Archive for October 22, 2012

REAP Grants Announced for 2012

A total of $16 million dollars worth of REAP grants were announced by Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on October 19th. The big winners were Minnesota with 46 awards, Iowa with 48 awards and Indiana with 27 awards. Tennessee received one award. It went to SR Pulaski, LLC for $76,466 to install a solar array system.

Do-It-Yourself Solar Installation Workshop A Success

Gary Wolfe talking about what is involved installing solar systems

This was the first workshop presented by TSEA in collaboration with TREEDC. The workshop was held in Knoxville on the evening of October 18th at the U.T. Conference Center to allow those employed as well as families to attend. The evening started with a dinner buffet followed by experts in the local area presenting information on solar installations, solar kits and some of the code issues that DIY attendees will face.

The audience response to the workshop was overwhelmingly positive

The workshop started at 6 pm and ended at 9:15 pm with a question and answer session lead by the solar expert presenters. In addition to the lectures, the attendees received a manual containing articles from Home Power magazine. Thanks to Home Power magazine which has done an excellent job of describing issues with installing renewable resources such as solar, wind, microhydro and biomass. The plan was for forty attendees and we ended up with 55 attendees. Requests for additional DIY workshops from those who could not make the workshop or who had not heard about the workshop in time to register will be addressed by holding this workshop at other parts of the state. State tuned for more information as it develops.

FREE Open Source Solar Education

Came across this website and it advertises free solar education. For those who are interested in solar energy and cannot afford the time or expense of traveling to the nearest NABCEP course may find this free educational training useful. I have not seen this website before and cannot comment on it, but it is at least worth exploring.

Go to: and then
there you will find this statement:

SolPowerPeople, Inc. is a global PV industry market development and international solar training organization dedicated to providing the highest quality hands-on solar training at a competitive price to the far corners of the United States, and FREE online training worldwide. SolPowerPeople will spend the 2012 year traveling the USA, training more than 1,000 people with the dynamic 40-hour, hands-on introductory and advanced solar PV workshops, SPV2000/SPV3000 Accelerated PV Design & Installation Workshop, and a series of short Solar Seminars, all the while delivering FREE education with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) through the #SolarMOOC Academy.

Click on #Solar MOOC Academy and that will take you to the free academy.

“SolPowerPeople offers FREE Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), that are designed for anyone and everyone interested in the Solar PV Industry, especially for those who seek NABCEP, Rise, or UL Certification. This is a very collaborative effort amongst leading professionals in the solar industry, and all the active participants from around the world. The #SolarMOOC’s structure, daily Newsletters, live lectures, and guidance is delivered by SolPowerPeople as way to help empower the masses with solar knowledge in a fun, interactive, collaborative, free way.”

What have you to loose?

Solarwatt AG completely restructured: insolvency procedures repealed

Sometimes faced with failure one can change the future

Why is this article about a German company posted on this website? The answer is simple; the best businesses when faced with financial difficulties reinvent themselves. That is what Solarwatt has done. They were bankrupt and went through a grueling experience coming out of bankruptcy by changing their product strategy: they were a module manufacturer and now “to a solar systems manufacturer. By the end of 2012 we will be launching new products in the system sector, allowing the company to maintain and expand its market position. Neuhaus, new CEO, explained, “All the signs are pointing to continued large increases in energy prices in the future. With our system solutions, consumers can supply themselves with energy independently and decentrally, making it possible for them to become more independent of energy providers and to save costs. A 25-year warranty ensures that the investment also pays off for our customers.”

Do-It-Yourself Workshop This Thursday Evening Sign Up Now

The Tennessee Solar Energy Association in collaboration with the Tennessee Renewable Energy and Economic Development Council is holding a workshop for those interested in installing solar in their homes, businesses and farms.

The workshop is set for 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, at the University of Tennessee Conference Center. The Center is located at the corner of Locust and Clinch downtown.

Experts will provide information and a manual containing articles on each aspect of solar purchasing of equipment and how the equipment is assembled to produce electricity from sunlight. The manual will contain examples of home solar projects as published in Home Power magazine.

Cost for the dinner buffet, the manual and the instruction is $30. TSEA and TREEDC members will have a $5 discount. Space is limited.

Free parking will be available at the Locust Street garage across the street from the U.T. Conference Center.

Details are available on and registration info is found under the Events heading of the website.