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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.

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

TEK Park, 9999 Hamilton Boulevard, Breinigsville, PA 18031-9300
[DIRECTIONS]
Upcoming Tuesday Night Topics
7:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 28
"Aquion Energy’s Sustainable “Saltwater” AHI Batteries"

Chris Rigatti, Product Manager
Aquion Energy’s highly innovative “saltwater” batteries are built entirely of abundant, non-toxic materials and contain no heavy metals. In April this year, they became the first and only batteries ever awarded Cradle-to-Cradle Certification. The Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI) “saltwater” technology was developed by a professor at Carnegie Mellon and the batteries are manufactured in western Pennsylvania, for use in residential solar, off-grid and microgrid applications, energy management and grid services.

AHI batteries are made with a saltwater electrolyte, carbon composite anode, manganese oxide cathode and synthetic cotton separator. They contain no heavy metals and are non-toxic, non-flammable and non-explosive.

MIT Technology Review named Aquion Energy to its list of “50 Smartest Companies in 2015”. In 2014, Popular Science magazine named the company’s AHI batteries to its 2014 list of “Best of What’s New, Innovations that Will Shape the Future.” The company, headquartered in Pittsburgh, has garnered funding from a variety of high-profile sources, including Bill Gates.

We are delighted to have Aquion Energy’s Chris Rigatti, Product Manager, speak at our July 28 meeting at TEK Park. His talk will cover AHI core technology (with technology comparisons), AHI products (including availability and pricing) and AHI applications with case studies, including residential solar. He’ll tell us more about Aquion Energy the company and its manufacturing operations in Westmoreland PA. Chris will also share some perspective on energy storage markets.

If you want to do some reading in advance, you may be interested in a piece comparing AHI and lead acid batteries, [CLICK HERE], and a paper about the science behind AHI technology, [CLICK HERE]. For additional info, check out the company’s website and Facebook page.

Chris Rigatti is Product Manager for Aquion Energy. He holds a BS in Computer Engineering from Penn State and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon. Chris began his career at Lutron Electronics in the Lehigh Valley, where he spent 6 years as an electrical and software engineer working on energy efficient lighting systems for commercial buildings.

We hope you can join us on Tuesday, July 28 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. We're sure this topic will spark lots of good conversation! Light snacks will be served. Hope to see you there!

August 25, “Alternative Energy Production Car Show,” details to come soon.
Show starts in parking lot at 6:00, meeting begins at 7:00

September 29, “MAREA Open Mic Night”
Have something to tell, ask, show? You are invited to take the mic! Details coming soon.

Other events (MAREA will have a table at all)

EnergyPath 2015, Conference and Expo (and Science Fair!)
July 23-24, Scranton PA

SOLAR 2015, (American Solar Energy Society (ASES) Annual Conference
July 28-30, Penn State Main Campus

Bethlehem VegFest, Streets & Food Festival, August 22

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.
A
[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
For questions, more information or to suggest a topic or speaker, contact:
Vera Cole: 215-258-0526 or veracole@comcast.net
[Information Available From Previous Talks]

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]
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.
  [CHECK OUT SUNNYMONEY]

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.
  [READ MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT]
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 Board Member Don Bucci talks about the benefits of a solar hot water system.
(Reading Eagle 2/10/2013)
Several decades ago, Don Bucci began heating domestic hot water at home using solar energy and still cherishes that original setup's benefits today. [READ THE FULL STORY]
MAREA President Vera Cole on electricity conservation (Allentown Morning Call (12/16/12)
The impulse to save electricity may have its roots in an environmentalist ethic, or it may stem from a simple urge to save money. [READ THE FULL STORY]
MAREA board member Anna Digate talks about recycling (Reading Eagle 12/17/12)
With gift-giving holidays approaching, wrapping paper and décor deserve a chance to be looked at in a greener way.
[READ THE FULL STORY]

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.




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[Read previous MAREA newsletters]

   
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