Archive for Grants and Incentives

Energy program can aid farmers, small businesses

In Tennessee, solar panels are not as common as silos on farms, but recently they have been becoming more and more popular across the Volunteer State.

Tennessee farmers are beginning to take advantage of a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant program promoting renewable energy and energy-efficient projects.

It’s smart for farmers and owners of small businesses to invest and participate in the programs to reduce energy costs and potentially make a few extra dollars selling excess power.

The program USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP, is providing grants and loans for renewable energy and energy projects to small businesses in rural areas with a population of 50,000 or less. It is growing in Tennessee, with more than $2 million available for projects state wide just this year, compared to $326,000 last year.

Monroe, Knox, and Loudon counties have been home to two-thirds of the projects in East Tennessee for 2006 to 2014.

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Green Power Provider program, which pays a premium for energy generated by renewable sources has worked hand in hand with the REAP program in the past few years. Unfortunately, TVA is erasing its green power incentives as more money becomes available through REAP for investment in solar and other renewable projects.

Read the article here.

The Carport of The Future

With more than 40 percent of the pavement in an average city tied up in parking areas, it’s safe to say that garages and carports are all around us. Many urban areas are changing the way these concrete blocks are being viewed–one solar panel addition at a time. Solar panel carports have the ability to incredibly impact energy-production all while looking like something straight out of the future.
Certain high-profile corporations and universities have given the special carports a whirl and have since generated an abundance of power. Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ, currently houses the largest solar parking canopy project in the U.S. With a 28-acre installation, it is no wonder over 60% of the campus’ annual electricity is provided for by the plant. With such incredible amounts of energy produced at Rutgers University by way of “solar parking”, many are left to wonder why similar additions have yet to be started in their area. The discouraging factor for such projects, as stated by Chase Weir of TruSolar, is money. Weir goes on to say, such projects are “The most expensive type of system to build”. Solar carports may be impressively beneficial and aesthetically awing, however there is no denying they are also incredibly expensive…“So at least for now, the market remains relatively niche.”

Read the article here.

Universities Make A Move Towards Solar Energy

SolarPV_300x2001

In a move to transition to more sustainable energy production American University, George Washington University and George Washington University Hospital are joining together in a plan to provide all three institutions with clean solar energy. The three joined together for a 20 year solar purchase that will supply 123 million kilowatt hours of clean energy each year. The clean energy will be supplied from several large scale solar farms in the surrounding North Carolina area comprised of 243,000 solar panels and will comprise the largest PV project on to the East of the Mississippi River. This partnership will remove roughly 15,000 metric tons of CO2 which equates to the removal of roughly 3,000 cars from the roads. This step forward in energy production by the three institutions will hopefully lay a blueprint for other universities who are wanting to switch to cleaner means of energy production.

Read the full report from the American University here: http://www.american.edu/finance/sustainability/au-to-source-50-percent-power-from-solar.cfm

Wal-Mart Fights Back Against Renewable Energy

TSEA Walmart

A recent report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance has indicated that the Walton family, majority owners of Wal-Mart, have donated millions of dollars to a handful of organizations over the past few years, many of which have a vested interest in restricting the growth of the solar and renewable energy sectors. Another Walton-owned company, First Solar, was instrumental in the decision to allow one of Arizona’s largest utility companies, APS, to begin imposing additional fees on owners of household rooftop solar systems. These changes caused a sharp decline in solar installations in Arizona despite the fact that Arizona is one of the most productive locations for solar energy. This should serve as a warning that although many corporations may appear to have “gone green”, how their money is spent is a better indication of where their true interests lie.

Full report can be found here.

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.

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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.

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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.

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

 

New Business Member – MOUNTAIN VIEW SOLAR

Our latest business member is Mountain View Solar. They are now installing solar systems in our local region. What is particularly interesting about them is the focus on electric vehicle charging at your home. Chances are that if you are a commuter that drives less than 30 miles a day round-trip to work and home, then you are probably thinking about an electric vehicle.

Mountain View Solar is West Virginia’s largest solar PV installation company and has been recognized by various state and national organizations. Specializing in residential, commercial, municipal and government solar installations, Mountain View works throughout West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia and now in Tennessee.

We now offer installation of solar-powered charging stations for electric vehicles, and have provided residential and commercial customers with a source of free fuel for their electric vehicles!

Be sure to contact:
Jon Bates
Regional Operations Director
Mountain View Solar
1200 Deaton Rd
Lenoir City,Tn. 37772
865-964-5091
jon@mtvsolar.com
www.mtvsolar.com/tn

Illinois Solar Energy Association 2014 Tesla Raffle

 

The Illinois Solar Energy Association is raffling off a Tesla Model S! The Tesla Model S is the world’s first premium electric sedan. Only 2,000 tickets will be sold and the drawing will be held October 4th, 2014. Winner will also receive a Bosch home charger. Net drawing proceeds will fully benefit Illinois Solar Energy Association, a non-profit working to advance solar energy development throughout the State. Tickets are 1 for $100 or 4 for $300. There is no limit on the number of tickets that can be purchased. More information available at this site

ISEA Tesla Raffle

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

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.”