Vermont’s innovative solar program a finalist for national Readers Choice award

first_imgAn innovative solar program recently established by Vermont is up for a national award.The Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards, hosted by Renewable Energy World, has selected Vermont’s registration program for small solar systems as a finalist for its Readers Choice Award.Online voting is open through January 20 and is open to the public.The winner will be announced in Long Beach, California in mid-February.‘Given the national interest in Vermont’s innovative program, we think there’s a real shot we could capture the Readers Choice. We hope Vermonters and folks throughout the industry will weigh in and vote,’ said Andrew Savage of AllEarth Renewables in Williston. ‘Many Vermonters familiar with the solar industry are eager to see our state be a national model for cutting installation costs, making solar more affordable and accessible to homeowners.’With Vermont’s newly implemented law, small solar systems now have a simple pre-determined process that reduces paperwork and uncertainty and means they can be installed after just 10 days. The new process replaces all permitting for ground or roof-mounted solar systems 5kW and smaller with a single basic registration form outlining the system components, configuration, and compliance with interconnection requirements.”As a local installer, this new registration process is enormously helpful. This speeds up the installation process allowing us to avoid wasting time with costly delays for small installations,” said Rich Nicol, of Solartech, an installer in northeastern Vermont.A recent study earlier this year by SunRun, a leading national provider of residential solar systems, found that permitting adds an average cost of $2,500 to each solar installation and that streamlining the often-cumbersome processes would provide a $1 billion no-cost stimulus to the solar industry over the next five years.The report finds that the additional installation cost’ $.50 per watt’ is due to wide permitting variations not connected to safety, excessive fees, and an unnecessarily slow process. The report cites that Germany has a 40 percent advantage over the United States in installation price.Vermont’s new registration process, which is free, went into effect at the end of last year. The legislation,which became Act 47 and was signed into law May 25, 2011, received strong bipartisan support.‘We think the Vermont registration process could be a real model to follow nationally,’ said Jurgen Krehnke, president and general manager of SMA America. ‘Reducing the time and resources that go into solar installations is right in line with the DOE’s SunShot initiative and is critical to increasing PV adoption.’Williston, Vermont January 16, 2012last_img read more

Wisconsin adjusts to life without star Johnson

first_imgDec. 4 against Miami, with 11:50 left in the first half, redshirt senior and leading scorer Michala Johnson took an awkward misstep, twisting her left knee. An MRI later confirmed she had torn her ACL for the third time in her playing career.The 66-54 loss that day became a side note as head coach Bobbie Kelsey described a devastated locker room, not because they lost a star player that helps them win, but because Johnson, who many players look up to, might have played her last game as a Badger.After giving few days to let the dust settle, redshirt senior Cassie Rochel said the team knew they had to stop dwelling on the setback and view it as an opportunity to come closer together. The reality was that it was time for others to step up and fill the void. Players with originally smaller roles, like junior guards Dakota White and Nicole Bauman, now had the chance to show their full value to the team and maximize their opportunities on the court.“When Michala is shooting 15 shots per game, that’s 15 shots that other people need to pick up the slack for,” Rochel said.Kelsey echoed the thoughts of Rochel, adding that every team suffers a significant injury at one point or another. What really defines a team, Kelsey emphasized, was not how they do when everything is going their way, but how they respond to adversity.“The thing you learn about your team is if people buck up and play, and really step up to the plate and challenge themselves to get out of their comfort zone and do more. Just when you think you’re doing more, do more,” Kelsey said. “Everybody experiences something; you can’t just quit. It’s either fight or flight.”Johnson’s injury thrust junior guard Tessa Cichy into the starting lineup, who is averaging 8.0 points per game, while Bauman (12.9 ppg) and junior guard Dakota Whyte (10.4 ppg) have shouldered the bulk of the scoring load.As Johnson’s roommate, Rochel said the reality of the injury hit Johnson hard at first, but she has since come to terms with her new role as a supporter of the team from the sideline, with valuable experience she can still bring to the table as a member of last season’s All-Big Ten Team.“She’s such a mature person that she would never bring anyone down because of it, and that’s one thing that speaks volumes about her and her leadership,” Rochel said. “Leading from the sideline is something she does really well—everyone looks at her when she speaks and she has so much maturity and experience. Everything she says is for a reason and it really shows.”Rochel said Johnson’s younger sister, sophomore Malayna Johnson, has had difficulty witnessing her sister go through the injury again, but has ultimately given her more of an opportunity to gain some experience and hone her skills against Big Ten competition.While the intriguing prospect of the two sisters being on the court together again next year remains a possibility, it will require approval from the NCAA committee to grant Johnson a second redshirt senior season, which is not guaranteed.One thing Rochel noted about Malayna was her improved tenacity on both sides of the ball, a trait that her older sister has mastered on the court. Against rival Minnesota Jan. 4, Malayna scored a season-high nine points off the bench in a 72-60 loss.“She’s grown leaps and bounds from when she started, and she’s a lot more aggressive,” Rochel said. “I think it motivated her to do it for her sister in a way, so as unfortunate as it was, it really was a positive thing for Malayna.”From a basketball perspective, Kelsey said Johnson’s versatility on the offensive side of the ball is the most difficult aspect of her game to replace for the rest of the season.“We just knew that when we gave her the ball, she would be able to put a lot of pressure on the defense to score. She’s very crafty around the basket and can hit a 15-footer. She can put it on the floor and get to the rim and finish, make free throws,” Kelsey said. “She’s had to have a lot of attention, so that takes some pressure off of other people.”Senior Jacki Gulczynski said while the loss is obviously tough, the Badger’s ultimate goals haven’t wavered as they look to finish the season stronger than ever.“The games are dwindling down, but obviously each one is important,” Gulczynski said. “At the end of the day you have to put five out there, and it hurts not having Michala out there, but we’re doing what we can without her.”last_img read more

5-step re-engaging process in place for scout leaders

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisALPENA, Mich –Boy Scout leaders can get back to meeting with their troops as the Michigan Crossroads Council provided scouting units a 5-step process necessary for re-engaging.Scouting will look a little different as newly required procedures have been implemented for all units, registered members and family.The precautionary steps are needed to help mitigate risks and liabilities leaders and others may be exposed to as in-person scouting resumes.According to Scout Master Chris Harsch, he’s glad to reunite with his troop 92 as the virtual meetings have not been effective.While apart, they discussed topics like first aid and honor because it was difficult to focus on skill.Harsh said he misses his troop 92 and is already preparing for future events.Unit leaders who do not comply with the State of Michigan guidelines is accepting liability for their unit, members and program.For full information on the 5 steps before re-engaging you can visit michiganscouting.org.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Health department warns of possible coronavirus exposure at a party in Alpena CountyNext Scams on social media about unemployment benefitslast_img read more