design 2017, Gensler’s annual publication showcasing achievements in sustainable design and reduced environmental impact, included a profile of HARC’s new green building.
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HARC Speaker Series – Free Student Registration
HARC is pleased to offer interested high school and university students complimentary registration to the October 24th People & Nature Speaker Series event. Student tickets are limited; reserve yours today on EventBrite.
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Environmentally Friendly Drilling: Research Addresses Technical Challenges, Societal Issues, and Environmental Performance
The HARC Environmentally Friendly Drilling Systems Program provides unbiased science to address environmental and societal aspects of all oil and gas activities. Research focuses on water resources and treatment technologies, flaring mitigation, air quality, engine emissions and more. EFD works collaboratively with partners in industry, academia, environmental groups, and regulatory authorities, engaging diverse perspectives to identify challenges and develop solutions.
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Integrating Resilience and Sustainability in Infrastructure Design
HARC Research Scientist Carolyn LaFleur, P.E. was invited to speak at the regular meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers Houston Branch on September 19th. As a long-time member, she holds leadership roles in the Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) of ASCE. Her talk, entitled “Integrating Resilience and Sustainability in Infrastructure Design” focused on strategies for flood mitigation and urban revitalization.
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Gavin Dillingham provides testimony to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology - Resiliency: The Electric Grid’s Only Hope
Gavin Dillingham recently testified in front of the US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology on the newly released National Academies of Science report titled “Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electricity System.”
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Dillingham Congressional Testimony noted by media
Two media outlets, Agri-Pulse and the Washington Examiner, highlighted the testimony provided by Gavin Dillingham to the US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
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HARC in the news
Friday, October 6, 2017
KPRC 2 Houston’s Newsmakers highlights the Galveston Bay Report Card
HARC President Lisa Gonzalez and Galveston Bay Foundation’s Bob Stokes appeared on KPRC 2’s Houston Newsmakers to discuss the 2017 Galveston Bay Report Card and the likely impacts of Hurricane Harvey on Houston’s biggest natural resource.
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Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Microgrids and distributed power for system resilience
Decentralized Energy references HARC’s focus on clean energy policy in recent article.
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Thursday, September 14, 2017
Houstonians question if will to change can last as flooding ebbs
HARC President Lisa Gonzalez notes the importance of strengthening the region’s green infrastructure.
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View this and prior newsletters in our archive
8801 Gosling Road, TX 77381, USA
HARC is a research hub providing independent analysis on energy, air, and water issues to people seeking scientific answers. We are focused on building a sustainable future that helps people thrive and nature flourish.

HARC and its EarthShare of Texas partners are thankful to benefit from Reliant Energy’s EcoShare Program, an easy and affordable way to purchase carbon offsets and directly contribute to local environmental efforts.
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