A letter last week asked, "Do you have solar energy yourself?" Why yes, I do.
When we installed solar panels on our farm workshop in 2009,
the closest certified solar installer was in Marietta.
There were only four in the state. Now there are forty.
Georgia may yet catch up with North Carolina and even New Jersey!
Hannah Solar had all the paperwork ready when
Okra Paradise Farms
applied for a USDA REAP grant for more solar panels a few weeks ago.
Much to our surprise,
Please note that
the following was inspired by a letter (attached as a
photograph) that appeared in the Valdosta Daily Times in response to my
earlier piece on
"Solar: Infinite and Clean". The Valdosta Daily Times
seems to enforce a quota of sorts at this time, so they won't publish
my additional information for Mr. Blankenship and other "skeptics".
Sources for the Skeptic
I have no idea why anyone would call companies in Mexico or Canada to
research the feasibility of local solar energy projects. I also do not
know what type of freezer the writer of “Seeking affordable solar
energy” has. Either way, I will be happy to share more information,
so that anyone interested in solar energy can do more research and
At the state level you can contact the “Georgia Solar Energy
to learn more about the viability
of solar power in 2011, which is quite different from the situation
in 2001. A larger solar firm our community
Peak power when you need it: solar.
Somebody has been studying it, and addressing problems
local decisionmakers right here in south Georgia have been raising.
Solar Power Generation in the US:
Too expensive, or a bargain?
Richard Perez, ASRC, University at Albany,
Ken Zweibel, GW Solar Institute, George Washington University,
Thomas E. Hoff, Clean Power Research.
That's Albany, New York, but it applies even more to Albany, Georgia
and Lowndes County, Georgia, since we're so much farther south,
with much more sun.
Let's cut to the chase:
The fuel of heat waves is the sun; a heat wave cannot take place without a
massive local solar energy influx. The bottom part of Figure 2 illustrates
an example of a heat wave in the southeastern US in the spring of 2010
and the top part of the figure shows the cloud cover at the same time:
the qualitative agreement between solar availability and the regional
heat wave is striking. Quantitative evidence has also shown that the
mean availability of solar generation during the largest heat wave
driven rolling blackouts in the US was nearly 90% ideal (Letendre et
al. 2006). One of the most convincing examples, however, is the August
2003 Northeast blackout that lasted several days and cost nearly $8
billion region wide (Perez et al., 2004). The blackout was indirectly
caused by high demand, fueled by a regional heat wave3. As little as 500
MW of distributed PV region wide would have kept every single cascading
failure from feeding into one another and precipitating the outage. The
analysis of a similar subcontinental scale blackout in the Western US
a few years before that led to nearly identical conclusions (Perez et
In essence, the peak load driver, the sun via heat waves and A/C demand,
is also the fuel powering solar electric technologies. Because of this
natural synergy, the solar technologies deliver hard wired peak shaving
capability for the locations/regions with the appropriate demand mix
peak loads driven by commercial/industrial A/C that is to say, much
of America. This capability remains significant up to 30% capacity
penetration (Perez et al., 2010), representing a deployment potential
of nearly 375 GW in the US.
The sun supplies solar power when you need it:
at the same time the sun drives heat waves.
The paper identifies the problem I've encountered talking to local
policy makers, especially ones associated with power companies:
At an event this afternoon at UT-San Antonio, Mayor Julian Castro
announced a suite of green energy projects that he said would position
San Antonio as the nation's "recognized leader in clean energy technology"
and help fulfill his aggressive environmental goals.
Most notably, Castro and leaders from CPS Energy, the city-owned utility,
pledged to shut down one of its coal-fired power plants 15 years ahead
of schedule. By 2018, the city would mothball the 871-megawatt J.T. Deely
Power Plant — a bold move in a growing state that's seemingly addicted
Compliments to Mayor Fretti for saying we will competitively expand the Wiregrass Solar plant!
George Rhynes' point,
I said that while I had recommended moving Citizens to be Heard to the
end of the agenda, it never occured to me that it might get moved
after Council Comments, which did lead to an impression that Council
did not want to hear and did not plan to respond.
I noted that if Council videoed its own proceedings and put them on the web,
that would help make the problem moot.
I'm thinking videos distributed by the City Council itself would probably
more citizens viewing them than ones distributed by bloggers like me and
George and by LAKE.
My main point was that, even though Brad Lofton and Col. Ricketts apparently
never told Mayor Fretti, there was a larger solar array in
4 June 2011, Blairsville, Dalton, G
Regular Meeting, George B. Rhynes, Georgia, Georgia, Hannah Solar, John S. Quarterman, LAKE, Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange
, Lowndes County, Lowndes County, solar, Sterling Planet, Valdosta, Valdosta, Valdosta City Council, VCC, Wiregrass Solar
Here's what I said to the VLCIA board on 17 May 2011.
Notes are appended after
Expand the array, publish the minutes, private prison is a bad idea —John S. Quarterman @ VLCIA 17 May 2011
Regular Meeting, Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA),
Norman Bennett, Roy Copeland, Tom Call, Mary Gooding, Jerry Jennett chairman,
J. Stephen Gupton attorney, Allan Ricketts Acting Executive Director,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 17 May 2011.
Videos by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.
17 May 2011, Allan Ricketts Acting Executive Director, CCA, Crawford Powell, Georgia, Hannah Solar, J. Stephen Gupton attorney, Jerry Jennett chairman, John Fretti, John S. Quarterman, LAKE, Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange, Lowndes County, Mary Gooding, minutes, Norman Bennett, private prison, Regular Meeting, Roy Copeland, solar, Sterling Planet, Tom Call, transparency, Valdosta, Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority, VLCIA
Sterling Planet, the leading national retail provider of renewable
energy and other clean-energy assets, today announced at a commissioning
ceremony the completion of a 200 kWAC output solar generating project
in Valdosta. One of the largest solar arrays in the state of Georgia,
the Wiregrass Solar, LLC project began commercial operation on April
6 and is now generating annualized output of approximately 350,000
kilowatt-hours. This is enough clean, emission-free electricity to power
350 Georgia homes using the average amount of 1,000 kilowatt-hours of
Developed by Sterling Planet, Wiregrass Solar supplies green power for
the Georgia Power Green Energy program, an option for the utility’s
customers who voluntarily choose to support renewable power and help
generate more of it in Georgia.
Congratulations on the commissioning ceremony for Wiregrass Solar!
Allan Ricketts (Acting Executive Director, VLCIA),
Georgia Power rep.,
Roy Copeland (VLCIA Board member),
Crawford Powell (Lowndes County Commissioner),
John J. Fretti (Mayor of Valdosta),
Therrell "Sonny" Murphy (Chairman of Sterling Planet),
Tim Golden (Georgia State Senator),
Pete Marte (CEO of Hannah Solar).
12 May 2011, Commissioning Ceremony, Georgia, John S. Quarterman, LAKE, Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange
, Lowndes County, Valdosta, Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority, VLCIA, Wiregrass Solar