Southern Company balks at Senate solar power proposal

A Senate proposal that would clear the way for private property owners and businesses in Georgia to buy solar panels and power from a third party has several supporters. But one major opponent could make getting the legislation through this session a formidable challenge.

Senate Bill 401 would let outside companies install, own and maintain alternative energy systems like solar. Supporters including lawmakers, businesses and environmental groups say the legislation encourages renewable energy expansion in the state, supports private property rights, is good for power consumers and will be a boost to the economy.

“The power company ought to be doing this, but they don’t want to buy it from anybody that produces it,” said state Sen. Buddy Carter, the bill’s main sponsor.

The state’s main electricity provider, Georgia Power, is opposing the legislation, pointing to the state’s Electric Service Act. Created nearly four decades ago, the law established assigned territories for the power company, along with 42 electric membership cooperatives and 52 cities with municipal systems, all competing for customers.

Spokeswoman Christy Ihrig said in a statement that the proposed bill would illegally infringe on the company’s territory and that the introduction of a new supplier could drive up rates for customers because utilities would be required to hike costs. She added the company is supportive of solar power and is working to provide solar as an option to customers.

President Barack Obama has signaled he considers renewable energy options a top priority and wants the country to move away from dependence on foreign oil. Last year, the state Legislature passed a bill doubling the yearly limit for solar energy tax credits to make the resource more appealing to businesses.

Earlier this month, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle assigned the bill to the Natural Resources and Environment Committee, rather than the Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee — a move seen by some as a stall tactic. Cagle spokesman Ben Fry said the decision was made because of committee chairman Sen. Ross Tolleson’s expertise on the issue.

“This is an issue that his committee has spent a lot of time learning about,” Fry said.

The bill has yet to have a hearing. It must pass at least one chamber of the house in the next eight legislative days to remain alive this session.

Tolleson said the bill could come up in committee this week, but expressed concerns about the proposal.

“What would the impact be to ratepayers? What are the long-term energy costs?” he asked. “This is not a bill that you just run through the building. I don’t think we’ll have time to understand the whole story (this session). I think we need multiple hearings here and around the state.”

Under current law, private property owners can buy their own systems. But because it has been fairly expensive to do so, the proposition was an unlikely one for most — as evidenced by the lack of solar in the state. Nonetheless, solar will become more affordable, accessible and appealing with the increase in panel production by China and amid rising electricity costs, said Jill Johnson, a lobbyist for the Georgia Solar Industries Association and the Georgia Solar Energy Association.

“Georgia is one of the top 20 states for solar jobs, but it’s not really happening here,” Johnson said.

Savannah dermatologist Sydney Smith said solar is the future of Georgia and the path to energy independence. Smith has a solar farm in Bulloch County and is the co-founder of Lower Rates for Customers, which is currently providing solar power to a business in south Georgia.

“We have a property rights issue: Who owns the sunshine, and does a property owner get to do anything he wants with it?” Smith said. “Georgia Power says he can use it to grow grass, get a sunburn, but he’s not allowed to change it to electricity. That’s not correct.”

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Green energy: Urban Green Energy does it again with ViewUGE

ViewUGE give you the controlUrban Green Energy has released the ViewUGE at CES 2012. ViewUGE is Urban Green Energy’s answer to monitoring green energy production. The ViewUGE is the online energy monitoring application that ties small wind turbines with the smart grid, perfect for those who are planning to or have installed a renewable energy system and seek a reliable, remote way to monitor their energy production.

With its clean and personalized interface, ViewUGE distinguishes itself from monitoring systems implemented in other sectors. The user experience was the key consideration during the design stage of ViewUGE and exemplifies the signature user-friendliness of all UGE products.

“At UGE, we are strong proponents of using multiple technologies to get the most out of renewable energy, and ViewUGE allows for just that in a very effective manner,” noted Scott Van Pelt, VP of Engineering at UGE.

“With ViewUGE, we are allowing our customers to track a variety of renewable energy inputs, including weather data from the Urban Green Energy 1st Step Weather Station, along with their own energy consumption. This same technology will play a pivotal role in projects utilizing our wind/solar street lamps and the Sanya Skypump, the wind powered electric vehicle charging station we launched with GE this past summer.” Mesh Systems, a leader in machine to machine (M2M) communications, collaborated with UGE in the design of ViewUGE.

With installations in approximately 60 countries, including several government agencies and Fortune 100 companies, Urban Green Energy is changing the face of distributed renewable energy generation. Urban Green Energy’s goal is to put users in control of their energy source, and is doing so by designing and manufacturing more versatile wind turbines and hybrid wind/solar systems for use in applications ranging from residential to commercial, from suburban US homeowners to off-grid telecoms towers in rural Africa.

Visit Urban Green Energy at their website http://www.urbangreenenergy.com/products/ViewUGE

ViewUGE allows you to simply and conveniently monitor in real-time the energy consumption of your home, business, or a specific area of your house! Simply connect it to an output of your breaker box to see how much energy your air conditioning has used today. Get to know your energy habits, and reduce your consumption to fully optimize your energy system today!

12-Volt 300 Watt Wind Generator With Charge Controller

GudCraft WG300 12-Volt 6-Blade 300 Watt Wind Generator With Charge Controller

Buy this now at Amazon.comThe GudCraft WG300 12V is popular low start up wind speed wind turbine in home yard, cabins, boats, advertising signs, telecommunications tower, etc. Thousands have been sold and are in use worldwide. People have the particular inclination for its clean, aerodynamic lines and its quiet and continuous operation. Without any doubt GudCraft WG300 accumulates more energy than any other comparable wind generator available, you’ll always see spinning in the lightest of breezes.

300 Watt Wind Generator With Charge Controller

300 Watt Wind Generator With Charge Controller

Benefits
· Efficient power conversion – GudCraft WG300 generates greater ampere-hours in real wind conditions than turbines of equal and often larger diameter! That’s because between gusts, our unique high inertia alternator designs maintain momentum with a flywheel effect where other units stall. This adds up to more free wind power generated and stored for you.

· GudCraft WG300 is the lowest cost per watt of power generated. Not only is the generator efficient but volume production for our worldwide customers and in-house manufacturing ensures that we deliver a consistently high quality at an affordable cost.

· Our low friction 3-phase alternator gives a smooth and silent output. The low wind speed start up means power is almost continuously produced and certainly in the most typical conditions as well as being powerful in higher winds.

· GudCraft WG300 turbines are made from computer designed efficient aerofoil blades. They have a unique and positive one way only fit and have been tested to withstand a loading with a safety factor 10 times than the turbine’s maximum rpm.

300 Watt Wind Generator With Charge Controller

GudCraft 700 Watt 12 volt Wind Generator with 3 blades

Gudcraft 700 watt wind turbine - Buy Now
The GudCraft 700 watt wind turbine is a great starting point for a do it yourself alternative energy project.  This also would be great for an RV,  mobile home or a small off-grid house or cabin.  Get on the green energy bandwagon!  Anyone can be in using renewable energy with this complete wind turbine package.  500W niminal and 700W max wind generator is directly driven by rotor blades without other powered equipment. The high efficiency wind turbine is settled behind rotor blades, which can help to radiate heat. The whole wind turbine system consists of a generator body (including rotor blades), yaw shaft, tower, inverter control system, energy storage system (battery for off-grid system, state grid for on-grid system). Buy this wind generator now

  • 700 Watt 12 Volt system uses wind to generate power and run your appliances/electronics
  • Wind turbines include generator, 3 blades, tail, screws/bolts.
  • Constructed from lightweight, weatherproof cast aluminum
  • 1-Year Warranty
  • Latest 2011 design with 3 new blades

Buy this wind generator now

GudCraft WG700 12-Volt 3-Blade 700 Watt Wind Generator -the charge controller
GudCraft WG700 12-Volt 3-Blade 700 Watt Wind Generator - the charge controller

Urban Green Energy – Custom wind turbine solutions

Urban Green Energy - Build your own wind turbine At Urban Green Energy’s website one can find the “Build your own wind turbine” tool where you really can design your own setup.  Grid tie vs battery backup,  tower size,  color of the turbine, etc.  Who knew that one company could bring it all together in a simple yet effective starting block for the consumer wind turbine market.Although the tool lacks some hard numbers for power generation capability as well as costs, a little research will reveals that the market has taken a turn in the consumers favor and costs are dropping.

Battery Back-Up

A battery back-up system will lower the amount of energy you purchase from the grid and provide energy security by storing excess energy in batteries.

Grid-Tie

Choose the grid-tie option to interconnect with the grid and sell excess energy back to your utility company.

Urban Green Energy wind turbine choices:

  • eddy Ideal for customers looking to lessen their impact on the environment or attain energy security, eddy epitomizes simplicity and convenience, including a controller capable of interfacing with solar panels.

  • eddyGT eddy’s older brother, eddyGT allows you to sell energy into your electric grid and has the capacity to offset a significant portion of your energy use.

  • UGE-4K Whether you are looking for high returns on your investment or energy independence, the powerful yet elegant UGE-4K is the way to go.

updated: Wind Power in Kansas

Wind turbine farm-Kansas along I-70Of all the random things you take for granted is the size of the wind turbines that are along I-70 in Kansas. Not only the size of the turbines but the quantity of the wind turbines is also very impressive. Wind power is an amazing thing to harness with modern wind turbine technology however, wind is still just as inconsistent as it has always been. The wind turbines that are along the highway must be powering thousands upon thousands of homes industry and such. The fact that we, as a society, are able to harness this make everyone happy. The wind turbines in Kansas gave me hope and made me want to learn more about how many of these farms exist in that great state.
Good work Kansas and thank you for showing us how a wind power farm can exist above a working farm!

Update: This is the Smoky hills wind farm. (previously unknown)
The Smoky Hills wind farm is the largest wind farm in Kansas and more than 100 landowners are participanting in the project. Including the land used for roads, turbine foundations and maintenance buildings, less than two percent of the 20,000 acres covered by the wind farm will be removed from agricultural service.

The first two phases of the Smoky Hill Wind Farm have been completed and at peak production the wind farm can generate 250 MW of electricity. The electricity is produced by 140,000 pound Vestas V80 1.8-megawatt wind turbines.

The energy wind farm is grid tied to five local utilities: Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, Midwest Energy, the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities, the City of Independence, Missouri and the City of Springfield, Missouri. Again, my hats off to this renewable resource and the people and landowners that are using their land.

Green energy bill signed into law

Mojave solar collector farm - green energyMarilyn Bechtel – When Governor Jerry Brown put his signature on Senate Bill 2X April 12, California became No. 1 in the nation in its commitment to renewable energy.

SB 2X, introduced by state Senator Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, requires all electricity retailers in California, whether privately owned or municipal, to get at least 33 percent of their electricity from clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal, by 2020. Previous legislation called for privately owned utilities to get 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources, a goal, analysts say should be achieved by 2012.

The bill was backed by many environment, labor and health organizations, and clean energy businesses. Supporters include the California Apollo Alliance, the American Lung Association of California, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the California Pan Ethnic Health Network and the Sierra Club.

In a statement, Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) energy analyst Laura Wisland called the bill “not just a victory for California’s economy and environment, but for the whole nation.” UCS estimates that with the 33 percent law in place, California will account for over a quarter of renewable energy generated by state standards in 2020. Wisland urged the federal government to follow California’s lead.

The labor-business-environment Apollo Alliance emphasized renewable energy’s job-creating potential. Noting that California already leads the nation in the number of clean energy jobs, business and patents, the Alliance said the new law “will spur billions of new dollars of investment in clean energy and infrastructure projects that help create jobs in a state where clean-tech is already the fastest growing sector of the economy.”

The measure also got high marks from The Utilities Reform Network, which advocates for and assists utility customers. Writing on TURN’s web site, staff attorney Matt Freedman said he was glad to see the bill signed into law after “years of obstruction” from Brown’s predecessor, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who vetoed a similar bill in 2009 and threatened to veto one last year.

“While proclaiming himself the Green Governor to audiences around the world, Schwarzenegger systematically blocked meaningful environmental progress here at home,” he said. “California is going to be much greener without him standing in the way of progress.”

China Buries Obama’s Goal for Renewable Green Energy Use

Green energy- Solar power above vertical-axis wind turbine(Bloomberg-Ben Sills) – China is beating the U.S. in the race to supply clean-energy technologies to the world, helped by a government bank whose advisers include Henry Kissinger.

China Development Bank Corp., which listed the former U.S. secretary of state as an advisory board member in a 2010 bond prospectus, agreed last year to lend 232 billion yuan ($35.4 billion) to Chinese wind and solar power companies. The U.S. gave about $4 billion to their American competitors in grants and offered about $16 billion of loan guarantees. Adding in private investment, China also led.

CDB, which has almost twice the assets of the World Bank, is matching U.S. expertise with Chinese financing and manufacturing prowess to dominate a market both nations say is critical to their future. Chinese solar-panel makers such as LDK Solar Co. Ltd. were the biggest loan recipients and for the first time last year supplied more than half the global market, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which begins its annual conference today in New York.

“What China’s doing is really smart,” said Jon Anda, vice chairman of UBS AG’s securities unit in Stamford, Connecticut. “Without a clear policy path, we’ll get crushed.”

President Barack Obama said in January his country needs another “Sputnik moment” to wean itself of foreign oil. The U.S. had just slipped to third place behind China and Germany in a ranking of nations funding renewable power in 2010 as Republicans in Congress blocked the White House’s energy spending plans, according to a ranking by New Energy Finance.

U.S. Versus China

In addition to the $35.4 billion CDB pledged in corporate loans, state and private interests sank $54.4 billion into Chinese equity and project debt for clean-energy companies last year, up from $39.1 billion in 2009, according to the research company. In the U.S., which led the ranking in 2008, $34 billion was invested, trailing Germany’s $41.2 billion.

“The danger for the U.S. is that by the time it wakes up, in place of the levy it currently pays to oil despots, it will pay a levy to overseas clean-energy companies,” New Energy Finance Chief Executive Officer Michael Liebreich said.

CDB sold 673 billion yuan of debt to investors in 2009, according to the bank’s annual report. The bank that year loaned 635 billion yuan. Clean-energy loans constituted about 28 percent of all lending, according to Vandana Gombar, a New Energy Finance analyst.

Kissinger, Keating

CBD cited Kissinger as part of its 15-member advisory board alongside former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating and former American International Group Inc. Chairman Maurice ‘Hank’ Greenberg in its October prospectus to sell yuan-denominated bonds in Hong Kong.

Jessica Leporin, Kissinger’s New York-based spokeswoman, didn’t respond to voice and e-mail messages seeking comment. A person in Greenberg’s office who said she was his assistant and wouldn’t give her name declined to comment. CDB officials didn’t respond to messages left by telephone and fax.

The bank’s chairman is Chen Yuan, a former vice-chairman of the central bank whose father was a politburo member under Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese leader who died in 1997. The son “has always been very interested in bringing in ideas from outside,” said Erica Downs, a China specialist at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “It has to do with this desire to be a world-class institution.”

China’s state-driven investment hasn’t always paid off. Chairman Chen faced criticism from the Chinese media and the public when London-based lender Barclays Plc fell as much as 93 percent following his 2.2 billion-euro investment in July 2007.

Still, CDB’s 35.3 billion-yuan profit in 2010 exceeded Morgan Stanley’s and its own 30.2 billion-yuan net in 2009.

‘Leapfrog the U.S.’

“They intend to leapfrog the U.S. in these technologies,” Will Coleman, a partner at Menlo Park, California-based Mohr Davidow Ventures, told the Senate Energy Committee on March 17. “If we don’t move forward urgently, I’m concerned that we will not only cede the current opportunity, but we’ll lose the knowledge and the experience necessary to compete.”

Obama is struggling to win support for his energy policy. The Republican-controlled House passed a budget proposal in February that will cut 2012 funds for the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs by 35 percent to $1.5 billion, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. The president proposed almost twice that amount.

“We’ve run into the same political gridlock, the same inertia that has held us back for decades,” Obama said during a speech at Georgetown University in Washington last week when he set a goal to cut U.S. oil imports by a third.

Space Race

In his Jan. 25 State of the Union address, Obama said the U.S. must “reach a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the space race.”

Green energy- Solar power above vertical-axis wind turbineAfter the Soviet Union in 1957 launched the beach ball- sized Sputnik, the first man-made satellite, President Dwight Eisenhower set up the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to energize the space program and take the lead from the Soviets. President John F. Kennedy set the goal of landing a man on the moon, and by 1965 NASA’s annual budget reached the equivalent of $37 billion in 2011 dollars.

China will invest about twice that in clean-energy projects each year for a decade in a 5 trillion-yuan program aimed at steering the economy away from fossil fuels, under a five-year plan announced last month. CDB loans are expanding the manufacturing base, driving down the cost of the renewable- energy equipment it exports.

CDB’s lending to the clean-energy industry rose 32 percent last year as it granted a five-year $9.1 billion credit line to LDK Solar, the world’s largest maker of solar wafers. The bank also loaned $7.6 billion to Suntech Power Holdings Co. and $5.5. billion to Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., according to New Energy Finance data.

The loans will allow China’s solar companies to sell more cheaply than global competitors by developing less-expensive panels and will protect them from hedge funds that are shorting their shares, said Antony Froggatt, a senior research fellow on the energy and environment at Chatham House, a London-based policy adviser.

“It gives them a competitive edge which we don’t have,” Andreas Wiltsdorf, head of sales for the German solar-panel maker Conergy AG, said in an interview in London. “Speak to the Chinese guys here, and they say, ‘We have such cheap loans from the state — Easy!’”

–With assistance from Alex Morales in London and Feifei Shen in Beijing. Editors: Todd White, Reed Landberg

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To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Sills in Madrid at bsills@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

Largest Photovoltaic Solar Plant In Colorado Now Open

Solar panels in Colorado in the snowSunPower, a solar panel manufacturer, and Xcel Energy, a utility provider, have announced the completion of one solar facility and the construction of another in Colorado’s Alamosa County. The Greater Sandhill solar power plant, a 19 megawatt photovoltaic system, was completed and commissioned this March.

Greater Sandhill is now generating enough power to serve almost 5,000 homes each year when at capacity. The solar power plant began construction in the summer of 2010, and is said to have created 100 jobs in the area during its development. SunPower is using its proprietary solar tracking system at the plant, which it claims can generate up to 25% more energy than conventional systems by titling panels towards the sun as it moves across the sky.

Also under development from SunPower is another solar power plant in Alamosa County. Calling the project the San Luis Valley Solar Ranch, the system will be a 30 megawatt photovoltaic solar power facility built on 216 acres of private land that is expected to be completed late this year.

Alamosa County seems to be a bit of a solar hotbed in Colorado, as we recently reported on Morrison Construction’s project in the area. Colorado as well is taking greater steps to be green, being one of the top states in terms of energy efficiency, along with building efficiency upgrades at local schools and a historic courthouse.

What do I do to help Japan? The World?

Turn off your lights, Reduce power consumption, Learn where your power comes from and START using Solar power and Wind power in your everyday lives!

I am serious as the things going on in Japan and the rest of the world. The things going on throughout the world again remind us that we can no longer fend for ourselves. We have been taught that if you sit on the couch and forget to cook your kids dinner, McDonalds has a pile of calories in unhealthy food for you to ‘surprise’ your kids with. What happened to growing our own food, using wind power to bring water up from wells (you would appreciate that shower a lot more) and now with technology we can be spoiled and yet self sufficient in more ways than you think.

Solar power and wind power have been a part of my life since a kid. When I was young, my father, added on to our house. He did some interesting things that, looking back, were very forward thinking and power concious. The room was built with a venting system that took the hot air from the ceiling and forced it through cavities below the floor, thus heating it. He also put a hot tub in the room. For that he chose solar power. I was lucky enough to see the entire installation and see how the various green energy technologies were put to use even though I will be the first to admit that it took me many years to understand why the extra effort was worth it.  I also realised he did it for me, well, future generations.
Thank you dad!

 Anyway, nice story but  What does this mean to me?

Where are the reactors in the United States of America?
USA Nuclear Reactor Map(See the whole list of  USA Nuclear Reactors )

Question: Why did you show me the map?
Answer: Because if you live in the USA and so much as have bought something at a store, YOU  have caused, in part, the need for the nuclear reactors in this picture. There are a LOT of them.

Working in the dark yet? Lights off?  kidding, well kind of. How do we make a change? Companies like Urban Green Enegy are making a difference with simple and yet fantastic things like their vertical axis wind turbines and their ‘Sanya’ streetlight.  The technology is all around us and it is really just a matter of finding it and getting it going.  Learn to be more self sufficient.  The technologies cost money, I agree and the time for change is always when the economy is down.  It takes money to make money and it takes money to save money over time.  So, DIY or do it yourself…. More to come on that but I feel better writing this, and yes, this was writen in the dark. Hopefully that explains the spelling errors.