Archive for East Tennessee News

Knoxville Solar Tour Set for October 18th, 2014

Knoxville Solar Tour 2014

The solar tour will consist of six separate stops throughout Knox county, both within Knoxville city limits as well as outside. A description of each stop will be given to the audience as well as an idea of what to expect at the particular stop. The audience is encouraged to ask questions at any point during the tour except during certain brief presentations.

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Stop #1: Immediately outside of the Knox Area Transit (KAT) transit center is a rooftop solar array consisting of 24 solar panels contained in a mount. This array supplies the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) with the power it produces. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar City report on Knoxville, “The 4.68-kW installation at the newly constructed downtown transit center—Knoxville’s first municipally owned PV system—was fully funded by the TVA through a cost-share agreement.”1 The array was installed by David Bolt, president of Sustainable Futures, LLC.

SolarTourPicture2

SolarTourPic3Stop #2: Across the street from the transit center is the Civic Coliseum Parking Garage. The garage has 24 electric vehicle charging stations along with two companion solar arrays that provide power to the chargers. These solar panels were installed by Efficient Energy of Tennessee, and the charging stations were installed by ECOtality, a San Francisco based electric transportation company.

SolarPic4

Stop #3: The next stop on the tour is the historic Jacob Building in Chilhowee Park near downtown Knoxville. The 57,000 square foot building has a 50 kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic solar array installed on it’s roof. This array offsets approximately 47 tons of CO2 annually.2 It was installed by ARiES Energy, a Knoxville based solar energy installer.

Stop #4: Following the Jacob Building is the SPECTRUM solar farm exhibit located in the East Town Mall in east Knoxville. The SPECTRUM exhibit serves to educate the public on “exciting things happening in the Tennessee solar world”3 like the 5 megawatt West Tennessee Solar Farm, one of the biggest solar farms in the southeastern US, located in Stanton, TN. The SPECTRUM exhibit is sponsored by the West Tennessee Solar Farm, the University of Tennessee, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Tennessee Valley Authority.SolarTourPic5

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Stop #5: Our second to last stop is a private residence owned by Tom Meek. It is an advanced, off-grid solar home system. This is a system with battery back-up as well as a natural gas generator. This allows Mr. Meek to operate independently of the main electrical system for several days.

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Stop #6: Our final stop is at the offices of the Green Earth Solar LLC. Green Earth Solar is a local solar systems installer for both residential and commercial systems. Green Earth was also one of the first solar Installers in the state of Tennessee to receive NABCEP certification for installing solar systems. They have installed systems on a wide range of buildings and facilities including the Knoxville Convention center, Calhoun’s Restaurant in Turkey Creek, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Knoxville Solar Tour 2014

10:10 – Transit Center Array (301 Church Ave., Knoxville, TN 37915)

10:25 - Coliseum Parking Garage

10:30 - Mount on buses

10:55 - Jacobs Building, Chilhowee Park(3301 E Magnolia Ave, Knoxville, TN 37914)

11:45 - SPECTRUM East Town Shopping Center (3001 Knoxville Center Dr. Knoxville TN)

12:35 - Meek Residence (8208 Nubbins Ridge Road, Knoxville 37919)

1:00 – Green Earth Solar (9111 Cross Park Drive, Suite 120, Knoxville TN)

1:30 – Return to Transit Center

The bus should be located near the solar installation on the parking garage to facilitate loading.

Our special thanks go to Mayor Madeline Rogero, Erin Gill, Director of the Knoxville Office of Sustainability, and Brian Blackmon, Project Manager at the Knoxville Office of Sustainability.

List of Local Solar Installers: Efficient Energy of Tennessee, ARiES Energy, Sustainable Future , Twin Willows Construction, Green Earth Solar

Knoxville Solar Tour 2014

The 2014 Knoxville Solar Tour was brought to you be the City of Knoxville and the Tennessee Solar Energy Association.

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Lunch was generously donated by ARiES Energy and will be provided to participants of the tour free of charge and will be served in-transit between the SPECTRUM exhibit and the Meek Residence. We will be able to collect any trash.

America is making lots of solar energy. What’s holding it back from making solar panels?

The solar industry is positively booming in the U.S. The annual installation of solar systems rose from 1.265 megawatts in 2008 to 4.75 gigawatts in 2013. From nowhere, America has emerged as the third-largest market for solar. Installers are carpeting the nation’s deserts, parking lots, and rooftops with polysilicon panels that convert sunlight into electrons.

While the U.S. is manufacturing a lot of solar energy, production of solar panels has been another story entirely.

NREL labThe two biggest solar panel manufacturers headquartered in the U.S., First Solar and SunPower, have located most of their manufacturing capacity in Southeast Asia. U.S. module production fell from 1,200 megawatts in 2011 to 541 megawatts in 2012 and bounced back up to 988 megawatts in 2013, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. “U.S.-based module production is currently limited to about 1 GW in practice,” says Finlay Colville, vice president at the solar-market research and analysis firm NPD Solarbuzz. “This represented just 2.5 percent of global demand in 2013.”

As the solar industry grows, other factors are pushing the production and consumption of U.S-made panels. Government agencies such as the military are among the most prolific purchasers of solar panels, which means their contractors may have to comply with the Buy American Act and the Buy America provisions of the 2009 stimulus bill. In addition, many of the entities arranging large solar installation are cities, states, nonprofits, or public institutions such as universities that tend to ask about the source of the materials used. “Over the last 24 months we’ve also seen a rise in what I term ‘emotional Buy American buyers,’ ” said Matt Card, vice president of global sales and marketing at Suniva. Industry experts say panels produced in the U.S. can cost only 10 percent more than panels made in China. “These are private companies or citizens who decide they are going to choose American-made panels.”

original article

Urban Green Lab works to build sustainability in Nashville

Jennifer Tlumak, executive director of Urban Green Lab, said anyone can relate to three pillars of sustainability on some level.

Urban Green Lab is a nonprofit organization that aims to use sustainability to improve the health and lifestyle of Nashville’s residents through workshops, demonstrations and discussions about how to live a sustainable lifestyle according to its executive director, Jennifer Tlumak.

Tlumak is a homegrown talent. She was valedictorian of her 1997 graduating class at Hillsboro High School before she went on to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and recently finished her master’s degree in public health from Emory University.

Now, as executive director, she’s looking to expand the organization into local schools by creating a mobile lab. The project is in the design phase but will be a trailer outfitted with solar panels, green technology and exhibits with which students will be able to interact.

original article

 

TREEDC CONFERENCE AT TENNESSEE TECH UNIVERSITY

The Tennessee Renewable Energy and Economic Development Council  Conference will be held at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville on October 12 through the 14th this year.  

Registration is OPEN for all exhibitors/sponsors/advertisers as well as conference attendees for the October 12-14 renewable energy conference hosted by Tennessee Tech University and University of Tennessee MTAS. The Tennessee Renewable Energy & Economic Development Council (www.treedc.us) is a statewide organization  which now has 96 Tennessee mayors as members and works with Tennessee and world-wide stakeholders to advance renewable energy for Tennessee communities and businesses.

TREEDC is pleased to announce that our Annual Conference Keynote Speaker will be Neil Petchers, President, Chief Executive Officer of NORESCO. NORESCO  is a unit of United Technologies Corporation. one of the largest energy services companies in the U.S., NORESCO performs energy and maintenance savings and significant infrastructure upgrades to existing facilities.

A preliminary program can be seen here

Early Bird Registration Rates of $89 End September 1, 2014

 

 

 

ARIZONA PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY FOR APPROVAL OF ITS 2014 RENEWABLE ENERGY STANDARD IMPLEMENTATION PLAN FOR RESET OF RENEWABLE ENERGY ADJUST-OR

This illustrates the concept of distributed generation

I have included this entry because of Tennesseans interested in solar photovoltaic (PV) energy. Maybe a model for our state and TVA

Responding to clear customer interest, Arizona Public Service (APS) proposes a 20 MW
utility-owned residential distributed generation (DG) program that will help APS meet
the 2015 renewable energy requirement. Under this program,
APS would strategically deploy DG to maximize system benefits. APS would also support the local
solar community by competitively selecting third-party local solar vendors to install
these DG systems across APS’s service territory. To benefit all customers, APS would
install the DG on customer rooftops and on the utility side of the meter. APS would
“rent” these rooftops in exchange for a $30 per month bill credit. This simple bill credit
structure will provide all customers-including those who cannot currently afford it-an
opportunity to “go solar.”
To install 20 MW of residential DG, APS would deploy systems on
approximately 3,000 customer rooftops. On these rooftops, APS would install 4-8 kW
photovoltaic systems, depending on the roofs’ configurations. Just as APS might lease
land to locate a large-scale solar facility, APS will “rent” these 3,000 customer rooftops
for 20 years

reference here

Sierra Club Targets TVA in State-Wide Ad Campaign

 

Let's Turn, Not Burn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a selection from the ad that the Sierra club ran last Sunday.

Madeline Faber

Editorial Intern-Memphis Business Journal

July 29th, 2014

The Sierra Club has launched a statewide ad campaign to promote green alternatives to the Tennessee Valley Authority’s re-purposing of Memphis’ Allen Fossil Plant.

On Sunday the Sierra Club ran a full-page ad in the Knoxville News-Sentinel applauding the TVA for retiring the Memphis coal burning plant and urging that they adopt renewable resources instead of replacing the plant with a natural gas facility.

Ads will also run in the Commercial Appeal and the Memphis Flyer. Radio advertisements will run throughout late July in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Memphis. A digital ad campaign will also be introduced.

TVA plans to retire the coal plant and re-purpose it by December 2018 in accordance with new standards by the Environmental Protection Agency. The company will make a final decision about the Allen Fossil Plant at August 21 in Knoxville. They are accepting public comments on its draft environmental assessment through August 8.

According to TVA, the plant contributed to climate change pollution by emitting more than 4.7 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2013. The Allen Fossil Plant is the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide in Shelby County.

Scott Banbury, Conservation Coordinator for the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club, says, “Moving from a big coal plant to an even larger scale gas plant is a step in the wrong direction. This campaign is designed to show TVA, and the general public, that wind energy, solar power, and energy efficiency savings are the best solution for Tennessee’s future.”

Big Box Stores Unmet Renewable Energy Demand

12 companies have signed the Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles to better communicate their purchasing needs and expectations to the marketplace. The companies – Bloomberg, Facebook, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, Novelis, Procter and Gamble, REI, Sprint, and Walmart – hope the principles will open up new opportunities for collaboration with utilities and energy suppliers to increase their ability to buy renewable energy sharing a combined renewable energy target of 8.4 million MWh per year through 2020.

The 12 participating companies are seeking a market shift to achieve their sustainable energy goals.
The Buyers’ Principles outline six criteria that would significantly help companies meet their ambitious purchasing goals:
1. Greater choice in procurement options;
2. More access to cost-competitive options;
3. Longer- and variable-term contracts;
4. Access to new projects that reduce emissions beyond business as usual;
5. Streamlined third-party financing; and
6. Increased purchasing options with utilities.

More information can be found here

Green Earth Solar Completes Second Project for Owner John Harrison

Harrison Dairy Solar Installation

Knoxville-based Green Earth Solar finished up the 39.6-kilowatt system in May, which is made of 128 310-watt panels and is expected to generate more than 46,000 kilowatts annually.
The installation was the second project between Green Earth Solar and Sweetwater Valley owner John Harrison. Completion comes a year after Harrison installed a 50-kilowatt energy system at his Thunder Hollow Farm.
Trevor Casey, Green Earth Solar director of sales, said implementing a green energy system took “a little under a week.” The project was funded through a $20,000 United States Department of Agriculture grant.
“I don’t have much thoughts on it because it’s pretty simple. It just sits there and works,” Harrison said, laughing. “It’s pretty straight forward. It’s one of the few things that we seem to do that doesn’t require much effort. It’s pretty effortless, I guess, is how I’d describe it.

While he doesn’t have anything currently planned, Harrison said he would keep an eye out for other opportunities to go green.
“In my case, a lot of it has to do with what else you’ve got going on with your business and what your tax situation is,” Harrison said. “If we had other needs that would do the same thing tax wise, you need to be able to take advantage of the tax credits.”

Policy for Water Conservation for the Power Sector “doesn’t exist”

Water cooling leading to increased water temperature and loss of water as fog

“There are cost effective things that the power sector can do that would conserve water that will also reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Paul Faeth, director of energy, water and climate at the CNA think tank’s Institute for Public Research.

CNA Corporation in its July 2014 report, “A Clash of Competing Necessities” documents the use of water for generating electric power as follows: an estimated 40% of all freshwater withdrawal in the US is used for thermal cooling. Coal with carbon capture and storage (CSS) came out top, using 4.3 cubic metres of water for every MWh.
Nuclear is a close second using 4.2, coal alone uses 2.3, natural gas 1, wind uses zero, and PV uses 0.1 cubic metres per MWh.

For ‘consumption’ of water, whereby water is completely removed from the local environment, CCS uses 3.2 cubic metres per MWh, nuclear 2.5, coal 1.9, natural gas 0.7 – and again wind uses zero and PV uses 0.1.

Water concerns “for policy makers and for many people are also a higher priority than climate change,” he said, adding that in drought it “doesn’t matter what the cause of drought is you still have to respond, and if you can respond in a way that is cost effective and mitigates emissions, such as using wind and PV, then that is a real plus.”

EPA Clean Power Plan Public Forum

Energy Education Initiative Logo

Please join us for a public forum on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, hosted by the University of Tennessee’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Because seating is limited, registration for the forum is strongly encouraged. Additional details, including registration and parking information, are provided below and also available by clicking here.

Clean Power Brochure