|Welcome to our Newsletter! |
We hope you will find our monthly newsletter to be informative, useful and fun. We do not use this mailing list for anything else and never share recipients’ addresses. You may officially subscribe, unsubscribe, or forward to a friend anytime by clicking on the links at the bottom of the page. Please help us spread the word about Sundance Power Systems and renewable energy.
*For best display, please view as a web page by clicking the tab in the header above, or, better yet, view the features on our website by clicking on the images.
Susan and Steve Kaagan live their lives with a passion for sustainability, and their new self-designed home in Asheville embodies their commitment to "walking their talk." For Susan, its most important feature is that it is relatively small at 900 square feet and incorporates a high level of functionality and efficiency, with no wasted space. Local energy raters at Vandemusser Design certified the structure, constructed by Asheville green builder Beach Hensley , with the highest Energy Star rating. And with that foundation of efficiency in place, making the home a net-zero energy building was a very achievable goal.
For our consulting and design team, sizing a solar electric load for a new construction that has no established energy demand base load can be a bit of a challenge, and the Kaagan's system was sized based on a projection that the home would consume approximately 305 kilowatt hours a month. With the exception of gas used for cooking and a wood stove, it is an all electric home. The total capacity of the array is 3 kW, utilizing eleven Kyocera 270 watt modules which are mounted to racking attached directly to the metal roof's standing seams with S-5 clamps, which eliminates roof penetration and makes for an easier installation. A 5 kW SolarEdge inverter was selected, along with SolarEdge's DC Power Optimizer technology and monitoring solutions. The inverter was oversized in preparation for a potential 2- 2.5 kW expansion if the Kaagans get an electric vehicle in the future.
Since moving into their home in November of 2016, Steve reported that their electric bills have been coming in around $11 a month, essentially for the standard service charges for Duke Energy, and they have been charged next to nothing for electricity itself. Their net-metering interconnection agreement with Duke allows for any excess generation beyond consumption at the time of production to be credited at a 1-1 kWh value for use during times when the solar is not producing. This relationship with the utility essentially serves the role of storage and costly batteries are avoided.
Over the next 25 years, the Kaagan's system is expected to produce 96,247 kWh of clean electricity, with a carbon offset of 151,026 pounds. As Steve is especially committed to climate change, this is of great significance to him. In addition to being a founding member of the group Elders Fierce for Justice, which "seeks to reclaim the traditional role of Elder in the service of a more just, healthy, and compassionate community" in Western North Carolina, Steve is a Senior Associate with Climate Interactive (as featured in our Community Connections feature.) His boldest act of climate action just may be that he returned his Honorary Doctorate Degree to Williams College as a liberal protest against the College for not divesting its large endowment funds from fossil fuel investments. Susan has been putting much of her energy to help create resiliency in communities through yoga, and is one of the founding board members of Light a Path along with Sundance's Sierra Hollister.
While this is the third house that Susan and Steve have had that has had some solar capacity over the years, they are excited to have incorporated more sophisticated solar photovoltaic technology into this home. Being net- zero in their consumption of electricity at this stage of their lives is empowering, and they look forward to years in the home, while continuing to work towards making a difference in the world. As it has been said, "it all starts at home."
* We are excited that Steve will be facilitating a Climate Interactive Simulation with our Staff on May1, and we'll be sharing reflections on that experience in our next newsletter.
|Energy Current: Energy Innovation Task Force|
The Energy Innovation Task Force (EITF) was created in May of 2016 with the objective of developing a foundation and framework to meet the region’s growing energy needs through innovative, cost-effective and reliable energy solutions.
EITF brings together Duke Energy, the City of Asheville, Buncombe County and other stakeholders to identify and develop solutions for addressing the region’s clean energy goals and growing needs. In the past several decades, peak electricity use in Duke Energy’s Western region, which serves 160,000+ customers across 9 counties, has more than doubled. This demand is expected to grow by more than 15%. Alternatives to meet the demand are explored by the Task Force, including a combination of demand management (energy efficiency, demand response, etc) and distributed energy resources (solar, energy storage, etc.)
Progress so far is the adoption by Asheville- area leaders of strategic plans that integrate economic, social and environmental sustainability to move the region toward meeting the CO2 reduction goals as well as reducing peak demand through helping low income folks become more energy efficient. In 2013, Asheville City Council resolved for a clean energy economy and partnership with Duke Energy. They followed in 2014 by adopting a framework for a “greener” Asheville.
Duke Energy believes that an additional 190 megawatts of natural gas is needed but could be avoided by working collaboratively with the community to offset energy use through energy efficiency, demand-side management, distributed energy resources and innovative technologies.With the recommendations of the EITF, the City and County have now submitted budgets to do their part in creating solutions. This is a big first step, and while to be lauded, is actually the easy part. The current plans have simply been about supporting and marketing existing Duke Energy programs and supporting the underserved populations, which tend to be the toughest segment of the population to incorporate into energy efficiency and demand side management programs. The next steps will be much more challenging.
This is where you come in. If you believe in a cleaner, greener, more sustainable western North Carolina, you are invited to participate. A groundswell of public support and pressure placed upon the task force is needed. We need to ask that we go beyond ordinary to extraordinary. The public needs to demand that Duke Energy and community leaders to develop better and more aggressive programs to encourage a wider range of technologies and a broader base of customers to participate at higher levels of adoption.
The Energy Innovation Task Force has formed 4 working groups that will undertake research and discussion on specific aspects of the plan. These working groups are open to any member of the public who wants to contribute in a more focused way. The working groups include Programs, Technology, Community Engagement and Peak Reduction. For more information visit their webpage; to join a working group or to receive meeting updates , email Laura Sexton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next regular meeting of the Task Force will be on Friday, May 12th, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm in the City Hall, 6th floor Training Room, located at 70 Court Plaza, Asheville. Come and get involved!
|Employee Spotlight: Kaylee Larkin|
This month we get to meet Kaylee Larkin! Kaylee is one of our newest Renewable Energy Consultants and we are so excited to have her join the Sundance Team!
Kaylee was born in Lakeland, Florida and lives now in West Asheville. Growing up in the country of central Florida, Kaylee spent most of her time outside with her brother. From playing in the pool, building forts and climbing trees to other varied no -TV household shenanigans. Fortunate to grow up around family, she had cousins right next door and 4 of her mother’s 10 brothers and sisters lived close by. Kaylee remembers that there was always a spontaneous trip being planned; exploring a new cave, swimming in springs, a camping canoe trip and evenings would find someone breaking out Scrabble or Risk to play. In spite of being able to play a “mean game of Scrabble”, Kaylee preferred sitting with her grandma or grandpa. Her Grandfather was an amazing story teller, sharing tales from his adventurous and unique life. Her Grandmother was a reflexologist and always willing to work on her feet.
Kaylee landed in West Asheville about 3 years ago and launched a bit of a family migration. Her brother has joined the Asheville population and her mom, step dad and baby brother now live outside of Knoxville.
Kaylee has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and is also a certified Reflexologist.
She has been with Sundance for 2 months and is inspired to work in the renewable energy field by the understanding that we (humans) are the only species actively and deliberately causing harm to the natural world. Working in the field of renewables feels like doing her part to make peace with Mother Nature.
And, it’s on to the list:
3 words that best describe you: Optimistic, Grateful, Determined
Currently listening to: Alice in Chains
Reading: Paddling North by Audrey Sutherlandavorite scent: Gardenias and campfire smoke
Favorite pastime or hobby: Riding bicycles, reading, yoga, rock climbing and anything outside
Favorite word: Benevolent
Last movie watched: Hidden Figures
Person or philosophy most admired: Eckhart Tolle
Favorite quote: It’s titled Desiderata. It was found in Old St. Paul’s Church in Baltimore dated 1692
Inspiration to share with others: Feel the fear and do it anyway
|Community Connections: Climate Interactive|
This month we would like to focus our community connections on Climate Interactive, a Washington DC based not-for-profit organization. While based in DC, Climate Interactive was co-founded by Asheville Resident Drew Jones in 2005. (Drew is one
Climate Interactive helps people to see what works to address climate change and related issues like energy, water, food, and disaster risk reduction. Because the biggest challenges facing our lives on Earth are made up of complex, interconnected parts, Climate Interactive understands that people need better ways to understand the full picture.
Some of the ways through which Climate Interactive works: the creation of simulation software used by climate analysts around the world; calculations of temperature numbers for media use, including the New York Times, to explain the impacts of climate negotiations; helping development agencies design better strategies to reduce the number of people displaced by extreme events and slow onset disasters (like droughts); finding and sharing solutions to climate change that also improve human health, equity and resilience.
Climate Interactive’s work begins with a belief that when people learn by experiencing rather than being told the facts, they gain a deeper understanding of the challenge and the best ways to address it. The tools, simulations and trainings are all designed to help understanding and become more effective at addressing the complex, interconnected challenges we face.
Sundance Power Systems is a big fan of the work that Climate Interactive does and we believe that this work is making a real difference. Please take the time to check them out online at climateinteractive.org.
|Contact us at:|
11 Salem Hill Road
Weaverville, NC 28787
1200 Woodruff Road, Suite A3
Greenville, SC 29607
Be sure to check out our website for more information and resources~
Stay Connected with Sundance
Please "like us" on Facebook where we enjoy sharing updates, photos, and commentary. This is a great way to keep in touch with our friends in between our monthly newsletters.
Renewable energy in WNC
Friday, April 21, 2017
8:30 10:30 AM
Carolina Public Press will hold a free and public forum on the role of renewable energy in Western North Carolina, exploring the challenges and opportunities in the region. Panelists for the forum include David Neal, staff attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center; Maggie Ullman, board chair of the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association; and Jason Walls, communication manager at Duke Energy. Journalists with Carolina Public Press will moderate the event, which includes a panel discussion and audience Q&A.
Seats are limited and RSVPs are required. Carolina Public Press will also live-stream the forum for those unable to attend in person. Find more information at www.carolinapublicpress.org.
Beer City Science Pub
Friday, April 21
5:30 -8:00 PM
Earth Day Kid's Festival
Saturday, April 22
9:00 AM- 2: 00 PM
RiverLink will be celebrating its 3rd annual Earth Day Kid’s Festival at the Salvage Station this year, hosting "a great time to cherish our connection to the natural world." They invite families and people of all ages to come out and enjoy environmental education, arts and crafts, performances and more!
We are excited to be participating in this day, with a table of solar-centric activities and crafts. See you there! For more details on this free community event, click here.
March for Science - Asheville
Saturday, April 22
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
The March for Science is "a celebration of our passion for science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community. Recent policy changes have caused heightened worry among scientists, and the incredible and immediate outpouring of support has made clear that these concerns are also shared by hundreds of thousands of people around the world."
The Asheville March is just one of the 517 Satellite Marches scheduled to take place around the globe, and is an opportunity for anyone and everyone who supports scientific research and evidence-based policies to be heard.
Saturday, April 22
11:30 AM- 8:45 PM
The student-led organizers of UNCA's Mindfulness Festival are excited to host their annual gathering on Earth Day this year. A platform for empowerment, the event provides " the environment for individuals to realize their true potential and work towards being the change they want to see in the world."
The community is invited to take part in educational workshops promoting environmental consciousness, purchase sustainably-sourced food from our vendors, and enjoy music and yoga from local artists.
Weather permitting, Sundance will be providing solar power for the activities on the main stage, so drop by and visit with us. For more details on this free and open event, click here.
Earthshine Nature Programs Fundraiser
April 24, 2017
Monday 6:00 AM - 8:30 PM
The public is invited to come on out to Oskar Blues Brewery's Making a Difference Fundraiser and help Earthshine Nature Programs and the students at The Academy at Trails Carolina raise monies to complete their classroom solar array. The event will include special guests sharing their environmental work with birds of prey, reptiles, electric vehicles, and clean energy, and Sundance is excited to be among them.
Get all the details on this event as well as the ENP/Trails solar energy project here.
Movie Night at The Collider
Tuesday April 25
Oskar Blues Brewery and The Collider continues its monthly climate and environmental film series, with a screening of last two episodes of season two of "Years of Living Dangerously. This event is open to the public, with a suggested donation of $5 per person at the door ($20/family). The Collider provides popcorn, and Oskar Blues provides beer. Details here.
The Path to Slowing the Climate Crisis
Wednesday, April 26
6:30 - 8:00 PM
Co-sponsored by the NC NAACP, Dogwood Alliance, Community Roots, and Alliance for Energy Democracy, this discussion with NC Warns' Executive Director Jim Warren and community organizers will focus on clean energy and other strategies to address the impacts of Climate Change.
There is no charge for this event, to be held in Pack Memorial Library's Lord Auditorium in Asheville, and the public is encouraged to attend. Details here.
Energy Innovation Task Force Meeting
Friday, May 12th
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Read the Energy Current feature on the EITF and come and get involved.
May 11 - 14
The Spring LEAF Festival promises to Ignite & Inspire as the 44th semi-annual celebration of the global community through music, arts and wellness at beautiful Lake Eden. Sundance will be out there with our solar mobile charging station to charge up LEAFers with clean energy, but you'll need to bring your charging cord.
Tickets go fast, so if you haven't gotten yours yet, get them now, and we'll see you out there!
|Action You Can Take: March for the Climate|
This month you can take some pretty exciting action on climate and head on up to Washington, DC to participate in the Peoples Climate Movement on April 29. As the organizers of the march say, “Everything we have struggled to move forward in the United States is in peril. Those in power in Washington are advancing a dark and dangerous vision of America that we know is untrue. To change everything, we need everyone.”
For more information on the March and the logistics of the national happening in DC and others around the country, visit here.
If making it up to Washington DC is out of the question, there is an Asheville People’s Climate Rally and March happening on April 29th at 10:00 am on Pack Square. More details on that event can be here.
|Show us the Love with your Vote!|
For 22 years Sundance Power Systems has been working hard to be your region solar warriors, and being voted # 1 in Alt Energy Sales and Installations in Mountain Xpress' Best of WNC poll shows us that the community recognizes us. We take this as a great honor, and appreciate your support.
While voting is open until April 26, don't wait- show your love today and vote for us here as the region's best for the fifth year running!