The Volkswagen XL1, the most fuel-efficient and aerodynamic production car in the world, made its U.S. debut at the 23rd Annual Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) Conference at the Chattanooga Convention Center today. The XL1 offers an estimated European combined fuel consumption rating of 261 mpg (more than 200 mpg estimated in the U.S. cycle) and can cover up to 32 miles as a zero-emissions vehicle in all-electric mode.
“The XL1 offers a glimpse into Volkswagen’s present and future eco-mobility capabilities, and highlights the ultimate successes of ‘Thinking Blue,’” said Oliver Schmidt, General Manager of the Engineering and Environmental Office (EEO), Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “Volkswagen is proud to debut this ultra-fuel-efficient vehicle before the Society of Environmental Journalists, a group that shares in our commitment to environmental stewardship.”
In addition to the XL1 display, Volkswagen’s participation in the SEJ Conference included a tour of its LEED® Platinum-certified Chattanooga manufacturing plant and solar park; test-drives in its line of eco-friendly cars, such as the e-Golf, Passat TDI Clean Diesel and Jetta Hybrid; and a bird-watching expedition on Volkswagen Chattanooga’s sanctuary grounds.
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ARiES Energy would like to invite you to participate in the 2013 ARiES Energy Solar Tour, part of the American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Tour event. The event runs most of the month of October so you can pick which day works best for you.
Check out the Solar Tour map and visit the locations! Take a picture of the solar system and tag the picture for a chance to win one of our many prizes!
Visit the ARiES Energy website for the map and more info:
On November 2nd, TSEA will hold the 4th annual Solar Tour. One of the stops on the tour will be with Twin Willows Development off of Hardin Valley Rd, near Buttermilk Dr. The first house, installed with DOW’s solar shingles, will be explained by subdivision developer Adam Hutsell, and his installer, Jim Laborde. This will be a first for TVA, in which a developer will be installing solar as part of the overall construction of the homes at no extra cost. In addition to the solar, the energy saving features of the construction and choice of appliances tend to save energy, reducing the cost of monthly expenses. The tour will begin with an introductory talk at 8:30, at the Public Meeting room at Knoxville Transit Center on Church St(across the street to the Civic Center). We have limited seating, so arrive as soon as possible to ensure a place on our bus!
The new July/August issue of Solar Today contains an article by TSEAs Technical Director offering a new idea for a solar program within TVA. Micro-investments allow anyone to invest in a project because the cost of a single share is affordable. A recent micro-investment concept was developed by Muhammad Yunus, a Bangladeshi banker who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work in creating economic and social development for the poor. A similar concept, savings bonds, was used in the United States and other countries to finance costs for World War I and World War II. During World War II, half the U.S. population purchased approximately $186 billion in savings bonds. This investment accounted for nearly three-quarters of total federal spending from 1941 to 1945 — all from families whose average wage was $50 per week.
The Tennessee Solar Energy Association (TSEA), an ASES chapter, has as its mission the promotion of the widespread use of solar energy in the state of Tennessee. Unlike most states, Tennessee is served entirely by electric distribution companies who purchase power from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The TSEA will use the concept of micro-investment to provide opportunities to all ratepayers to invest in solar projects in Tennessee. The success of our endeavors in Tennessee will mean that the concept can easily be duplicated in other states.
Financing solar projects through micro-investments offers many advantages. First, consumers and businesses would neither have to finance nor build their own solar projects on their properties. This eliminates three barriers they often face: (a) unsuitable properties for solar because of trees or rooftop alignments; (b) building permits and grid interconnections; and (c) large financial investments with long payback periods. Second, by opening investment opportunities for all ratepayers, a micro-investment plan should attract customers who otherwise would or could not have considered their own solar projects. Third, micro-financing can be used for large solar projects to benefit entire communities, taking advantage of the lower overall costs of large-scale projects. Finally, micro-investments would provide large sums to utilities and other solar companies who might otherwise not be able to finance a solar project.
Proving the Model at TVA
In the Tennessee Valley, TVA is a closed system in which all 155 distributors buy power from TVA, making it an ideal utility for studying this micro-investment model. Moreover, as a federal power authority, TVA plays an important role in the Tennessee Valley as the regional stewardship agency and supplier of public power. TSEA envisions that TVA would establish a micro-investment program, achieving even greater economies of scale than the individual distributors could achieve.
A 2012 Hart Research survey, funded by the Solar Energy Industries Association, found that 92 percent of voters “believe it is important for the United States to develop and use solar power.” TVA, serving 9 million people in the Tennessee Valley, can play a large role in finding the relationship between how much the public says it wants solar energy and how much the public is willing to invest.
TVA’s aging coal-fired plants are more than 50 years old and are depleting TVA funds to meet increasingly strict air-quality standards. As a result, the TVA has little funding available for solar energy. Although TVA has a renewable energy program known as Green Power Providers, which provides long-term power purchase agreements, the program has not produced a bankable level of funding that has resulted in loss of jobs and statewide solar installers to look elsewhere for work. The small amount of funds allocated for the program were absorbed in the first trimester of this year.
As a federal authority, TVA is in an ideal position to undertake a micro-investment program. Under the TVA charter, the president can direct the U.S. Department of Energy to provide support and resources as requested by the TVA board, which is directed to make studies “in the application of electric power and a better balanced development of the resources of the region” (Tennessee Valley Authority Act of 1933, Section 10). Furthermore, TVA pays no property tax, has a plethora of sites where large solar installations can be located, knows where in its power system to best locate large solar farms to provide the greatest ROI, has the staff to manage the program, can handle the procurement actions and can set aside a percentage of the installations for local installers. Thus TVA can avoid all the soft costs that ordinarily burden solar purchasers. In addition, its purchasing power, backed by the aggregated micro-investments, will produce the lowest cost through competitive bidding.
I suggest to all our members and readers of this column to join ASES and help promote solar energy in their region.
Read the article and the entire Solar Today magazine
A 50-kilowatt array has been installed at Bonnaroo paid for by donations from attendees. Voluntary contributions from Bonnaroo’s roughly 80,000 annual attendees, collected through ticket sales since 2012, footed the bill for the system. Bonnaroo reserves opt-in donations exclusively for onsite sustainability improvements. In addition, festival organizers added a $1 fee to every ticket sold in 2012 to generate additional money for green initiatives. The solar installation directly resulted from both types of fan support.This is the first permanent solar system installed at a major American music festival. The clean energy produced by the system is equivalent to 20 percent of the power consumed at Bonnaroo during the annual four-day music and art extravaganza. David Bolt’s company, Sustainable Future, installed 196 SolarWorld panels. David Bolt stated that his company will supply an additional, temporary solar array at this year’s festival, which will provide shade as well as electricity for fans. “An important aspect of sustainability is to use land efficiently. Employing panels to create shade for fans next to the solar stage at Bonnaroo is a great way to accomplish this.” The system, mounted on the roof of a metal structure in the backstage area, will generate more than 61,000 kilowatt-hours of energy each year – equal to about 20 percent of Bonnaroo’s total annual power needs. While the system will not be visible to patrons, fans will peruse a solar display in “Planet Roo,” an area devoted to sustainability.
How do you take your idea from a napkin sketch out to volume manufacturing?
This MOOC will take a brief look at what it takes to move from a great idea into a fully developed and profitable product. We will cover the entire product development cycle but will provide somewhat greater focus on the technical aspects of engineering through manufacturing. We will use real world solar products for an in-depth case study. While focused on solar products, the same general outline may be applied to any mechanical, electro-mechanical product development effort.
Presenter: Tom Ortman is a Mechanical Engineer, working in Commercial and Industrial Product Development for his 35 year career. He worked for companies like Siemens and IBM in his early career, before founding Concurrent Design. In his twentieth year guiding Concurrent Design, Tom has worked for start-ups through Fortune 500 clients. He counts well over 1,600 projects at Concurrent Design, starting in electronics and moving into semiconductor technology, solar energy and clean technology. Concurrent Design routinely works in the full continuum of the product development world from ideation through high volume production.
go to this site to register
Construction on the $585 million facility began in January 2010 and was completed on April 30, 2013. The Music City Center totals 2.1 million square feet, double the space available in the current convention center. Already more than 100 meetings and 800,000 room nights have been booked.
Project completion will be celebrated on May 19 and 20 at the Music City Center Grand Opening with Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. Celebration includes open house tours, free street party and concert featuring Sheryl Crow, The Time Jumpers with Vince Gill, Fisk Jubilee Singers, and more. Major Dean will give his State of Metro address on Monday, May 20 at 10 a.m.
LightWave Solar recently completed the installation of a 211 kilo-watt (kW) solar system for the Music City Center, and it is the largest solar installation in Nashville.
Installed within the guitar shaped structure on the roof, the system consists of 845 solar panels and four inverters weighing 1,800 pounds each. The system will generate approx. 271,000 kilowatt-hours per year, enough electricity to power the electric vehicle charging stations and lighting for the building. Over 25 years, the clean electricity will offset nearly 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of taking 920 cars off the road.
FREE WEBINAR: Best Practices for Effective Energy Efficiency Program Design: From Strategy to Savings
DATE: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
TIME: 1:00 PM ET/10:00 AM PT
Please join Nexant, Greentech Media, PacifiCorp, and Santee Cooper as we discuss best practices for effective energy efficiency program design, including utility program case studies. The changing landscape of demand side management (DSM) energy efficiency programs requires utilities to leverage a combination of industry best practices and innovation in technologies to successfully plan, design and deploy DSM programs. Join us for this one hour webinar to learn about:
· Effective DSM program design and why it is important
· Defining a program’s success while identifying barriers and challenges in the marketplace
· Meeting compliance requirements and energy savings goals
· Managing increasingly complex programs in a cost-effective manner
· Improving customer and trade ally engagement, satisfaction and participation
Registration Fee: Free
James Rose, Senior Lecturer & Interim Director for the Institute for Smart Structures in the College of Architecture and Design at the University of Tennessee, will provide a presentation on the UT Solar Decathlon team. Find out more info on the team here: www.livinglightutk.com
Enjoy a beer and green conversation AND check out Bearden Beer Market’s brand new 5 kilowatt solar array!
If the weather doesn’t cooperate, we will congregate in the Yazoo Room. Don’t let the rain or cold weather keep you away!!
Please help us spread the word, and don’t forget to Like us on Facebook to make sure you get all the updates!
Register today at the American Solar Energy Society for the conference details and sign up.
Highlights of the technical session include:
New techniques for making high-performance quantum-dot and nanoparticle photovoltaic cells.
The status of the High Definition PV project, an industry-wide program to reduce the cost of solar installations through plug-and-play standardization.
Several new techniques to reduce the cost of dispatchable power from concentrating solar thermal (CSP) plants, a key development in providing cheap, clean solar power to run municipal grids through the night.
Solar-powered furnaces that generate hydrogen or syngas fuels at high efficiency.
A wide variety of simplified techniques for minute-to-minute and hour-to-hour forecasting of solar farm output, useful for balancing loads across geographic regions.
Efficient new ways to store solar-heated hot water – and use solar heat to drive air conditioners.
Cheap feedstocks for cheap biodiesel.
Hybrid light rail that runs when the grid goes down.
Driving large desalination and waste-water recovery systems with renewable energy.
Promoting Solar PV Deployment Through Micro-Investments
This conference is hosted by the American Solar Energy Society to which TSEA is the Tennessee State Chapter. Established in 1954, the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society is the nation’s leading association of solar professionals and advocates. Our mission is to speed the transition to a sustainable energy economy.