Archive for Uncategorized

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: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-04-12/pdf/2013-07273.pdf

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

Let It Snow! Solar Panels Can Take It

Snow and solar cells aren’t mutually exclusive, according to a Michigan Technological University scientist. Photovoltaic panels can be well worth the investment even if you live in a winter wonderland.
True, a layer of snow can cause a solar-cell blackout for awhile. But not many locales enjoy heavy snow for more than a few months. And even in the bleak midwinter, panels don’t usually stay snow-covered for long.
“Sometimes snow actually helps solar cells,” says Michigan Tech’s Joshua Pearce. He’s referring to the albedo effect, when sunlight reflects off snow. It can make a panel generate more electricity in the same way that it gives skiers sunburn on sunny winter days.
“In most cases power losses are minimal, even in snowy Canada,” Pearce said. However, the group has developed a model that can be used to design the most efficient photovoltaic systems, no matter how much snow is in the area.

reference: Released: 10/24/2012 5:00 PM EDT Source: Michigan Technological University Newswise
full article

TSEA Welcomes Brazetek as our Latest Business Member

Brazetek.com is the largest internet distributor of solar water to air, brazed plate, and shell & tube heat exchangers. The website’s product selection, competitive pricing and free shipping option has made it an online destination of choice for residential, commercial, or industrial heat transfer solutions. This is our first solar thermal business member.

Solarwatt AG completely restructured: insolvency procedures repealed

Sometimes faced with failure one can change the future

Why is this article about a German company posted on this website? The answer is simple; the best businesses when faced with financial difficulties reinvent themselves. That is what Solarwatt has done. They were bankrupt and went through a grueling experience coming out of bankruptcy by changing their product strategy: they were a module manufacturer and now “to a solar systems manufacturer. By the end of 2012 we will be launching new products in the system sector, allowing the company to maintain and expand its market position. Neuhaus, new CEO, explained, “All the signs are pointing to continued large increases in energy prices in the future. With our system solutions, consumers can supply themselves with energy independently and decentrally, making it possible for them to become more independent of energy providers and to save costs. A 25-year warranty ensures that the investment also pays off for our customers.”

Proposed legislation to benefit solar in the USA

Legislation to extend benefits to renewables

U.S. Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced bipartisan legislation in support of an “all of the above” energy approach. The Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act will modify the federal tax code to make it easier and more attractive for private capital to invest in renewable energy.

A master limited partnership (MLP) is a business that is taxed as a partnership but whose shares are traded like stock on a market. Because MLPs have access to capital at a lower cost and a more liquid financial approach, this makes them very attractive to private investment. Currently, only oil, natural gas, coal extraction, and pipeline projects are allowed to qualify for MLPs. This bill would simply amend the federal tax code to allow investment in renewable energy projects in the same way.

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Do-It-Yourself Solar Installation Workshop Sign Up Today: Limited Seating

Do-It-Yourself Workshop. Ours will be comfortably indoors

The Tennessee Solar Energy Association (TSEA) in collaboration with the Tennessee Renewable Energy and Economic Development Council(TREEDC) are holding a workshop for those interested in installing solar for their homes, businesses and farms. The workshop will be held at the U.T. Conference Center in downtown Knoxville. The date for the workshop is the evening of October 18th beginning at 6 pm and ending at 9:30. Free parking at the Locust Street garage across the street from the U.T. Conference Center. Details are available here and sign up is found under the Events heading. Sign up now as the size of the workshop will be limited to forty persons. Sign up now to secure a seat at this educational workshop where experts will give you all the information needed by parties that are interested in solar for their home or business and are looking to reduce the cost by doing some or all of the work themselves. You will receive a manual containing articles on each aspect of solar purchasing of equipment and how the equipment is assembled to produce electricity from sunlight. The manual will contain examples of home solar projects as published in Home Power magazine who has given us permission to make copies of the most relevant material for you. After all, there is one source of power you can rely on and that is the sun. It has been doing its job some millions of years so reliability is a non-issue.

You will pay for the workshop using PayPal or your credit card. The cost for the dinner buffet, the manual and the instruction is $30 for everyone except for TSEA and TREEDC members who will have a $5 discount. The cost is kept as low as possible so sign up today and get a confirmation by email.

KUB is seeking applications for board member

The Knoxville Utilities Board oversees over 400,000 customers in Knoxville and the surrounding counties. It is seeking qualified applicants. If you meet the following, think of applying especially if you are passionate about the type of fuel used to generate your electricity..

Eligibility Requirements
Applicant must be at least 25 years of age.
Applicant must have resided in Knox County for the past three consecutive years.
Applicant cannot be an elected official or an employee of the City of Knoxville or any municipality, county government, or state government except for a Notary Public, a member of the National Guard of the State of Tennessee, or employee of public education.
Applicant may not be an employee or retiree of a utility or energy company.
Applicant cannot be related to a KUB employee where the relationship is as close as third degree by blood, adoption, or marriage.

KUB is a progressive utility that gets its electricity from TVA and so indirectly, you will have a voice in the future of the types of energy we choose. The application can be found here. Fill out the form and submit. Applications must be received by 5 pm on September 13th.

I was going to apply until I came to the exclusion of being a retiree of a utility having retired from TVA.

Join Us and Help Celebrate Our Upcoming 4th year

Free Solar for members

This is a test to get an idea of how many people view our website after receiving email message.  Even though we are well positioned on google search, we are not expanding our reach.  Any suggestions on how we can reach out to more people?

Here is the portal to the  executive summary for GTM Research “U.S. Solar Market Insight”