On October 6, 2012, the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) National Solar Tour will offer an opportunity to visit innovative green homes and buildings in Kentucky. The tours will allow visitors to see how it's possible to use solar energy, energy efficiency and other sustainable technologies to reduce monthly utility bills and help advance environmental sustainability. The solar tours will be offered in four Kentucky locations; Berea, Louisville, Frankfort and Lexington.
Now in its 17th year, the ASES Solar Tour events are coordinated nationally in collaboration with a variety of partner organizations. Across the U.S., an estimated 165,000 participants will visit some 5,500 buildings in 3,200 communities. Make plans now to take a tour of solar and other sustainable technologies in action.
Details for all four Kentucky tour locations can be found at the ASES website.
Berea College plans to build a “Deep Green” residence hall on its campus. The state-of-the-art facility is estimated to house 120 students in 66 rooms. Construction is expected to be completed by August 2013 and cost about $16 million.
The construction methods, sustainability features and use of local and recycled materials conform with the college’s strategic direction to meet the American College & University President’s Climate Commitment goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from campus operations and to promote sustainability.
The first new residential facility constructed at Berea College since the Ecovillage a decade ago, this residence hall will be the third campus building to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. LEED certification denotes independent verification from the U.S. Green Building Council that a building is designed and constructed “using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health,” according to the building council.
To reduce the building’s ecological footprint, the residence hall will feature rooftop photovoltaic and solar thermal (hot water) systems to meet about 14 percent of the building’s energy needs and will include an ultra-efficient geothermal heat pump, active day lighting, operable windows for natural ventilation throughout, high-efficiency lighting, a highly insulated, state-of-the-art building envelope, low-flow water fixtures and real-time monitoring of energy consumption via a special building dashboard. The building site will utilize rain gardens, bio-retention ponds and pervious concrete to help manage storm water runoff.
The Louisville Biodiesel Cooperative and St. Francis School have announced a partnership to recycle waste cooking oil. Co-founded by St. Francis School parent Christian Thalacker, the Louisville Biodiesel Cooperative collects used cooking oil & grease to recycle into clean biodiesel fuel that the Co-op says is cheaper, less polluting, and higher performance than petroleum-based diesel fuel. Each St. Francis family was given a container to collect used oil and grease during the school's Philanthropy Day on September 21. Students will return full containers to their campus locations in Louisville, Goshen and Harrods Creek Preschool. The Goshen Campus food services will also collect its used oil and grease to contribute. Louisville Biodiesel Cooperative trucks will remove the oil and grease from these containers to recycle into biodiesel. The biodiesel fuel the families and school produces together will be used to power the St. Francis buses.
Louisville Biodiesel is using the St. Francis School waste cooking oil to blend with its own waste oil collections. Christian Thalacker adds, "for a school to go all-in with recycling shows a deep environmental commitment. This is a great opportunity to reduce our community's waste treatment costs while providing cost-effective biodiesel ... a low-cost, low polluting, high performance, non-toxic and non-carcinogenic alternative to petroleum diesel."
Grant County High School is on track to become the first school in Kentucky to offer a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners’ Photovoltaic (PV) Entry Level Exam training and certification program as part of a high school program of studies.
As a registered training site and exam provider, Grant County can offer its students the opportunity to graduate from high school with the certification required for entry-level technician positions in PV, or solar, installation and renewable energies technology – a field that is growing by leaps and bounds, according to electrical technology teacher Tom Pitts. Pitts recently acquired certification to offer the courses and subsequent exam which made the new program possible. “We see this as a great opportunity for our students to be better prepared for the job market right after graduation,” Pitts said.
The new program will be offered beginning in January through the Grant County Schools Career and Technology Center, a 44,000-square-foot facility connected to the high school. Evening courses will also be available for adults who wish to earn the certification, Pitts said. Read the entire article at Cincinnati.com's website.
The Kentucky Energy Workforce Development Consortium and the Kentucky State Energy Sector Partnership Sub-Grantees will hold their 3rd annual one-day conference - Energy Workforce: "Preparing for Tomorrow" on November 28, 2012. The conference will be held at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Frankfort.
Ann Randazzo, Executive Director, Center for Energy Workforce Development will share the “Energy Industry Competency Model” which is designed to provide a consistent definition of the competencies required to work in the industry. The model builds from basic fundamentals to more industry and career specific competencies.
Utility industry members, local workforce investment areas, local chambers, economic development groups and other governmental agencies will focus on the future workforce needs in the area of generation, transmission and distribution sectors in the energy industry. The day will include panels focused on Workforce Planning, Skills and Training, and National Career Readiness Certificate. A discussion will be held around the completion of an asset inventory of the utility industry, regarding education and training programs which are available with educational providers in Kentucky.
There is no cost to attend the conference but registration is required. Registration will be open until October 22. Continental Breakfast and Lunch will be served for those registered. Please contact Karen C. Jones at email@example.com or at (502) 782-3357 if you have any questions regarding the registration or conference.
The Kentucky Solar Partnership will be hosting an Introduction to Solar Photovoltaics workshop at the Franklin County Cooperative Extension Office in Frankfort on October 11-12, 2012.
Participants in this two-day workshop will gain a basic understanding of solar electric (photovoltaic) design and installation principles. Topics addressed will include off-grid and grid-intertied PV systems, system components, solar site assessments, system sizing, installation techniques and working safely with PV systems. This course satisfies the pre-requisite for Advanced Solar Photovoltaics being offered November 30 to December 2, 2012.
Register for this workshop at the Kentucky Solar Partnership website.
KREC would like to publish your thoughts on renewable energy and energy efficiency in Kentucky in the "Members' Forum". Please send your opinions, articles or news about RE happenings in the Commonwealth to KREC@kppc.org. A short piece is preferable (300 or fewer words work best).
Make your voice heard – we want to give KREC members a forum to spread the word about renewable energy efforts and issues.