Archive for February 23, 2012

Milford’s Wastewater Facility Using Thermal Energy in Drying Process

As part of its plan to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, the Kent County Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility in Milford, Del., in August launched a pilot program that is using evacuated tube collectors to provide solar thermal energy for its biosolid drying process. The resulting end product will be used by farmers to amend soil, by a local landfill as a daily cover or by a local cement kiln as a fuel supplement to coal.


“Seed Pod” Sculpture Blooms at Night with Solar Energy

Solar Lights Sculpture

“Seed Pod,” Chattanooga’s first solar-powered sculpture, will be on exhibit for 18 months in Renaissance Park. The sculpture was created by Birmingham, Ala., artist Deedee Morrison and is part of Public Art Chattanooga’s 2012 Biennial Sculpture Exhibition. (Photo: Staff)

A new solar-powered sculpture installed Wednesday near the wetlands in Renaissance Park artistically demonstrates how solar power works by illuminating laser-cut sheets of metal designed to replicate a seed pod coming out of a dormant state to form new life.


Energy IS National Security says Wesley K. Clark

This guest post was written by Wesley K. Clark, the retired Army general and former NATO supreme allied commander. Clark is a senior fellow at the Burkle Center for International Relations at the University of California, Los Angeles. Photo: U.S. Department of Defense

By Wesley K. Clark
In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called for the U.S. to “double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising.”

Solar, wind and other clean energy technologies played a central role in the president’s address because of their importance to American economic competitiveness and prosperity – and rightly so, the sector is already providing a welcome spot of job and market growth with the opportunity for much more with further U.S. commitment. But while all eyes are on the economy, let’s not forget that those same clean energy investments are mission critical to another top national priority: to strengthen American energy security.


New Tool Determines Value of Solar Photovoltaic Power Systems

Appraisals of homes and businesses outfitted with photovoltaic (PV) installations are a real challenge for the nation’s real estate industry, but a new tool developed by Sandia National Laboratories and Solar Power Electric™ and licensed by Sandia addresses that issue. For more information on this new appraisal system please click here.

TennesSEIA Applauds New TVA Solar Program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 16, 2012) The Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association (TennesSEIA) today applauded the launch of a new Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) program aimed at promoting the solar industry within TVA’s service territory.

On Feb. 13, TVA launched its Solar Solutions Initiative, which provides additional incentives for mid-sized solar projects installed by local developers using solar panels made within TVA’s service territory.

“TennesSEIA supports TVA’s efforts to bring new solar generation online within its service territory and provide incentives for projects using locally manufactured solar panels, installed by local developers,” said Andrew Johnson, TennesSEIA’s Executive Director.  “The Solar Solutions Initiative will benefit the entire Tennessee solar value chain.  From producers of intermediate solar goods like AGC Flat Glass and Shoals Technologies, to module manufacturers like Sharp and the dozens of Tennessee installers, the Solar Solutions Initiative will help deploy more solar energy and create more solar jobs in Tennessee.”

“This incentive is well thought out, and reflects the actual positive economic value to the economy and jobs that solar generates in the Valley,” said Gil Hough, TenneSEIA president and Renewable Division Manager with RSI, Oak Ridge.

“The new program takes an important step in the right direction; however TenneSEIA is concerned that this incentive level may not be adequate to stimulate the mid- to large-scale solar market.  While costs for solar systems have dropped 30 percent in the last year, the new program reflects an almost 50 percent drop in what TVA is willing to pay for the power and renewable energy credits from the previous program for this market segment.”

The Solar Solutions Initiative is a two-year pilot program for individual projects from 50 kilowatts to one megawatt in size. It is offered as an added incentive to TVA’s Renewable Standard Offer program, which began in fall of 2010 for larger renewable project developers.  The new solar pilot incentive is offered in conjunction with the Renewable Standard Offer’s wholesale market rates (which vary by season, day and time of day) that reflects the actual cost of generating power for TVA.  Initial incentive levels will pay eligible projects an additional six cents per kilowatt-hour for systems up to 200 kilowatts or four cents per kilowatt-hour for systems up to one megawatt. TVA will pay the Solar Solutions incentives for 10 years.

About TenneSEIA
TenneSEIA (Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association) is the state chapter for the national Solar Energy Industries Association, and represents the interests of the solar energy industry in Tennessee. The mission of TenneSEIA is to make solar energy a mainstream energy source and realize the full potential of the solar industry in Tennessee. The Association was officially kicked off at an event in Nashville on September 15th, 2010 and serves as the primary advocacy group for the solar industry in Tennessee.

For more information about TenneSEIA, please visit

Solar Solutions Fact Sheet