Hannah Morini ’09

Hannah Morini has always been interested in energy and the environment, and she was drawn to URI for its programs in this area.

“I wanted to be on the business side of ‘green’ and URI offered a unique program through their Resource Economics department,” she said. “There were were only a few undergrads in the program at the time but the Environmental Economics and Management major was a perfect fit for my interests.”

Hannah also completed a year-long URI Energy Fellow internship, and since that time her focus has been on bringing wind energy to the Ocean State—contributing to the development of more than a dozen wind turbines in New England. One of them—a wind farm in rural Coventry—is expected to save the Town of West Warwick $40 million over the next 25 years.

“Energy is expensive in New England,” she said, explaining why she believes developing wind energy makes sense in the area. Even though inland Rhode Island isn’t the windiest area, generating electricity around the state creates a more robust electrical grid. “Distributed generation (DG) is different than traditional electric generation because it is de-centralized. DG reduces line losses that exist from long transmission runs. Also, the cost of infrastructure upgrades to utility companies should be less because the power source is close to demand.”

In her professional career, Hannah has worked with four URI Energy Fellows. “They make awesome employees because they are motivated to work in the industry when they graduate. They are eager to learn and work their tails off. I can’t recommend the program enough to local energy companies.”