TVA to study value of small providers like solar

KNOXVILLE, TENN. — The Tennessee Valley Authority is studying the value of electricity produced from small, dispersed sites, such as solar, wind or small gas turbine installations.

According to a news release from the utility, the initiative will develop methods to set the value of distributed generation to the electric grid and the value of the grid to the small energy producer. TVA will undertake the study with the help of local power companies and other stakeholders.

Solar energy will be the first resource investigated. The process is expected to last through the end of 2014. Public comments will be accepted and stakeholder group information will be posted at http://www.tva.gov/dgiv .

Note: Stakeholder group meeting should be available to the public as utube, webinar or as published on the TVA site..

Three Rivers Market Solar Solstice Celebration

20140615_134729Three Rivers Market in Knoxville, TN is going solar!  Help them celebrate the installation of their new 50 kW solar installation on Saturday, June 21st between 12:00 to 3:00.  There will be free Solar Solstice T-Shirts and mini-cupcakes from Magpies Bakery, tours of the installation, and great deals on products made with solar energy!  The install features Stion solar panels (Made in the USA!), Power-One inverters and DPW racking. Thanks to ARiES Energy for making the install happen!  More Details

Great Offer from ASES

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ASES Sixtieth Anniversary Membership Discount Offer
Our birthday gift to you: Save money on your membership or renewal

To celebrate our 60th anniversary, the American Solar Energy Society today launches its 2014 drive for new membership. Our goal: double ASES membership by this time next year.

To kick off the campaign, ASES is pleased to offer one month of discounts on new memberships and membership renewals, as our gift to members and ASES newsletter subscribers.

This is an opportunity to save money on

New memberships for colleagues and friends
An upgrade to Professional, Business or Life membership
Your membership renewal (if your membership will expire before the end of 2014)

Remember: Professional Members are entitled to a 25 percent discount on registration at SOLAR 2014, the 43rd National Solar Conference in San Francisco, July 6-10. Don’t delay: Join or upgrade now and save on Conference registration!

This offer ends July 10, 2014.

Just click here. Then choose your level of membership and enter the appropriate discount code:
Basic Membership (usually $39)
This month $30, save 23 percent: discount code ASES60th-Basic
Professional Membership (usually $89)
This month $60, save 32 percent: code ASES60th-Pro
Business Membership (usually $300)
This month $240, save 20 percent: code ASES60th-Business
Life Membership (usually $1200)
This month $900, save 25 percent: code ASES60th-Life

Established in 1954, the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) is the nation’s leading association of renewable energy professionals and advocates. ASES is the United States Section of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES). Our mission is to speed the transition to a sustainable energy economy.

Programs
ASES publishes the award-winning SOLAR TODAY magazine, and the newsletters Solar@Work (for renewable energy professionals) and Solar Citizen (for renewable energy advocates).
We organize and present the ASES National Solar Conference, and publish its Proceedings.
We lead the ASES National Solar Tour – the largest grassroots solar event in the world.
ASES brings the renewable energy communities together with:
Regional chapters in 41 states and the District of Columbia
7 Student Chapters at colleges across the country
9 Technical Divisions, with academic and engineering members from all disciplines, to serve as a clearing house for basic research across all renewable-energy and energy-efficiency technologies

Contact: ASES 303.443.3130 crixham@ases.org

More Affordable Solar PV Systems by Richard Swanson

In answer to the question What new technology will it take, Dr. Swanson replied.

Richard Swanson1“Solar panels now account for less than half of the cost of a solar panel system. For example, installers spend a lot of time and money designing each rooftop solar system. They need to have a certain number of panels in a row, all getting the same amount of sunlight. A bunch of companies are automating the process, some with the help of satellites. One of the most exciting things is microinverters [electronics that control solar panel power output] that allow you to stick solar panels anywhere on a roof—it’s almost plug and play.

To almost everyone’s surprise, silicon is still chugging along. The new developments are pretty amazing. Panasonic just announced a record solar cell efficiency. We need to do things like keep improving efficiency with new solar cell architectures, like the one Panasonic used. There are three basic new cell structures, and all of them are nearing or are already in production. We need to make thinner silicon wafers, improve ways of growing crystalline silicon. We need to switch to frameless solar panels because the cost of the aluminum frame hasn’t been going down much. We need to get rid of silver electrical contacts and replace them with cheaper copper. It’s tricky, but it can be done.”

Obama Climate Plan Relies on States

President Obama’s new plan to fight climate change depends heavily on states’ devising individual approaches to meeting goals. The regulation unveiled on Monday offers the states flexibility to pick from a menu of policy options. Intended to cut carbon pollution from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 — represented Mr. Obama’s boldest step in using his executive authority to halt the warming of the planet. In order to comply with the new national rule, states can, among other actions, shut down coal plants, install wind and solar power and energy-efficiency technology, or join the California or Northeastern cap-and-trade programs. E.P.A. officials said states could even choose to comply by enacting a state-level tax on carbon pollution.

It will be interesting to see what the Tennessee state legislature plans to do, if anything, to comply with the EPA order. It will be up to the supramajority of state Republicans to decide on how to implement the reduction in carbon emissions. Ask your legislator why Tennessee does not have a master energy plan for the state. Might get some interesting answers.

relevant article on the subject

Carly Rixham Named Executive Director at the American Solar Energy Society

Boulder, Colo., June 2, 2014 — The American Solar Energy Society is pleased to announce the appointment of its new executive director, Carly Rixham. Rixham is a renewable energy professional with a diverse background in solar, biofuels, education and wastewater management.

New Leader of ASES Carly Rixam

Rixham served as a volunteer on several ASES membership and fundraising projects, establishing a close relationship with the staff and executive committee. She is passionate about nonprofit organizational development, and plans to take ASES into the next generation, reaffirming the organizations role as a leader in the renewable energy community.

As solar energy gains success in the market place, Rixham is interested in pushing the solar agenda on a grassroots level. Dedicated to connecting science with the greater community of solar advocates, she is eager to support local chapters to help get real people involved in solar. She envisions a stronger connection with universities, as a way to recruit a new generation of professionals in renewable energy.

We will be Breathing Cleaner Air

What Is Cleaner Air Worth to You?

Clean Air is Nice to Breathe

Knoxville Citizens Support President in Reducing Carbon Emissions

Support for Carbon Limitations here in Knoxville

Knoxville, TN– Today, Tuesday June 3, in front of children playing in Market Square’s fountains, volunteers and supporters from Organizing for Action Tennessee (OFA-TN), the Harvey Broome Group of the Sierra Club, and Oak Ridge’s Citizens’ Climate Coalition are holding a community action event, If Not Now, When?, as part of a nationwide Day of Action to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Carbon Pollution Standards for existing power plants, which will help curb the dangerous carbon pollution causing climate change and threatening our health. While climate change deniers still ignore the basic science of climate change and try to block progress, President Obama is proposing what the New York Times called

“the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change.”

Scheduled speaker Rose Williams said,

“A child born this year will be 36 in 2050, a benchmark year that scientists mention when they warn us about the consequences of inaction. You realize that it’s not the distant future when you think about it that way. That’s all we want, is for our children to have the same opportunities that we have. That’s why we are staging our event with the water-play fountain in the background where children are having fun, children who count on us to leave them a healthy planet.”

“Climate change is real, it is now, and it is dangerous to our health, our economy, and our communities,”

Williams said.

“The good news is that we have the solutions we need to keep the lights on, create jobs, and protect our children. The President’s plan is an essential step,” Williams said.

We are customers not ratepayers

The idea of the utility as a service provider is increasingly important as our system evolves into a complex web of distributed (and increasingly low- and zero-carbon) resources connected through advanced data communications systems. Customers are no longer just “ratepayers” — they are people and organizations with many choices, some of which may compete with utility generation.

Reshaping our energy systems to accommodate more energy efficiency and distributed energy will require getting the policy and regulation of those systems right. It will also include changing our language to reflect the changing role of the consumer.

The job of the utility is to provide an energy service, reliably and at a reasonable price. Whether that energy comes from a distant power plant, a solar panel on their roof, or a Tesla battery hanging on the wall is usually a matter of secondary importance to the customer.

People don’t pay the electric bill because they lie awake at night hoping for kilowatts. They just want the refrigerator, the toaster, the television and the cell-phone charger to work.

more

Why We Need Professional Solar Installers

fire_SCHOOL-FIRE-MAY15-14_051414kc_001_0A Wednesday afternoon blaze at Faith Lutheran Middle School and High School means Thursday classes are canceled.

The fire was reported about 4:45 p.m. Clark County firefighters arrived at the school, near Hualapai Way and Charleston Boulevard, and found several roof solar panels on fire. The school had already been evacuated, firefighters said.

Firefighters checked inside of the building and went to the roof to extinguish the flames. They removed some roofing materials while putting the fire out. Three classrooms had water damage as a result, the fire department reported.

Because of the damage, the smell of smoke and the failure of the cooling system, school officials decided to cancel classes on Thursday, with the exception of the class taking the advanced placement world history test.

Firefighters are still investigating what started the fire, which caused an estimated $60,000 in damage.

- See more at: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/fire-rescue/faith-lutheran-cancels-classes-after-blaze-causes-60000-damage#sthash.hd61TNjl.dpuf