The first of its kind conference focusing on the Southeast as a resource for wind energy has been scheduled on March 8-9 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte. Dozens of stakeholders from across the region including, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, have organized the event to educate industry leaders and decision makers about the costs, benefits, and policy options that will drive wind energy development in our area. The Southeastern Coastal Wind Conference gives industry leaders, policy makers and developers a chance to plan the future of wind energy in the Southeast.
The sun shone bright on the town of Plymouth on Jan. 30 as SunEnergy1 celebrated the completion of the first stage of its solar farm. Stage one of the project is 2.4 MW, and the panels were installed in under 17 days. The system passed its final inspection on Dec. 30. Guests at the event included, Plymouth Mayor Brian Roth, Majority Whip Representative Ruth Samuelson, Representative Tim Spear, Congressman G.K. Butterfield and others.
The system, which will be more than 10 MW upon completion, will supply enough power to 1,200 homes and offset 9,869 metric tons of carbon emissions a year. This is the equivalent of planting 253,061 tree seedlings and growing them for 10 years. The 2.4 MW ground-mount system is comprised of 9,800 Bosch 245 watt panels and utilizes 4 Schneider Electric GTX-500 inverters. The array will be built with a racking system made by Daetwyler Clean Energy and Platipus anchors.
The Charlotte Business Journal presented its second annual Energy Leadership Awards on Jan. 25. Among the 10 award winners were Lisa Lee Morgan, managing partner of Calor Energy; Kenny Habul, CEO of SunEnergy1; George Baldwin, managing director of Peidmont Natural Gas Co. Inc; Helene Hilger, Director of UNCC Center for IDEAS and Richard Voorberg, Director of Projects for Siemens Energy Inc.
According to the Journal, the award winners were chosen based on their: "impact on job growth in the region; influence on building the region into a national or international player in the industry; impact energy policy on local, state or national level." All 10 winners were profiled in a special section of the Charlotte Business Journal.
To see pictures from the award ceremony, visit us on Flickr.
Charlotte, NC — Abundant Power Solutions announced further momentum in their commercial energy efficiency financing programs with the closing of a $1.4 million loan for The Westervelt Company in Tuscaloosa, Alabama to save energy and increase sustainability while providing work for contractors installing the energy-efficiency improvements.
The loan is the latest financing approved through AlabamaSAVES, a program designed and administered by Abundant Power through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to help businesses install energy-saving upgrades, reduce operating expenses and boost employment. Abundant Power worked with ADECA to establish AlabamaSAVES with funds made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program, and then structured credit enhancements to attract outside capital and increase the reach the program. Wells Fargo provided funding for the loan through the Birmingham, Alabama office.
In an effort to improve energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint, the City of Asheville installed North Carolina's first large-scale deployment of LED street lights, according to Business Wire.
In the initial phase of the project, completed in June 2011, 730 street lights in Asheville's River District and Kenilworth neighborhoods were replaced with 67-watt to 195-watt LEDway luminaires, estimated to save the City $45,000 in annual energy costs. An additional 2,913 LEDway street lights are currently being installed, and the City anticipates saving 50 percent of current energy use and maintenance costs due to the LED upgrade.
"Upgrading to LED street lights allows us to decrease energy consumption, increase energy efficiency and contribute to the sustainability of our community," said Maggie Ullman, energy coordinator for the Asheville Office of Sustainability. "This exciting initiative helps affirm Asheville's role as a leader in carbon footprint reduction."
State and utility policy makers, county officials, and other stakeholders can now explore the best ways to improve the bottom line of consumer-owned wind turbines with a new Distributed Wind Policy Comparison Tool and Guidebook. To download a copy, click here. The Guidebook is also available through the U.S. Department of Energy Wind and Water Power Program online library.
Experts on staff at NCSEA are often asked to discuss renewable energy and energy efficiency topics at a variety of events across North Carolin and the nation. The following is a roundup of our team members latest engagements.
- NCSEA Executive Director Ivan Urlaub will speak at the 5th Annual Leadership North Carolina Forum on Thurday, Jan. 26 in Raleigh.
- Sara Day Evans, Western North Carolina Community Education and Relations Specialist, will present a ribbon cutting Wednesday, Jan. 25 for second BioWheels RTS Brightfield Solar Integrated Electric Vehicle Charging Station in the Asheville region.
- Charles Adair, Triangle/Triad Community Education and Relations Specialist, is a scheduled speaker at a USDA energy savings workshop for Guildford County Farmers on Tuesday, Jan. 31.
North Carolina churches are benefiting from sustainable practices. Earlier this month, more than 50 clergy, laity and community members gathered at United Church of Chapel Hill for the first Transition Congregation workshop in the nation.
The workshop is part of a larger, global initiative known as the Transition Town movement that aims to reduce local communities' dependency on oil and builds sustainability in the community.
The United Church of Chapel Hill and North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light, a North Carolina Council of Churches' program that promotes renewable energy alternatives, co-sponsored the workshop.
Furthermore, several churches across the state have gone solar including the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville, Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte, Temple Emmanuel in Greensboro, and the Montreat Conference Center in Montreat.
North Carolina is leading the Southeast in the clean energy economy and our state's valuable sustainable energy businesses, local community leaders and organizations, educational institutions, and others are ready and eager to start new projects to make us a national leader. Below are just a few of the recent major announcements and innovations from across our state.
Tucked in the depths of Duke Energy's latest North Carolina rate request is a money-saving deal - a 20 percent discount on electricity - that few customers know about and fewer take. It's also a vision of the future.
Natural gas prices have been in a freefall as electricity prices are pushing upward, prompting some residents to make retrofits so they can switch to natural gas to heat their homes this winter.
Duke Energy agreed in a legal settlement to retire more than 1,600 megawatts of old coal-fired power plants, making enforceable the shutdown plans Duke had previously revealed.
Chatham Olive is VP of Business Development & Community Relations for Argand Energy Solutions. He is a longtime NCSEA member and a well-known advocate for clean energy who often rides the roads of NC on his motorcycle or in his car licensed, Solarup!
NCSEA's Communications & Government Affairs Specialist, Amneris Solano, spoke with Olive about Argand's install of a 68-kilowatt solar system for the city of Concord. Argand partnered with the city of Concord and Hyperion Energy LLC on the project.
NCSEA: How was Argand Energy Solutions able to partner with the city of Concord and Hyperion Energy on this project?
Olive: Argand was the winner of Concord’s RFP on this project. They had received a State Energy Office grant and were seeking a qualified, solar development/installation firm that could accomplish the project and obtain an investor who would match the state grant. Argand structured the financing, sourced Hyperion Energy to invest, then wrote a winning proposal as a response to the RFP.
NCSEA: What was Argand’s role in the project?
Olive: In addition to designing and installing the system, Argand provided a solution for getting the City of Concord twice as much solar as would have been possible with their grant money alone.
NCSEA: What are the benefits of this project?
Olive: It’s a great side benefit that the solar canopies provide shade for cars parked underneath but I think the main benefits are clean energy flowing into the Concord grid, a good return for our investor, jobs for our employees and suppliers, and a highly visible project that helps show those who see it the reality of solar energy happening now all across NC, the USA, and the world.
NCSEA: What are the energy savings? Cost savings?
Olive: All energy is sold onto the grid. The City of Concord, was able to benefit from cost savings brought on by the recent steep decline in the cost of solar modules, be they foreign made or American made like those used on the Concord project.
- »Forum on Solar Development & Siting in North Carolina - Eastern NC
- »Forum on Solar Development & Siting in North Carolina - Triad
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