Archive for TSEA

PV Tech Newscast – Jan 20, 2012

The Sunflower: Secret to Solar’s Efficiency Success?

Finding inspiration in the structure of a sunflower, a group of scientists has designed a concentrated solar power plant (CSP) that will require 20 percent less land than existing plants while increasing theamount of sunlight its solar mirrors are able to collect. To read mor eplease follow this link: Sunflower is key to solar

Solar Power is making Science possible in Developing Countries

An innovative project led by a chemistry academic at the University of Southampton is using solar generators to provide IT resources and ‘hands-on’ science for students in developing countries. To read more about this please follow this link: Solar Powered Science

PV Tech Newscast – Jan. 13, 2012

Mortenson Construction releases U.S. solar industry market study

Mortenson Construction today released a new study on the current state of the utility-scale solar industry and the outlook for the future. The report highlights both the significant challenges and promise industry professionals see in solar energy and the ways contractors can most help owners execute successful projects.  It is based on feedback from more than 250 professionals including utilities, developers, independent power producers, financiers, and suppliers. To look at the study please follow this link: Mortenson study pdf

Plastics may help lower cost in PV cells

Plastic materials are being evaluated by several leading research institutions for broadened commercial solar cell applications due to their advantages of significant cost-savings and flexibility. Concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar cells use materials such as glass and plastic to concentrate solar radiation onto small, high-efficiency photovoltaic cells. Full article can be found here: Plastic in Solar

State Announces Clean Tennessee Energy Grant Program

In addition to the state government projects, the Clean Tennessee Energy Grant Program will provide financial assistance to local governments, utility districts and private businesses and organizations in Tennessee for a variety of projects using innovative technology to reduce energy consumption and emissions. Eligible categories include:

· Cleaner Alternative Energy – biomass, geothermal, solar, wind

· Energy Conservation – lighting, HVAC improvements, improved fuel efficiency, insulation, idling minimization

· Air Quality Improvement – reduction in greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, oxides of nitrogen, hazardous air pollutants

A total of $2.25 million will be available in the first round of grants. The maximum grant amount per project is $250,000. Grant applications are available on TDEC’s website atwww.tn.gov/environment/energygrants and will be accepted until March 30, 2012. Recipients are expected to be announced by mid-May.

 

Projects Benefit Both the Environment and Bottom Line

Tennessee Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey, Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau and General Services Commissioner Steven G. Cates today announced a series of energy efficiency projects in state government, as well as the new Clean Tennessee Energy Grant Program. The state projects, as well projects for other public and private entities that will be funded through the grant program, are designed to both increase cost savings and decrease emissions.

Funding for the projects comes from an April 2011 Clean Air Act settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Under the Consent Decree, Tennessee will receive $26.4 million over five years to fund clean air programs in the state – at approximately $5.25 million per year. In the first year, $2.25 million will go to fund air quality grants for local governments, municipalities, utilities, other organizations and private entities. The remaining $3 million will fund energy efficiency projects in state government. The first round of state projects was announced today:

· Nissan LEAF Purchases – Tennessee will purchase five Nissan LEAF electric vehicles for the state fleet and will add two charging stations. The cars have zero emissions and are made in Tennessee. Replacing five motor pool vehicles with the electric LEAFs for urban travel will substantially reduce the emissions that can cause adverse health conditions due to air quality non-attainment. Replacing a conventional vehicle with an electric vehicle in a metro area reduces volatile organic compounds and carbon monoxide by 100 percent, sulfur oxides by 75 percent, nitrogen oxides by 69 percent and particulates by 31 percent.
· Tennessee Tower Window Film – The Department of General Services will add reflective film to all exterior windows in the Tennessee Tower to reduce solar radiant heat gain, thereby reducing HVAC energy consumption and increasing occupant comfort. The upfront cost for the window film is $610,000. With an estimated annual energy savings of $362,000, the project is expected to pay for itself in less than two years and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,451 metric tons per year. The Tennessee Tower was built in 1970, and is the largest state building in Tennessee.
· TDEC Nashville Environmental Field Office HVAC – TDEC will test, adjust and balance the existing HVAC system at its Nashville Environmental Field Office to correct deficiencies and optimize energy usage. The upfront cost for the project is $39,000. With an estimated annual energy savings of $11,100, the project is expected to pay for itself in approximately 3.5 years and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 metric tons per year.
· Fall Creek Falls Inn – Tennessee State Parks will work with Tennessee Tech to install a heat recovery water heater system at the Fall Creek Falls State Park Inn and Conference center in Pikeville. A heat recovery water heater utilizes a dual cycle heat pump to scavenge heat from a recirculating chilled water loop to heat hot water, while simultaneously providing additional chilled water capacity. The upfront cost for the project is $150,000. With an estimated annual energy savings of $73,205, the project is expected to pay for itself in about two years and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 245 metric tons per year.
· Fall Creek Falls Cabins – Tennessee State Parks will convert 30 cabins to utilize geothermal energy at a rate of 10 cabins per year over three years. The upfront cost to convert all 30 cabins is $600,000. With an estimated annual energy savings of $88,552, the total project is expected to pay for itself in just over 6.5 years and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 676 metric tons per year.

Google Science Fair Opens Today


The annual Google Science Fair opens today, calling anyone and everyone 13 to 18 years old to push the edges of our knowledge and help pave the way to the future. Just like a school science fair, entrants submit their idea, perform their experiments and then present the results to be judged. What sets this event apart is the worldwide participation, world-renowned judges, and life-changing prizes.

Full Article

Solar industry trade group announces merger

The country’s top solar industry trade association announced Tuesday it is merging with an organization that advocates for solar energy at the state level.

 

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), which represents 1,100 solar companies around the country, said it merged with the Solar Alliance in order to focus more on state-level policy issues.

“The solar energy industry is expanding and it is critical for SEIA to mirror this growth and put our resources and expertise into developing state policy that expand markets for solar energy,” SEIA President Rhone Resch said in a statement.

“The focus on state-level policy allows SEIA to speak as the voice of the solar industry in all government arenas. We have important work to do to ensure solar energy has access to energy markets across the country and that solar is cost competitive in all 50 states.”

Full Article