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Public Meetings 2015

ASA has Speakers every Month at our
Public Meetings
2015 Presentations at the ASA Monthly Public Meetings

"The WHY of Renewable (and Conservation of) Energy" 27 Jan       by Doug Elgin (ASA Pres.)

  • Renewable energy is energy derived from sources that produce no GHGs or recycle them in the short run

  • What?  Biomass, Hydropower, Biofuels, Wind, Solar, Geothermal, Ocean power

  • Why?  paybacks & reduce Green House Gasses

  • Photovoltaics:  Installation Choices, Incentives, Payback, Emergency

  • Ground-Source Heat Pumps

  • Saving Energy around your house

  • Why Solar Water Heating?

  • Greenhouse Gases & CO2 & Global Temperatures & Climate Change

Gov. & Utility Incentives

to Install Solar Panels

- 30% Federal Tax Credit

- Accelerated depreciation

- $1,000 TVA connection credit

- TVA green Power purchase

- 30% (up to $3,000) Federal Grant

"Personal Energy Efficiency"

Apr 21 by Kay Detter

  • switch to electronic billing & banking

  • power saver / sleep mode for your computer

  • get an energy audit for you home

  • “Seal Envelope”:  seal up all leaks in your home 

  • keep up with car maintenance – under inflated tires can increase your gasoline consumption by 3 %

  • stop junk mail

  • switch to rechargeable batteries

  • buy local & seasonal food

Most solar panels are garenteed for 25 years with only a 10% degradation in efficiency.

"DIY Grid-Tied Solar" Jul 14

by Rosemary & Richard Mudgett

  • Array:  active vs. passive solar system – active requires motor & more electronics and therefore more $$$    -- went with passive (stationary, non-moving panels)

  • Fixed Tilt vs. Seasonal Tilt  -- went with Fixed

  • Panels:  polysilicon/Polycrystaline vs. monosilicon/Monocrystaline    -- went with 4 strings of 10 poly (total :  40 panels, 10 kW system)

  • Inverter:  two 5 kW SMA Sunny Boy with backup     -- has 2 outlets (if the grid power goes out) with a power of 1500 watts.  It has a manual operation mode that tells inverter to put all energy into the house.

  • Southern Solar did the Line Drawing & furnished advice.

  • They estimate the payback will be in 9 & half years & will save $38,300 over the next 25 years.  They spent $19,600 before rebates.  They would not have done it without the rebates  (30% tax credit, TVA $1000, retail + 4 cents payback).

  • emergency shutoff which disconnects the current from panels with the house power

  • They also just built a Energy efficient house, with Structural Insulated Panel, which forms a continuous envelope of urethane insulation.  They have a Geothermal H&C system.

"Recycling" Sept 15

by  Kara Smith

page still under construction orange con

To extend the life of
your Lead batteries,
keep them at least
50% charged.

"Where Does Nuclear Fit In?" Tues, Feb 17 by Doug Elgin (ASA Pres.)

• not renewable but green (releases very little CO2)

• Nuclear energy is generated ‘round the clock

• Nuclear plant costs are increasing rapidly (ie $24 Billion), takes 10 yrs but have a life of 60 yrs

• diff. between Fusion & Fission (most common)

• US Electricity is from 20% Nuclear, France 80%

• Nuclear power has radioactive waste to deal with but is 80% efficient

• Nuclear power involves significant risks & monitoring

• Solar and wind energy sources also release little or no GHG

• Solar power may be less expensive (and much safer) than nuclear power

• There is room for both nuclear and solar power in our future

'Moving to "Net Zero Energy" in HuntsvilleMay 19

by Daniel Tait, CEO of ALCSE

  • ALCSE (Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy) is a non-profit organization with the Mission Statement: Accelerate the transition to sustainable, clean energy throughout Alabama

  • Our goal is to convert Huntsville to Net Zero Energy by the year 2025

  • Net Zero Energy:  The amount of energy provided by on-site renewable energy sources is equal or equivalent to the amount of energy used.

  • ALCSE plans to do this with 1) energy efficiency & 2) switching our city to renewable energy

  • ALCSE increases community awareness motivating the community to take the collective action necessary to change our energy model & educates individuals to make smarter decisions when using energy

  • check out the Huntsville/Madison Clean Energy Drinks at Rocket Republic Brewing Company in Madison once a month

"The Way Foward" Aug 18

by  Jo Ann Cummings

page still under construction orange con

"Financing Your Solar Project"

 Oct 20  by  Doug Elgin

  • the average household uses about $1140 / year of electricity

  • about 50% of household energy is used for heating & cooling

  • First Step – Cut Consumption

  • Example-5.04 kWh solar system - about $15,000.

  • Financing Options, most return on investment first, net is after 30 years

  1. Outright Buy                                  $22,000. net

  2. Nothing-Down Financing
         example 4.5% 30 year loan:   $14,000. net
         example 4.5% 15 year loan:   $18,000. net

  3. Lease   
    In a solar lease, you enter into a service contract to pay scheduled, pre-determined payments to a solar leasing company. They own, install and maintain the solar panels. You get the electricity.

  4. Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs)   
    A third party owns, installs and maintains the system that is on your property.  They sell you the electricity generated at a fixed rate.

"Do-it-Yourself Solar Power"

Mar 19 by Pete Milly

Pete researched & built a Solar system himself for his home to meet the following criteria:

  • lowest cost

  • usable output during power outage for critical circuits, like refrigerator

  • Self teaching project

  • Reduce utility consumption

  • Low maintenance

  • Removable to eventual new home site

System components include 12 panels (bought wholesale), roof racking (leak-free), Ni-Cad Flooded cell batteries (50 year-life), charge controller, transfer switch, ...

  • experimented with UPS (high quality) instead of Inverter

  • out-of-pocket expense for his 3KW System  $ 4654.

How Does a Solar Panel generate electricity?

The silicon wafer is the basic component in each solar cell.  This silicon wafer is processed with one side charged + and the other side charged - .  When light hits it, in the form of photons, electrons are "excited" & flow to the other side.  This creates a current.  This current is then transferred to electricity in your house. 

"Energy Huntsville" Jun 16

by  Jay Newkirk & Dr. Bill Carswell

  • mission :  Merge Industrial energy technology with Academia, Utilities and Government

  • help Huntsville & N. Alabama get into the alternative and renewable Energy market – use our already existing Engineering talent & workforce

  • provide networking among Energy professionals as well as potential contract providers

  • maintain an Opportunities database of Energy contracts being bid on

  • hold Annual Energy Summit (Nov.) with speakers from all over the world & Monthly Programs and Quarterly Workshops & provide Energy news

  • works with Huntsville city politicians & schools, US Space & Rocket Center & UAH

Grid Parity

When electricity from alternative energy is equal to or cheaper than the price of buying it from the power company

"The Majic Haus"

 Nov 17  by  Morton Archibald

page still under construction orange con

"The Way Forward"

 Dec  Xmas party


 increased Membership/FoS

 increased Income


More Educational Programs

  More contact/association with Calhoun

  Building home remodeling show, March 2016 –     Participate with another solar org

Influencing Gov’t support of Solar/Renewables/Energy Saving

  1. Local Gov’t

    Investigate streamlining regulations to reduce costs. Lancaster, CA has made it possible to get approval for solar in less than a day.

  2. State Gov’t

Solar. Jobs. Good for business. Third party financing. Jo Ann working to establish a connection. Renewable energy tax credit. Clean power plant. Federal regulation that each state improve their energy consumption. Threat of a carbon tax.

  3. Federal Gov’t



Clean Energy Initiative

AL Energy Code.   Mostly about insulation requirements

AL SB220 Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) – local gov’t OK to issue bond for energy-related projects

Net Metering    To high a wall to address

AL wide Fair regulations for Solar Power and Wind Turbines

Standardized Interconnect Process

AL Gov’t Solar Investment

Streamlined Permitting  <<<<

Renewable Portfolio Standards.   Renewable goals

Involvement in AL Power request for 500 megawatts of alternate power

Research success elsewhere, job outlook for solar industry, etc.

Improve state tax policy re: solar/energy conservation

Make leasing options legal.   <<<<

Inventory of solar in Alabama

Solar Day with others as well

More focus on commercial by ASA   <<<<



Solar Organizations (SEIA, ASEA, GA Solar, So. Alliance for Clean Energy, Energy Huntsville, Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy, Nexus Energy Center, ASK Alabama)

Utilities (TVA, GA Power, Southern Company, Alabama Power)

Solar Friendly Corporations

Small businesses in green energy

Solar Manufacturers

City Planners

R&R Solar Farm talk
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