SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
1. Celebrating Our New Home
2. Atlanta Knows Wind
3. Citizens Speak for Clean Air
4. Local Biodiesel now in Atlanta
1. Celebrating Our New Home
How we made it better with energy efficiency and solar
Last month SACE opened up its Knoxville home to members of the local community and media for a closer look at energy efficiency and renewable energy in action. Dozens of individuals came to the open house and solar ribbon cutting to learn about clean energy, electric vehicles, energy efficiency retrofits and the "power" of solar energy. The event was also an opportunity to thank the Honorable Madeline Rogero, Mayor of Knoxville, and other community leaders and partners who helped us complete these projects. When SACE relocated over a year ago, the building was very inefficient. Since then, we’ve worked hard to make our new home a living example of our organization’s hope for a cleaner future. Initial improvements to the building envelope involved some basic efficiency work, including sealing holes and replacing old weather stripping. Having a better sealed and more insulated building allowed us to install a smaller HVAC system when the time came to replace the old units. Our geothermal heat pump system saves us $4,000 less per year than our old system and uses significantly less energy. Visitors to our office also noticed the lighting retrofits we replaced. The building originally had fixtures that were two-foot by four-foot four-lamp fluorescent fixtures with magnetic ballasts and T12 lamps. Essentially, these lamps are so inefficient that they will no longer be on the market by July 2012. SACE chose to replace the magnetic ballasts with electric ones, added more efficient T8 lamps and got rid of half the lights altogether. Today, much of the SACE office is lit by natural light from light tubes. These Solatube Daylighting Systems collect daylight at the rooftop and move it down through a reflective tube to distribute light evenly into a room through a diffuser at the ceiling. Of course, the biggest attractions of the day were our most recent additions to the SACE home: 2 Blink Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations and a 9 kW solar panel installation. Guests left their Leafs to charge on our free, publically accessible Level 2 charging stations as they listened to Mayor Rogero and other speakers honor the latest clean energy addition to TVA’s power grid. All of the solar system’s major components were made in the USA: even the solar panels are made in Sharp’s Memphis, Tennessee, facility. The system is projected to generate about 12,000 kWh annually, which will save up to $2,500 per year. These improvements demonstrate our commitment to making responsible energy choices that create solutions to global warming and ensure clean, safe and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. For more details about the specific changes that took place at the Knoxville office, we encourage you to take a moment to visit our blog and read all about it.
2. Atlanta Knows Which Way The Wind Blows
Thoughts on AWEA’s WindPower 2012 Conference We’re excited to report that the WindPower 2012 Conference and Exhibition held in Atlanta June 3-6 was a tremendous success. Seven SACE staffers witnessed firsthand the pulse and heartbeat of the global and domestic wind industry as we joined 11,000 others for this impressive event sponsored by the American Wind Energy Association. SACE was proud to be one of three major event partners along with the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and Georgia Tech. This first-ever WindPower event held in the Southeast drew 920 exhibiting companies, including 120 exhibitors from our region. Session panelists discussed current and proposed projects, the latest technologies, improved siting, utility activities, policies and more. Closest to SACE’s hearts and minds, WindPower 2012 spotlighted the many ways that wind power is coming to the Southeast. In keeping with the event theme—“Manufacturing the Future Today”— speakers focused on how the South has emerged as a manufacturing and transportation hub for U.S. wind power factories, and as an emerging market for wind power purchases. We also heard how the region is enticing new wind farm prospects as innovations such as new turbines, longer blades and taller towers make cost-effective generation of electricity possible at lower wind-speed sites. The conference gave us a real look at how wind energy can be effectively integrated into the electric grid and how community wind works.In terms of current events, WindPower 2012 had a call to action as two notable political speakers—Karl Rove and Robert Gibbs—confirmed how wind power has strong bi-partisan support. Both these speakers underscored the urgency for Congress to get on with the business of extending the vital federal production tax credit (PTC) for the wind industry. Even though wind companies can often produce electricity more economically than coal, nuclear, and other forms of energy, the wind industry still needs public intervention to help stabilize the market for the future just as more traditional forms of energy enjoy long-term incentives. Visit our “Take Action” page for details. Overall, WindPower 2012 helped bring wind power to a whole new level in the Southeast. To round out the week of activities, SACE received a national award from the Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America initiative for our efforts to support the development of land-based and offshore wind energy in the Southeast. We’re all the more inspired to advance wind energy for our region!
3. Citizens Speak For Clean Air
Charlotte Public Hearing on EPA’s Carbon Pollution StandardsOn June 11, 2012 concerned citizens gathered in Charlotte, NC to offer their support for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to limit carbon pollution from new power plants. This event, hosted by Mayfield Memorial Missionary Baptist Church, St. Paul Baptist Church, Clean Air Carolina, National Council of Churches, US Climate Action Network and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, was held to collect citizen comments to deliver to EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson.Many of those who spoke at the citizens hearing shared their own experiences with asthma and other health-related concerns caused by air pollution. Jonathan Pullin, on the board of the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, provided information on documented studies showing a correlation between respiratory diseases and CO2 pollution. Autumn Picarsic, age 13, declared that she liked what EPA is doing and asked EPA to please finalize the carbon rule because, “I want a healthy life and future.” When fully implemented, these new rules will hold large polluters accountable, as there is currently no limit on how much carbon can be emitted from power plants. At two billion tons of CO2 emission annually, coal-fired power plants are the largest carbon polluters in the U.S. One concerned citizen said he applauded EPA for their efforts to “bring our power generating technology into the 21st century.” EPA officially accepted comments on this proposed rule until June 25th but comments on the Carbon Pollution Rule may still be considered until EPA issues the final rule sometime later this year or next.
4. Local Solar Powered Biodiesel in Atlanta
SACE and CEB Open Their First Retail Biodiesel Station Last month, we celebrated the Grand Opening of our new retail biodiesel station in Atlanta. Attendees learned about the benefits of using our locally recycled solar-powered biodiesel and this station’s part in the nation’s longest biofuels corridor. We had a great panel of speakers out to support the first-of-its-kind and only public biodiesel fueling station in Atlanta. Project partners including SACE Executive Director Stephen A. Smith, SACE Board of Directors President John Noel, Clean Energy Biofuels Principal McKay Johnson, and Jonathan Overly, manager of the I-75 Green Corridor project (providing a portion of the funding for the project), were joined by Denise Quarles, the City of Atlanta’s Director of Sustainability and Dale Aspy, EPA Region 4 for the first fueling. The fueling station is a partnership between Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), Clean Energy Biofuels (CEB) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s I-75 Green Corridor program. The positive partnership between SACE, CEB and the I-75 Green Corridor project and the support of the community has been key to our success and we value the support of our city and federal leaders in this project. CEB biodiesel is produced in the most environmentally sustainable way possible: it is made from recovered waste oil from local restaurants, produced locally using 100% renewable solar power and meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International standards. It provides environmental benefits far beyond biodiesel produced from other sources. By using what has historically been a restaurant waste product, we are keeping it out of our landfills and sewage system, converting it in to the highest quality certified biodiesel and making it available at a competitive cost. Drivers will know by using our biodiesel that they are using the greenest transportation fuel available today.We would like to thank all of our wonderful speakers for participating, our supporters, David Lloyd and Technical Specialties and especially our customers for buying fuel. SACE is committed to diversifying our region’s fuel mix, whether it be with sustainably-produced biodiesel or further deployment of electric vehicles. They are all important steps for public health, the environment and for national security. The fueling station, located at 250 Arizona Ave NE, offers B20 (a 20% blend of biodiesel) and B100 (100% biodiesel) and is open from 5:00am to dusk. To see pictures from the event, including images of our happy customers filling up, visit our Flickr photo album. Please also follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter/CleanEnergyBio, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cleanenergybiofuels and through CEB’s website at http://www.cleanenergybiofuels.com.