Archive for October 31, 2012

S. David Freeman Here to Lead PV Strategic Roadmap Development on December 7th in Knoxville

The election will be over and the results will dictate the degree and type of support we can expect from the new administration. Regardless of the outcome, those of us who are passionate about solar energy have to come together and plan our future actions. There is no one better to lead this action plan than S. David Freeman and we are blessed to have him here in Knoxville on December 7th for a full days planning session.

The plan for location has not been set at this time but we will announce the location and program as it develops.

I ask everyone who wants to participate in this major event to watch our website and press releases for new information.

The cost of attending will be set based on our practice at TSEA to just cover the costs of the event. As TSEA has a policy to minimize any expense of events to break even financially. That way, we can keep the cost of attending to a bare minimum.

We will be contacting distributors, TVA, all environmental groups, business leaders, political leaders at the national, state and local levels with the assistance of our partner in this event, Tennessee Renewable Energy and Economic Development Council. Though the trust of our planning will be focused on Tennessee, all who are part of TVA system are encouraged to attend.

More on David Freeman

Solar for your Home Workshop with STION

Come to Bearden Beer Market in Knoxville, TN on Wednesday, November 7th for a workshop with STION, solar panel manufacturer located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. At the workshop you will learn more about solar energy and how you can incorporate into your home or building!

This workshop is part of the Bearden Beer Market and ARiES Energy Best  Building Practices campaign to lower their carbon footprint, educate the community and encourage patrons and partners to follow suit.

Every Wednesday: $1 per pint will support BBM’s Best Building Practices! Join us to hear about BBM’s plans to incorporate the best building practices into the beer garden to improve energy efficiency and enhance the experience for beer lovers & BBM partners of Knoxville!

Some of their projects include:

  • Installing a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System!
  • Completing Lighting Retrofits (90% accomplished, let’s make it 100%!)
  • Purchasing Biomass heating and power generation units! (Conveniently charge electronics in the beer garden without plugging into the grid!)
  • Roof Top Garden for Storm Water Collection (vegetation for reducing run-off & carbon emissions, not for eating!)

For more information or to RSVP, Click Here

Tennessee’s solar power industry stymied by red tape, extra fees

This is why the cost of local approval can add up.

“Bureaucrats, paperwork and the utility companies are our biggest problems,” said Steve Johnson, vice president of the Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association and founder of Nashville-based LightWave Solar. While the power distributors in TVA’s seven-state region are mostly solar-friendly, there are cases where they push back against people who produce their own power and want to sell it to the utility.

For instance, the Johnson City (Tenn.) Power Board, the municipal electric utility, has just instituted a $950 up-front charge to allow a home or business solar system to send power to its system, and also adds a $10-a-month solar service charge to the customer’s bill.

“There is an expense involved with installing the meter” and setting up the solar service on the utility’s system, said Johnson City Power Board spokesman J.T. McSpadden. The $950 application/installation fee would be offset by the $1,000 that TVA provides the home or business to add a solar system, but then that money would not be available to help pay for the solar equipment itself, LightWave’s Johnson said.

Nashville Electric Service doesn’t charge fees for connecting a solar array to its system, but does have some requirements that cause permits to take two to three months to get approved, Johnson said. Among them: A solar permit from NES requires sign-offs by the utility’s chief executive officer, a member of the board of directors and the legal department. “Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp. is the easiest to deal with,” he said. “With them, we can get a permit approved in two weeks.”


Learn the Basics of Solar Installation Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Technology Training Course

JANUARY 21 – 25, 2013
University of Tennessee
Center for Industrial Services
193 C Polk Avenue
Nashville, TN 37210

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Technology Entry-Level Training Includes:
• NABCEP entry-level Certificate of Knowledge exam
• PV history and market developments
• Solar concepts and terminology
• Onsite PV system configurations and components
• PV Safety
• NABCEP Entry Level Exam
Who Should Attend Any person or business interested in learning the basics of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Technology.
Cost The cost is $995.00 to attend the Solar PV Technology training course. Lunch is provided. Accommodations are NOT provided.
and Registration

All students must be pre-registered for the course; no walk-ins will be accepted.

To register for this Solar PV course or for more information please contact:
Patricia Wells

UT Center for Industrial Services
(615) 253-6371

Solar and Wind Energy Provide 100% New US Electrical Capacity in September

WASHINGTON, D.C. — According to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects, 433 MW of new electrical generating capacity was added in the U.S. in September — all from solar and wind sources. The total consisted of five wind projects totaling 300 MW and 18 solar projects totaling 133 MW. The new renewable energy generating capacity added in 2012 represents a 29% increase over the level recorded for the same period in 2011. Renewable energy sources now account for 14.9% of all installed U.S. electrical generating capacity. U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), finds that non-hydro renewables accounted for 5.4% of net electrical generation for the first seven months of 2012. The remarkable expansion of renewable energy’s contribution to the nation’s electrical supply reflects continuing declines in costs, the impact of state renewable electricity standards, and the mix of tax and other incentives provided by the federal government, Particularly in light of the declining role of coal and the recent decision to close the Kewaunee nuclear reactor in Wisconsin, proposals to scale back on investments in renewable energy appear to be particularly short-sighted and unwarranted.