2021, October 21

FSEC Advisory Board Meeting

October 21, 2021
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Remote Meeting via GoToMeeting


Time Description Speaker
9:30 a.m. Welcome Chris Castro, Chair, FSEC Advisory Board; Director, Office of Sustainability & Resilience, City of Orlando
Introductions – Advisory Board Members Roll Call Sherri Shields, Communications Director, FSEC
9:40 a.m. Approval of March 31, 2021 Meeting Minutes Chris Castro, Chair
9:45 a.m. Status of FSEC Programs [4 MB PDF] Jim Fenton, Director, FSEC
10:05 a.m. Infectious Disease Isolation Zone Chuck Withers, FSEC
10:20 a.m. BREAK
10:25 a.m. Florida Energy Office Report Kelley Smith Burk, Director, Office of Energy, FDACS
Florida Legislative Session Report Louis Rotundo, Principal, Louis Rotundo and Associates
10:40 a.m. Strategic Plan Update: Metrics Bill Grieco, Vice Chair, FSEC Advisory Board; CEO, RAPID Manufacturing Institute™
10:55 a.m. The US DOE Loan Programs and Energizing Climate Justice Through Virtual Power Plants James P. Barrett, Senior Consultant, US DOE Loan Programs Office (LPO)
11:20 a.m. Roundtable Discussion: How the DOE Loan Program Could Help Achieve Climate Justice Roundtable speakers:

  • Kelley Smith Burk, Director, Office of Energy, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (Moderator)
  • James Barrett, Senior Consultant, US DOE Loan Programs Office (LPO)
  • Tim Center, CEO and Head Start Director, Capital Area Community Action Agency
  • John Hazelroth, Director, Nonprofit Housing Roundtable of Central Florida
11:55 a.m. New Business/Discussion
Date and Agenda for Next AB Meeting (TBD)
Chris Castro, Chair
12:00 p.m. Adjournment Chris Castro, Chair

DRAFT Meeting Minutes


Jacob Atalla, Chris Castro – Chair, Peter DeNapoli, Jill Dvareckas, Michael Faas, Bill Grieco – Vice-Chair, Linda Ferrone, Scott Grieves, Karen Kicinski, Elizabeth Klonoff, David Robau, Kelley Smith Burk, Holly Henderson, Louis Rotundo, Roger Messenger, Dave Click


James Barnett, John Hazelroth, Tim Center, Bill Bradford, Tom Goss, Delaney Garrett, Tony Morgan, Rob Rickman, Isabel Muir, Adje Mensah, Paul Brooker, Justin Kramer, Anthony Norrow, Nick Sanzone, Alex Parlato, Bill Weinaug

FSEC/UCF Staff & Faculty

Jim Fenton, Rob Vieira, Winston Schoenfeld, Colleen Kettles, Philip Fairey, Sherri Shields, Jeff Myron, Elizabeth Myron, Rich Raustad, Dylan Colvin, Hubert Seigneur, Bereket Nigusse, Safvat Kalaghchy, Yara Watson Colon, Issa Batarseh, Wei Sun, Qun Zhou, Bill Young, Charles Withers, Cheryl Thorn, Danny Parker, Eric Martin, John Sherwin, Karen Fenaughty, Kelly Stevens, Nick Waters, Sai Pushpitha Vudata, Susan Schleith, Susan Schroen, Ujjwala Magdum, Yifan Wang, William Mollenkopf, Doug Kettles, Muthuswamy Swami


  1. Chris Castro, called the meeting to order at 9:31am. He introduced himself and thanked everyone for attending the virtual meeting.
    • Chris Castro expressed that we are at one of the most exciting times in the energy industry a rise in clean, and renewable energy commercialization of energy storage technologies and electric vehicles of all types to the smart and controllable resources that are being installed in our homes and our buildings throughout the community the greatest job creation and economic development opportunity of the 21st century.
    • Chris Castro wished to recognize the passing of a past Advisory Board member, Steve Gorman and the passing of a former FSEC employee Dr. Neelkanth G. Dhere. Dr. Dhere was recognized as a national pioneer in R&D for vacuum deposition, thin film PV technology cells and many of his students are working at high-tech companies today such as Apple, Intel, Motorola and more.
    • Chris Castro reviewed the agenda, then asked Sherri Shields to proceed with a virtual roll call. Shields began by asking the Advisory Board members to respond when their name is called by answering with their name, title and affiliation.  Ms. Shields announced a new Advisory Board member, Marlin Vaughn with Walt Disney World – Reedy Creek Utilities who was not in attendance at today’s meeting.
    • Chris Castro asked that the minutes from March 31, 2021 meeting be approved. The meeting minutes had been previously forwarded to everyone by email. No one suggested that any changes were necessary and Chris Castro moved to approve the minutes. Linda Ferrone approved, Bill Grieco seconded the motion and the minutes were approved. Approved minutes are available on the FSEC website.
  2. Castro turned the meeting over to Dr. James Fenton for a presentation about FSEC programs, FSEC in-the-News, current programs, new contracts and submitted pending proposals/contracts. Several collaborative partnerships that work with FSEC were also reviewed.
  3. Chris Castro called upon FSEC’s Chuck Withers to provide his presentation “Infectious Disease Isolation Zone Research”.
  4. After a short break, the meeting moved forward with the Florida Energy Office Report from Kelly Smith Burk and the Florida Legislative Session Report from Louis Rotundo.
  5. Kelley Smith Burk – Programs released over the summer:
    • Energy equity study – a distribution of benefits and burdens of energy production and consumption on low- to moderate-income communities. Some cities and counties are engaging in these activities but for the ones that cannot afford to they are looking at getting a state baseline to inform those areas of the policies and programs.
    • Also released – urban farming grant where local communities can create community farms and/or rooftop gardens using energy efficiency practices and water efficiency practices in helping local communities. Applications are being reviewed and the announcement of those receiving awards should be within the next month.
    • An infrastructure package is making its way through Congress with a lot of program funds and it should be passed. We will work with our partners like FSEC to make decisions on the package when it’s passed.
    • The Florida Energy and Climate Summit will be November 15th through the 17th in Orlando.
      • It will be a hybrid event (in person and virtual)
      • James Fenton added that Curtis Wade, UCF Facilities, will be speaking at the Summit on the work that UCF’s doing on facility audits (energy efficient buildings).
  6. Louis Rotundo – Florida Legislative Session Report
    • Few bills have been filed and some committee meetings have not addressed bills at all.
    • Our interest is the Senate Bill 182 contracting bill by Senator Brand.
    • This is reapportionment year and every Senator and House District will be redrawn.
    • Most of the committee meetings have been canceled. Mostly fundraisers are occurring. Not many appropriation requests, which is surprising because there is money available this year. Two big issues are going to be reapportionment and probably condominium building safety.
    • Senator Herold has been holding meetings for the last two weeks on electric vehicles, electric vehicle charging facilities, and the future of electric vehicles. Louis recommends Kelly Smith Burk update Senator Herold on what her office is doing on electric vehicles.
    • Louis recommended that everyone tune in and watch the bills that get filed on the www.leg.state.fl.us website
  7. Chris Castro turned the meeting over to Bill Grieco to provide a current review of the FSEC Strategic Plan. Bill Grieco noted that FSEC is making great progress toward the goals and doing so in an environment that’s pretty tough.  Through shutdowns, lab shutdowns and not being in the office and doing everything virtually, they have still made great progress on outreach activities like the Virtual EnergyWhiz. Kudos to that group.
  8. Chris Castro turned the meeting over to Kelley Smith Burk to moderate the roundtable discussion ‘How the DOE Loan Program Could Help Achieve Climate Justice’. Roundtable Discussion began at 2:01:23 and the speakers included Kelley Smith Burk, Tim Center, James Barrett, and John Hazelroth.
  9. Kelley Smith Burk’s introduction:
    • Equity around climate, energy, and environmental justice is happening nationally.  The Justice 40 initiative is high on the government’s list of initiatives and this initiative will be up for discussion and improvement for several years to come.
  10. Tim Center’s introduction:
    • Spoke about the Community Action Agency (28 locations in Florida), which assists with weatherization programs, assists with energy bills, and provides free child care programs.  They work with seniors and poverty-stricken individuals/families.  They do not renovate or rehabilitate homes, but can add elements to assist with energy savings.
  11. John Hazelroth’s introduction:
    • Non Profit Housing (A.K.A. Chamber of Commerce of affordable housing), formed in 1997.
    • A few issues to highlight:
      • Land cost: Affordable housing is typically further away from urban areas and cheaper, but have additional costs and burdens associate with it such as spending more on gas (driving further to work), increased burdens of working further from home, and the areas are not good for the homeowner’s health.
      • Environmental Concerns: Affordable housing has moved to fire prone areas, such as in California, which pits environmentalists against housing advocates.
      • Health concerns: Examples include lead-based paint, lack of insulation, leaking pipes, etc.  Federal programs assist with these issues, but publicly owned housing many times just temporarily ‘fixes’ the issue.
      • Gentrification: Hoping property will improve, flipping homes, etc.
      • Absence of Funding: Not enough funding programs to help affordable housing programs.
    • Tim Center Q: Are there any positive programs having a positive impact on lower income communities?
      • The state does have a funding source for affordable housing but they do not honor their commitment to it.
      • St. John’s County is bringing in workforce housing and assisting homebuyers, but not every area in Florida can do that.
      • Dense areas are building up and not out so communities are experiencing continued growth.
    • James Barrett Q: Are there any local or state groups that can provide some examples of how they utilize the DOE loan program?
      • No.  No loans have been given.
    • Q: Would it make sense for groups like FSEC/Round Table Participants to come in and talk about what may make sense for programs under this loan program?
      • Yes, the DOE is always happy to get projects ideas. Many of the meetings with potential applicants are extremely preliminary with great ideas, but no real plan.
    • James Barrett Q: Can you share an example of PPP loan that could meet the LPO criteria and advance climate justice?
      • The key to leading the technical requirement can support projects that are deploying standard commercially available equipment as long as it has the virtual power plant that connects multiple diverse sources and connects it back to grid sources on an automated system. Water heaters, HVAC, thermal and battery storage, are examples. Working with low to moderate-income communities, multi-family, house of worship, small commercial buildings.
    • Tim & John Q: Would it be possible for your organization to participate in the DOE loan program?  If yes, what would you look for in partnerships on a local and state level?
      • Tim: Capacity to learn, capacity to expand, and capacity to figure out how to do it. Organizations need to be educated on the programs offered and building partnerships with local utility companies.  Education, education, and more education.
      • John: There needs to be cost savings, and debt cannot be layered on to loan programs. Energy Performance Contract: take energy savings to pay debt.
  12. Kelley thanked everyone for participating and ended the roundtable with “we need to make housing, energy, and transportation more equitable for all of communities.”
  13. Chris Castro announced new business that the Vice Chair position of the Advisory Board is up for re-election at the next meeting. Anyone wanting to nominate someone for Vice Chair should send names to Chris Castro and Dr. Fenton. Chris Castro indicated that his position as Chair would be his last at the next Advisory Board meeting.
  14. Chris Castro indicated that an email would be sent out with a Doodle poll to determine the next meeting date, which should be sometime mid-Spring 2022. Chris Castro adjourned the meeting at 12:01pm.
  15. Respectfully submitted, Chris Castro, Chair, FSEC Energy Research Center Advisory Board