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"I became a KySea member to promote my solar installation business.  I became a solar installer to promote a healthy and realistic future for my home state of Kentucky."

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Jun 19, 2012

Kentucky Has Significant Distributed Renewable Energy Potential a new report finds

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Jun 19, 2012 09:50 AM

Released 6.19.12

New Report Findings for Kentucky: 
Distributed renewable energy systems could generate up to 34 percent of Kentucky’s electricity by 2025


Frankfort, KY - Distributed renewable energy systems could generate up to 34 percent of Kentucky’s electricity by 2025, finds a new report authored by Downstream Strategies. According to the report findings this new generation would increase energy security in the state, diversify Kentucky’s energy portfolio, and curb energy costs for Kentucky ratepayers.

“Electricity prices have gone up 41% over the last 5 years and will continue to rise, threatening low-income families' ability to stay in their homes. We at Kentucky Habitat are not meeting our mission if a family can afford to buy a new home, but then down the road cannot stay in it due to rising utility costs,” says Ginger Watkins, Sustainable Building Specialist with Kentucky Habitat For Humanity. 

“The report outlines a series of practical solutions that are already out there.  Already we’re leveraging some of these solutions in our work, for example Morehead Habitat built a home with heating and cooling costs below $15 per month.  Affordable, quality, low-energy homes in Kentucky are not only possible, they’re already happening”.

Unlike traditional, centralized electricity generation like coal-burning power plants, distributed energy systems, such as solar panels on homes and businesses, generate electricity in smaller amounts for use close to the source. In addition to being clean sources of power, these systems reduce the amount of electricity lost through transmission and reduce the risk of blackouts.

“The Opportunities for Distributed Renewable Energy in Kentucky,” produced by Downstream Strategies of Morgantown, WV, finds that with the right policies in place, Kentucky can provide a significant portion of its electricity through small-scale wind, solar photovoltaics and solar heating and other distributed renewable energy technologies such as combined heat and power systems.

“Our study found that Kentucky has a wealth of renewable energy resources that can be harnessed today using proven and cost-competitive technologies,” said Rory McIlmoil, lead author of the report. “If Kentucky were to implement the policies we recommend, these resources could provide a significant amount of energy while diversifying local economies by generating thousands of local jobs. Kentucky is falling behind other Appalachian states such as Ohio in taking advantage of these opportunities.”

Policies like renewable portfolio standards, expanded net metering, feed-in tariffs and updated grid interconnection standards will make developing distributed renewable energy systems much more achievable and profitable for Kentucky's electric cooperatives, businesses and individuals. The Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance has supported the Clean Energy Opportunity Act, which would advance policies aimed at boosting distributed energy, in the last two legislative sessions.

"The US market for solar photovoltaics doubled in 2011, driven by states like New Jersey and California with strong policies to support renewable energy and distributed generation,” said Andy McDonald, Director of the Kentucky Solar Partnership. “Kentucky should take advantage of the great opportunities outlined in this report to advance solar in our state by passing similar policies. Large scale investments in renewable energy would create thousands of new employment opportunities in manufacturing, sales, installation and other industries."
For more information about these policies, visit www.kysea.org.

Download the report here.


You are invited to join lead author of the report, " Rory McIlmoil, for a presentation about the report's findings.

Thursday, June 21st, 2012
7:30 -8:30 pm EDT
(No RSVP necessary)
Call: 1-866-740-1260
Access code: 8931147.
Online address: www.readytalk.com
Access code: 8931147. Put this into the box that says “Participant: Join a Conference”.


May 08, 2012

Upcoming Solar Energy Workshops

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified May 08, 2012 02:33 PM

The Kentucky Solar Partnership and Appalachia – Science in the Public Interest, with the support of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED), Johnson Controls, Inc., the Franklin County Cooperative Extension Service, and Kentucky State University, present a series of introductory and advanced training classes on solar photovoltaic system design and installation practices.
 
Full workshop descriptions and registration information can be found at www.kysolar.org. Financial support with low-interest loans covering up to 100% of registration fees plus grants for travel expenses is available to residents of eastern Kentucky, thanks to the support from MACED.
 
Introduction to Solar Photovoltaics
May 8-9, 2012           
8:30 am – 5:00 pm            
Fee:   $275
Instructor: Chris LaForge, ISPQ Certified PV Instructor
      NABCEP Certified PV Installer
Location: Franklin County Cooperative Extension Office
101 Lakeview Court, Frankfort, KY 40601
 
Solar Site Assessments and PV System Design       
May 10, 2012
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Fee:   $140
Instructor: Chris LaForge, ISPQ Certified PV Instructor
      NABCEP Certified PV Installer
Prerequisite: Introduction to Photovoltaics or equivalent prior training or experience
Location: Franklin County Cooperative Extension Office
101 Lakeview Court, Frankfort, KY 40601
 
Solar Photovoltaics & the National Electric Code
May 11, 2012
8:00 am – 4:00 pm            
Fee:   $140
Instructor: Chris LaForge, ISPQ Certified PV Instructor
      NABCEP Certified PV Installer
Prerequisite: Introduction to Solar Photovoltaics or equivalent prior training or experience
(Code officials require no prerequisites)
For Installers, Code Officials, Inspectors, and Building Professionals
Location: Franklin County Cooperative Extension Office
101 Lakeview Court, Frankfort, KY 40601

Introduction to Solar Water Heaing
June 5-6, 2012
8:30 am – 5:00 pm each day      
Fee:   $275
Instructor: Bill Guiney, Director of Solar Heating & Cooling, Johnson Controls, Inc.
Prerequisite: none
Location: Franklin County Cooperative Extension Office
101 Lakeview Court, Frankfort, KY 40601 

Solar Industry Trends & New Technologies
June 7, 2012
8:30 am – 12:00 pm            
Fee:   $100
Instructor: Bill Guiney, Director of Solar Heating & Cooling, Johnson Controls, Inc.
Prerequisite: none
Location: Franklin County Cooperative Extension Office
101 Lakeview Court, Frankfort, KY 40601


Advanced Solar Photovoltaics Hands-On Installation Training
July 10-12, 2012               
8:30am – 5:00 pm each day          
Fee:   $415
Instructor: Chris LaForge, ISPQ Certified PV Instructor
      NABCEP Certified PV Installer
Prerequisites: Introduction to Solar Photovoltaics or equivalent prior training or experience.
Location: Franklin County Cooperative Extension Office
101 Lakeview Court, Frankfort, KY 40601

To learn more, contact the Kentucky Solar Partnership at 502-227-4562 or solar@kysolar.org.

NABCEP Training Hours: Participants will earn training hours to use towards the eligibility requirements for the NABCEP Solar PV Installer certification exam.

CEU’s available for Kentucky licensed Master Electricians and Electrical Electricians for Introduction to Solar PV; Solar Site Assessments and PV System Design; and Solar PV and the National Electric Code.
 

Sep 05, 2011

Kentucky Home Performance Program Offers Kentuckians Improved Home Efficiency

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Sep 05, 2011 09:01 PM

KY Home Performance is a statewide HOME PERFORMANCE with ENERGY STAR program that offers Kentucky homeowners to invest in the comfort and energy efficiency of their homes with convenience and confidence. By enrolling in the program, homeowners can choose from a cash rebate of up to $2000 or a 3.99 percent loan of up to $20,000 for the recommended energy-saving work.

What do they mean by ‘Performance’?
We measure a car’s performance by miles per gallon or MPG.  Likewise, a home that stays comfortable using minimal energy is a high performing home. KY Home Performance helps lower improve home efficiency in a variety of ways, with a formula for improvement specific to each home.

How does a homeowner get started?
To get started, homeowners can log onto KYHomePerformance.org and use a free self-assessment program called Home Energy Compass. To get started right away, skip the diagnostic tool and use the website to select a KY Home Performance certified evaluator. Schedule a home evaluation with the auditor to get a whole house energy evaluation.

What does a KY Home Performance certified evaluator do?
KY Home Performance certified home energy evaluators will review the home in detail and find out precisely how the home is losing energy and money.  This is a ”whole-house” approach that does not look at just one system or component in isolation, but assesses all of them as part of an integrated system.  With KY Home Performance on-line software, evaluators can show how cost-effective improvements will raise the home’s comfort, air quality, and energy performance.

What happens next?
Once the KY Home Performance evaluation is complete, homeowners will be provided a list of cost-effective improvements.  A minimum set of these must be made in order to qualify for the program financial incentives.  Home energy improvements above this minimum standard are optional.  All work will be performed by a KY Home Performance-approved installer chosen from the website.  Homeowners can apply for either a cash rebate of up to $2000 or a low-interest rate loan of up to $20,000 for ten years at 3.99 percent to finance all KHP-approved work.

Ky Home Performance Quality Assurance
Once the energy improvements have been made, the homeowner will get a post-installation inspection to insure that the intended energy benefits were successful and meet Ky Home Performance standards for the loan or rebate. Ky Home Performance seeks to raise home energy efficiency by a minimum of 20 percent.

Interested? Want to learn more? Log on to KyHomePerformance.org and get started today!

Jun 16, 2010

Bid Opportunities for Energy Efficiency Work

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified Jun 16, 2010 01:51 PM

Community Action Kentucky has released a Request for Qualification (“RFQ”) to allow businesses and contractors interested in receiving some of this work to see if they are qualified for the contracts.  This is an opportunity to help customers save money on their utility bills, reduce our energy consumption, and create energy jobs.
 
There will be an information session regarding this RFQ on Monday, June 21, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 171 of the Capitol Annex in Frankfort, KY.  All businesses and contractors with the ability to perform the services listed in the RFQ are encouraged to attend and bring their colleagues.  

 

Visit http://www.kaca.org/AboutCAK/BidOpportunities/tabid/611/Default.aspx for more information and to see qualification guidelines.

 

If you have any questions, please contact:
Roger McCann
 at CAK via telephone at 502-875-5863 or by email, RFQContractors@communityactionky.org.
 

May 13, 2010

Funding Opportunities for EE/RE Projects and Training

by Nancy Reinhart — last modified May 13, 2010 02:00 PM

Several funding opportunities in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy are currently available!  See below for details:


EE/RE JOB TRAINING FUNDS:


Kentucky Home Performance is offering incentives to contractors who participate in an upcoming training to become certified through the national Building Performance Institute. The training will be held May 24th-26th in Louisville. In order to be eligible to work as a contractor doing EE/RE on residential properties through the Ky Home Performance program, you must be BPI-certified.

 

Training incentives include:
    •    $1,000 available for up to 80% of the cost of training & certification to obtain BPI training for Building Analyst Certification for the first 100 contractors or home auditors trained under the program
    •    $2,000 available for equipment purchases up to 80% of the cost of qualified equipment for the first 50 contractors or companies participating in the KY Home Performance program. Terms and conditions apply.


Visit www.kyhomeperformance.org for more information.

 

EE/RE ENERGY PROJECT FUNDS:

 

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government. ARC just announced the fourth round of a grant competition this week to assist Appalachian communities in leveraging renewable-energy and energy-efficiency resources to revitalize their economies. ARC expects to provide eight to ten awards of up to $75,000 each, for a total of $545,000 in awards, to successful applicants.

 

Aims of the grants may include -
    •    Preparation and adoption of a community energy plan by a local government jurisdiction.
    •    Implementation of a renewable-energy or energy-efficiency project such as:
    •    Production and/or use of renewable energy, including biofuels, biomass, solar, or wind energy, to include local siting of production facilities.
    •    Distribution of renewable energy, to include customer purchasing commitments.
    •    Expansion or start-up of "clean energy" businesses, including support for business incubation programs or targeted business financing programs.
    •    New construction or renovations that follow "green building" and LEED certification guidelines.
    •    Installation of energy-efficiency equipment in public or nonprofit facilities.
Nonprofit organizations, government entities, and public education institutions located within the Appalachian Region are eligible to apply. Private, for-profit organizations are not eligible to apply.

Visit www.arc.gov/energy for more information.

***
The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation has announced a call for proposals related to innovative, scalable strategies for energy efficiency retrofit programs or policies that address the existing building stock in the United States.


Funding priorities include but are not limited to sustainable and scalable business models for implementing energy efficiency retrofits; policies or programs that seek to advance aggregation of disparate or fragmented opportunities in energy efficiency retrofits to increase the energy savings potential; innovative financing models and other mechanisms to ease upfront costs of efficiency improvements or increase the attractiveness of investments in energy efficiency; policies or programs to secure greater energy efficient performance in buildings such as through benchmarking or improved operations and management; policies or programs to drive deep energy efficiency retrofits in existing buildings; policies or programs to address split incentives; and mechanisms to increase the effectiveness of and property owner participation in state, local, utility-sponsored, or privately-sponsored energy efficiency programs.

 

Proposals may be targeted to any particular barrier or segment of the buildings market (e.g., office, commercial, institutional, retail, residential, single-family, or multi-family). Research to help formulate programs or policies to address barriers is eligible as long as the path to implementation or adoption is clear.


The foundation will invite full proposals based on from pre-proposals, with grant l ranging from $100,000 to $350,000 each. Up to a total of $3 million in grants will be awarded.
Applicants must be U.S. nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations.

 

Visit
http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/rfp/rfp_item.jhtml?id=291600012 for more information.

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Clean energy stories
Randy's run Randy's run

Clay County, Kentucky resident Randy Wilson ran for the board of his electric cooperative on a platform of affordable energy, better energy choices, and good local jobs in 2009. Randy was the first person to oppose a sitting Jackson Energy board member since the co-op was founded in 1938. Before running for office, Randy was an active member of the Kentuckians For the Commonwealth’s Canary Leadership Network carrying a message throughout the region about the need to transition away from coal and towards clean energy.

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