Thursday, January 01, 2015

January 1 2015- A day to seek Energy Independence for all Consumers supporting Sustainability

Last year 2014 was filled with progress with new energy generation initiatives and Environmental protection commitments made by Global Leaders. China and America led by setting goals and the rest of the world was made very aware by real Climate tragedies that denying climate change is now taken as a mark of Ignorance.
How can we and why should we waste time and energy on this debate?
Smart people will move forward with smart solutions and let the naysayers stand on the side lines.
Renewable energy is now the best Instrument of Peace to gain energy independence, which can now be seen as more installations of such systems are completed.
In New York State Wayne County based Town of Williamson took the lead by building 1.5 Mega Watts solar PV system on their closed landfill. Larsen Engineers assisted them in creating the long term sustainability plan and installing the large scale solar PV system to make 100% of their energy use at Municipal facilities.
So this Year the Town of Williamson, NY can celebrate the Energy Independence and motivate others to do the same. The ultimate economic benefit for the community is to fix the cost of power for next 40 years with savings of over 1 Million Dollars.
As the oil and gasoline prices go down below $2.00 they clearly prove the power of reducing consumption by the energy consumers. The seller of dirty fuels can not stop the consumers if they decide NOT to use oil based products. This is the time to resolve and ramp up the energy conservation and green power generation to further put pressure and keep the oil and gas price low.
Someday Oil will become irrelevant as we embrace Solar, Wind and Biomass power to replace the conventional dirty fuels. It can be done in 20 years if we all resolve today to take such actions.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Town of Williamson,NY Leads with Solar PV for achieving Energy Independence

http://www.13wham.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/solar-panels-power-unused-landfill-18717.shtml

The above TV news story covered the news about a large scale solar system that was installed to serve the Town of Williamson electrical energy needs. Larsen Engineers assisted the Town to competitively select SED to provide the 1.5 MW solar system, as part of their sustainable energy strategy.

This project is a great example of how communities can seek energy independence and adapt to Climate change.

New York State offers the grants and with Federal tax incentives any consumer can go Solar and save money during the life of the system, expected to be 30-40 years. This Green Energy solution can help reduce our dependence on oil and control the price of petroleum products with lowered demand.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Oil Prices are Now in Control of Consumers by Reducing Demand

Here are some questions that have "YES" as an answer.

Can conservation and smart choice of energy sources by the consumers be the controlling factor for Oil Prices?
Can the Federal policies shape the future of energy use in America?
Can the fight for Climate change also save the environment?
Can we continue to keep the Price of oil down and one day make it an unnecessary fuel?
Can Free natural resources of Wind, Sun and Water be the sustaining solution for us all?
Can the financial incentives by Federal and State governments encourage our shift to renewable energy?

We the consumers have a choice and we should try everything we can do to be Energy Independent.

Better days are ahead if we take the right path and kick the oil habit.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Cow Power for Energy Independence in New York

New York State leads the nation in yogurt production which depends on milk production. We are in top 3 milk producing states and farm businesses are key to our rural economy. With higher number of cows comes a lot of manure waste production and environmental concerns within the watershed. Urban population and neighbors complaint about odors created when manure is applied to farm land. The farm businesses also face high energy costs and wish to manage and control this expense. These problems were recognized and became the basis for NYS funding programs to help solve these problems and help in the economic development.

Climate change requires reduction in green house gas emissions to atmosphere and Methane from farms is know to be a problem that will soon require compliance with upcoming US EPA requirements. Similarly surface runoff from the farms is containing pollution in the form of organics and nutrients. Anaerobic digesters are ideal solution but costly to implement based on the price quotes from International companies and many German and Dutch companies are active in USA and have built the digesters at significantly high cost for those large farms that can afford it. Most studies have shown that small medium size farms are not in a position to afford it. This condition can be changed by adopting simple processes and using locally procured labor and materials.

We are happy to announce that this dream of an affordable digester has come true recently at Spruce Haven Dairy Farm in Cayuga county NY, where a 1.5 million gallon "lagoon based in- ground" digester and 500 KW co-generation system has been constructed within the NYSERDA grant budget of $2 Million Dollars. The system was started up in July 2014 and by September it was making more Bio gas than projected and the engine generator is consistently operating above 95% design capacity. This farm has over 2500 cows feeding the manure to the digester at a flow rate of about 100,000 GPD, including the flushing wash water from sand removal system.

A high efficiency digester built and operating successfully at a capital cost of under $800 per cow is great example for many dairy farms that in New York State it is now possible to solve your problems and become net energy producer by supplying excess power to the Grid.

The Farm in Cayuga County NY is open for field trips for other farmer to see the system and its operation. Energy and Environmental issues can be addressed with the financial help from NYSERDA and USDA as these businesses seek affordable solutions. Spruce Haven farm has achieved Energy Independence for their electric consumption by producing more energy than what they use. They look forward to making RNG- bio-fuel for the trucks by cleaning and compressing the bio gas as renewable transportation fuel in near future.

New Projects like this can help us meet the climate change goals for renewable energy and also help in economic development in rural America.

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

UN Climate Change week in NY City- Time to Act is Now!

As we watch the natural disasters around the world and scramble to help the victims, the question arises about what to do to avoid this in future? Are our leaders ready to act and show the path?
The first step obviously is for people to accept that it is happening and worse scenarios may occur if we do not act now.

The world leaders are gathering in N Y City to discuss this next week. Let us hope that common sense prevails and the investments to cut Greenhouse Gas emissions are adopted by all participants. The impact of solar PV power development should not be ignored. Get the word out that solar PV costs have drastically come down and now you can make electrical power for the same cost as you spend with non-renewable energy. Availability of low interest financing over 10 years can make it happen for everyone. This is where the Green Revolving Loan funds offered through local banks can change the economics. The dream of Net-Zero energy can be realized by those who invests in the Solar PV systems in New York State.

New York State is trying to lead the way. This week it is possible that the Governor may announce grant awards under NY State solar initiatives to install Large Scale solar power systems. It will be a good example to see for international politicians coming to New York City for the UN Summit.

GO SOLAR New York!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Small Communities need solar power to come out of economic difficulties and become energy independent

Who need to reduce cost of government operations most? These are small communities at their debt limit and are not in a position or permitted by State laws to borrow capital dollars to build solar PV systems.

They have the opportunity to make their own power and pay off the debt from energy savings.
Their challenge is to raise the construction loan to build the system and long term low interest financing to pay ti back. The State and Federal Govt. has significant amount of pension funds that could be used to create a green funding mechanism to help such communities.

The federal USDA rural utility program may be able to help. Only time will tell as we watch the policies for Green project support.  Private capital looks for higher rate of return and larger dollar value projects which does not match with small community needs.

If this can be achieved then these communities can control their energy future and make solar power for the same price as they pay now. After 20 years the systems could be all paid and only O&M costs will remain for next 20 years when the power cost would be less that 6 cents per kWh as compared to Utility cost of over 20 cents /kWh. Energy independence by making same amount of power as they consume they will not be affected by future cost of energy. Fortunately this is possible as Government policy empowers the consumer to become solar power producer.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Green Construction Loans are Essential for Building Green Energy Projects

Imagine getting a Reimbursable grant of  93% of the Capital cost and still unable to build the farm Anaerobic Digester system to treat waste and make green power. Unfortunately this is a reality in New York State.

Most of the lenders do not understand Digesters and have no risk tolerance for such technology when the grant is offered as collateral. So how do you get a construction loan? Where to go? These are the challenges why so many farmers who have the manure disposal problems can not take advantage of the Grants.

It looks like the Federal USDA is listening to these issues and establishing a large loan fund that can be used for building the system with 70% loan amount against 30% local loan and equity. This potential "USDA - REAP renewable energy funding assistance program"  could be extremely beneficial and capable of creating a wave of economic development across Rural America.

Let us hope this succeeds and soon rural communities and small businesses will be able to gain Energy Independence by building their own Green power generation systems.

Infrastructure investments by the federal Govt. in our communities are essential to replace war funding and create jobs back home so returning Vets can have a job making green energy.

Better days may be ahead for energy Independence at the rural Farms and communities.

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