Archive for April 22, 2013

Take a Lesson from Gary Wolf

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Retail Electric Business Predicted to Loose Market Share

The Edison Electric Institute has issued a report predicting that there will be a change in the market share for retail electric business if the present trend towards distributed renewable energy continues at it’s rapidly changing mix of standard electric power production and the increasing percentage of renewable energy sources, particularly solar PV continues to evolve. The report dated January 2013 entitled “Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail Electric Business” was authored by Peter Kind of Energy Infrastructure Advocates. The key premise is that the increasing inclusion of solar PV will reduce market share for the electric power industry which will lead to higher risk for investors. The result of a higher risk will be increased cost for borrowing money for the power industry. The report sites two similar industries that were drastically changed by market forces and regulatory changes: the airlines and the telephone (AT&T) industry. The report concludes that near term actions are to “institute a monthly customer service charge”, develop a tariff structure to reflect the cost of service and value provided to DER (solar PV) customers and to “analyze revision of net metering programs in all states so that self-generated DER (solar PV) sales to utilities are treated as supply-side purchases at a market-derived price.”

It is my suggestion that the industry adapt itself to incorporate solar PV in such a way as to improve its retail electric business position. My advice to the industry: constructively adapt renewables into your energy mix: it is not a curse but a blessing.

The full report is available on the web at:

IMPORTANT – REAP Larger Budget Authority Than First Announced

I just got off a call with D.C.

They have indicated to us that we should have a larger budget authority than the amount stated in the Notice of Funding Authority for the Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP). In 2012 there was a limitation on funding but that limitation is not imposed on 2013 so budget authority will be higher. This translates to more money for our statewide allocation, in particular, for $20,000 or less grants. At this time I do not know how much more money, I just know we will have more funds and the deadline for the program will be moved back from the current deadline of April 30, 2013 to May 31, 2013 in order to solicit more applications.

I will send you more information as I find out. Towards early May I should get a better account of what our allocation will look like and will let you know that amount. In the meantime, if you have some projects that you were holding off on sending that are in the $20,000 or less range or can apply for that amount I would encourage you to submit them as it looks like we will have more funding at this point and your projects will be more competitive for funding.

Will Dodson | Business & Energy Programs
Rural Development – Tennessee State Office
U.S. Department of Agriculture
3322 West End Avenue, Ste. 300 | Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615-783-1350 | Fax: 615-783-1395

Solar PV Training in Knoxville Saturday May 11th

John Kemmery, our latest business member, is hosting a solar PV training workshop at the Jubilee Banquet Hall, 6700 jubilee Center Way, Knoxville for the beginner planning to break into Sales or Installation. The workshop schedule is below:
8 am – 8:30 am Registration
8:30 am Introduction and Overview with films and slides
9:30 – 10 am Systems available by John Kemmery
10:00 am – 11:00 am System Sizing with Garret Hendrix PE
11:00 – 12:00 Requirements for Connection to the Grid (John Kemmery and Garret Hendrix)
12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 – 2 :00 pm Newest developments; Best choice options (John Kemmery)
2:00 – 4:00 pm Comprehensive off grid Program Design, sizing including proper equipment selection
4:00 – 4:30 Open discussion

Cost for an individual is $90.
Cost for two or more reservations is $80 each

Who should attend?
Green businesses
Engineers planning to be working with PV equipment
Contractors planning to add PV installing to their business
Homeowners thinking about adding solar for their home
Business owners planning for a future PV system
Electricians needing the tools and information to be successful in expanding into PV
Sales people needing an understanding of PV in order to sell PV systems
Anyone wishing to learn the newest advancements

IMPORTANT Proposed Rule Changes to the Department of Agriculture REAP Program

The proposed rule for REAP has been posted to the Federal Register at the link below. The proposed rule will revise the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) found in 7 CFR part 4280, subpart B. There is now an opportunity to comment on this regulation in order to provide suggestions to potentially change components of the program. Please review this document closely and if you have any comments to make, please do so. There is instruction within the document to provide your public comment on the program. The deadline for public comment is June 11th.

Go To:

Some of the changes:
The Agency is proposing to allow the purchase of refurbished renewable energy systems and the retrofitting of an existing renewable energy system as eligible projects under this subpart.
For energy efficiency improvement projects, the Agency is proposing ensuring that energy efficiency improvements use less energy on an annual basis.
Simplifying the energy efficiency improvement technical report; simplifying the technical report for renewable energy system projects with total project costs of $200,000 or less