2008 Projects
2009 Projects
2010 Projects
2011 Projects
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Our Mission
  The Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association (MAREA) is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to informing and educating the public on renewable energy production, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through meetings, workshops, educational materials, and energy fairs.
Your membership makes these activities possible. If you can help, please
[Join MAREA]. The support is greatly appreciated and your dollars are used carefully.

Tuesday Night Topic -September 26, 7PM
MAREA Monthly Meetings, the More the Merrier!
Free and Open to the Public
(Always the last Tuesday of the month)

Tuesday, September 26, 7PM
“With solar projects, Lehigh Valley engineers work to restore
war-damaged school in Africa”
Overview of five solar PV projects at Sierra Leone school devastated by war,
with cultural context

Jim Butt, Design Engineer, HindlePower, Inc., Member Engineers without Borders
[The Lehigh Valley Professionals (LVP) chapter of Engineers Without Borders USA] (EWB-USA) is partnering with the [Centennial Secondary School] (CSS) in the village of Mattru Jong, Sierra Leone. The school was ransacked and occupied by rebels during the civil war from 1991 to 2002. Much of the school’s infrastructure, including the distributed water supply, sanitation facilities and building structures, was incapable of meeting even the most basic needs. Prior to the civil war, CSS was a boarding school, but boarding is no longer possible due to the inadequate facilities. Today, the school serves about 1,200 commuter students. Nine trips have been made to the school by [EWB-LVP Chapter] members. To date, we have worked on solar panel lighting, solar water pumping, sanitation, education, providing a well and water distribution projects, and building reconstruction. The most recent trip was in January 2017.

Previous MAREA talks dealt with a solar lighting project and a solar water pumping project at CSS. This talk will give an overview of five different solar PV projects at the Centennial Secondary School as well as cultural context. A brief description of the next EWB-LVP project in Sierra Leone – The Mattru Hospital will also be given.

EWB-LVP is coordinates its efforts in cooperation with the Centennial Old Students Association (CeOSA), Centennial’s alumni association. The objective of the partnership is to leave the school with sustainable solutions that can be carried on without continued influx of external aid. Our goal is to enable the school to return to the high level of education which had been provided before the war.

Jim has spoken to our group several times over the past years about EWP-LVP work in Africa. Speaking from personal experience, he shares fascinating information, pictures and short videos explaining the means and technology necessary to build solar projects in Sierra Leone, and puts this work in the context of local cultural and personal connections. Jim’s talks are always deeply interesting, warm and thought provoking. We hope you will join us at our October meeting for a meaningful and uplifting talk of international good work by local Lehigh Valley engineers.

The meeting is Tuesday, September 26, at 7:00 at TEKPark (9999 Hamilton Boulevard, Breinigsville, PA 18031, between Kutztown and Allentown). Meetings are free and open to the public. After the meeting, please plan to stick around and chat with friends old and new. Light snacks will be served. Hope to see you there!

Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) is a national organization founded in 2002 with more than 16,800 members across the United States. EWB-USA has approximately 680 projects in 45 developing counties across the world. We are passionate people, with over 300 dedicated chapters, including university chapters on more than 180 campuses throughout the United States. There are three local chapters: student chapters at Lehigh and Lafayette, and the Lehigh Valley Professionals chapter.

James Butt holds a BSEE and MSEE from Lehigh University and holds three patents. He has worked as a Senior Engineer for Ford Motor Company, a Research Engineer and lecturer at Lehigh University, and Chief Engineer for both Bitronics, Inc. (instrumentation used in electric utilities) and Thor Power (advanced motor drives). Jim is presently a Design Engineer at HindlePower, Inc where he designs industrial battery chargers for electric utilities. He is a Professional Engineer and Senior Member of IEEE, IEEE Power & Energy Society, IEEE Power Electronics Society. Jim has also been involved with Formula Hybrid as a Technical Presentation Judge Team Leader. We are especially proud to say Jim is a MAREA member, and of course, very active with Engineers Without Borders.

TEK Park, 9999 Hamilton Boulevard, Breinigsville, PA 18031-9300

[Download Information from Previous MAREA Presentations]

Upcoming Tuesday Night Topics
MAREA Monthly Meetings, the More the Merrier!
Free and Open to the Public
(Always the last Tuesday of the month)

More Info Coming Soon

TEK Park, 9999 Hamilton Boulevard, Breinigsville, PA 18031-9300

For questions, more information or to suggest a topic or speaker, contact:
Vera Cole: 215-258-0526 or veracole@comcast.net
[Download Information from Previous MAREA Presentations]

MAREA Book Discussion
Thursday, October 12, 2017 6:30PM to 8:00PM
at the Kutztown Community Library, 70 Bieber Alley, Kutztown, PA

Available from Firefly in Kutztown, your intrepid local book-store
or on-line
"The Grid"
By Gretchen Bakke, PhD (Bloomsbury, 2016)

“The grid is not just something we built, but something that grew with America, changed as our values changed, and gained its form as we developed as a nation. It is a machine, an infrastructure, a cultural artifact, a set of business practices, and an ecology.”

The electric grid could be the biggest impediment to our renewable future. Renewables are changing our grid physically, economically, politically and philosophically. Who better to untangle this massive infrastructure than an anthropologist. Author Gretchen Bakke weaves together history, recent events, the disparate players, the public and policy to help us understand what has been called America’s biggest machine. Join us for a charged discussion of the grid’s important role in our on-going search for a more sustainable future.

Join us for an ensnaring discussion of this dynamic topic All are welcome!
(even if you haven't read the book)

Lehigh Valley Green Drinks
2nd Wednesday of Each Month 5:30 - 7:30 PM
All are invited to [Lehigh Valley Green Drinks] on the second Wednesday of each month at the Allentown Brew Works (812 Hamilton St, Allentown, PA 18101), 5:30 – 7:30.

Speaker: Chris Kocher from Wildlands Conservancy.

Next event is September 13. Hope to see you there!

MAREA completes solar hot water project
to help needy.
MAREA's solar hot water installation at Reading's Opportunity House is complete!
This large system is expected to cut fuel costs and emissions by 50% and provide 100% of summertime hot water needs. The nonprofit Opportunity House offers round-the-clock childcare to support the working poor and provides emergency housing, three meals per day, and laundry facilities on a daily basis for needy men, women and children. The solar hot water installation (and related plumbing upgrades) was given to the shelter in full, with no cost to the Opportunity House for materials, labor or permitting. MAREA board member Tom Green, a mechanical engineer who works as Kutztown University's Director of Campus Energy Services, led the project, working closely with fellow board member Bill Hennessy to coordinate the efforts of many skilled volunteers and local companies who donated expertise, equipment and materials. More details to come on this special project and its many generous contributors!

Interested in being on the MAREA Board of Directors? Let us know!

Need a gift...but don't want to buy stuff?
If you'd like to make a donation to MAREA or buy someone a membership
as a gift, let us know and we'll handle the acknowledgement thoughtfully,
by email or paper mail, with your input.

Drop us a note at [themarea@gmail.com].
And remember, all new memberships get a free copy of the DVD, "Saving Sunshine"!

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

PASA 25th Annual Farming for the Future Conference
[CLICK HERE] to read more and sign up.

Upodated Schedule [HERE]

Be safe on the roof.
MAREA has two never (or very slightly) used fall-protection-in-a bucket systems that we’d like to sell at good price.
[GUARDIAN 805 Bucket] (selling for $125) and a [Gemtor VP 811] (selling for $150). Available at the TEK Park meeting. If you can’t make it, drop us a note at themarea@gmail.com.
Cash or credit is fine. We’re required to charge sales tax, but no shipping

Thinking about going solar? Resources for Homeowners & Small Businesses
"Solar Electricity for PA Homeowners" — Aug 2014 presentation slides
  If your organization would like a speaker on this topic, we’d be happy to help.
Please contact: [themarea@gmail.com]. [DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION]
Pennsylvania Solar Electric Installers May 2016

Download an extensive list of solar electric installers in Pennsylvania
If you are solar installer in PA and would like to be included in this directory,
please complete the form here,

[PA Solar Installer Info]

[Marea Drectory of Solar Installers: May 2017]

On-Line Resources for those Considering Solar
  List of on-line resources to help you find an installer, estimate electricity generation, understand environmental value, consider financial aspects and more.
  [MAREA’s Recommended Resources]
SunnyMoney Residential Solar Electric Estimator
  Easy, on-line tool (updated 2014!) developed by MAREA to help Pennsylvania homeowners plan & budget for solar electric projects. Quick & accurate estimates for system size, electricity generation, savings, cost, Federal tax credit, environmental payback & more.

MAREA produces its first movie:
"Saving Sunshine"
Keeping the Lights on with Batteries and Solar Power”
In plain language, master electrician and solar installer Bruce Hankins explains AC Coupling, the combining of a grid-tied solar electric installation with an off-grid battery backup system. This technology, made possible through advanced electronics, offers benefits for all users of the entire electric system—both those with and without solar. Teachers, electricians, system installers, owners of grid-tied systems and solar advocates will find Hankins’ clear explanations in “Saving Sunshine” helpful in learning the specifics of an AC Coupled system and how it forms a local electric distribution system.
Free DVD with MAREA membership
While supplies last, all new and renewing MAREA members will receive a free copy of "Saving Sunshine, Keeping the Lights on with Batteries and Solar Power,” the 30-minute DVD produced by MAREA this year with funding from the Berks Community Foundation and distributed by Bullfrog Films. It’s terrific film, offering an interesting and easily understood explanation of the electricity grid and distribution generation, especially the role of batteries with solar. MAREA is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Donations and memberships are how we keep the lights on. Thanks for your help.
[Watch the Trailer on YouTube]
[Read More and Purchase the DVD]

Event Announcements
Perpetual economic growth is neither possible nor desirable. Growth, especially in wealthy nations, is already causing more problems than it solves.
You are invited to sign the Center for Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE) position statement in support of a sustainable, steady state economy with stabilized population and consumption. For full detail, please visit [TAKE A POSITION]. At the direction of its board, MAREA signed as an organization on Feb 17, 2015.
Solar Advocates Fight Utilities Over Grid Access
  Across the country the solar industry is battling utilities over the financial details of feeding electricity from renewable resources back into the power grid.

Vera Cole, president of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association, a group arguing against proposed rules in Pennsylvania that would put stricter limits on how much grid-connected solar power homeowners can produce on their property.

PA Sunshine Counts: Our Common Solar Wealth - July 2014
This report is an analysis of records obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for more than 7,000 solar electric systems receiving PA Sunshine Rebates, with detailed findings related to cost trends, system size, installation locations, component manufacturers, and installers.

In the interest of good solar, MAREA has chosen to provide this report at no charge to members and nonmembers alike. MAREA believes strongly that the more informed voices in the conversation the better the outcome.Thank you for reading this report.
MAREA is funded entirely though memberships, events, grants and donations. Your support is needed and genuinely appreciated.

  Solar Hot Water Benefits Homeless Shelter
  To help reduce monthly expenses for Opportunity House, a multi-service organization improving the quality of life for children, families and adults who face various obstacles to independent living in the Reading area, MAREA has spearheaded a project to install a solar hot water system on their main building.
Check out the Progress: [READING EAGLE 8-1-14] [WFMZ NEWS VIDEO]

Court Affirms Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association’s Right to Know,
Orders DEP to Release Solar Data
September 18, 2012, Kutztown, PA A renewable energy organization's request for access to information regarding solar installations receiving rebates from the $100 million state [Sunshine Program] was recently upheld by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. [READ THE FULL RELEASE]

Community Projects & Workshops

MAREA conducts small group workshops on practical alternative energy projects throughout the year.
[Learn from experts in the field. MAREA members receive special discount on workshops]

MAREA Educational Programs
MAREA is planning a series of two-hour workshops on possible topics that include, so far, solar electric design, solar hot water design, structural engineering for solar electric mounting systems, thermodynamics, commissioning solar electric systems, solar oven cooking, reducing electrical use in the home, all about RECs, considerations for commercial solar electricity installations, solar electricity for homeowners and wire crimping for solar installations. Whew! Let us know topics you would like covered and if there's a topic you, or someone you know, would like to instruct. Dates, locations and times will be announced soon. We expect them to be on Saturday mornings with a fee of around $45 for members. We're also nailing down plans for the next solar electric installation workshops. We'll send details as soon as they're available.
With ideas or questions, please contact
Bill Hennessy, 484-560-4666, bill@berkssolar.com.