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.

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

Tuesday, June 27 6:30PM (note early start time & call for participation!)
Alternative-Energy Yard Equipment—Let’s Kick Some Gas!
That’s the rowdy tagline from the [American Green Zone Alliance], a California group working in support of zero-emission landscape maintenance strategies. The group identifies the [six worst impacts] of gas-powered equipment on lawn crews, communities and the planet. Topping their list? Emissions. A two-stroke gasoline powered leaf blower generates as much tailpipe emissions in one hour as an automobile does over 350 miles. The difference is that a car emits all that pollution over a long stretch of road, while a leaf blower deposits it all in one yard.

According to the California Air Resources board, gas-powered lawn equipment is about to pass cars as the worst air polluters, spewing out formaldehyde, benzene and particulate matter. California, the first state to do so, is considering requiring tougher emissions standards for small gas engines and offering incentives for landscaping businesses to switch to electric.

We don’t need to wait for rules and “incentives” (a livable planet is pretty nice)! At our June meeting, we’ll consider and try out non-gas options for yard equipment. TEKPark has kindly allowed us access to an un-manicured part of the campus, where we can try out electric and other non-gas equipment like electric mowers, reel mowers, electric chainsaws, scythes, electric trimmers, blowers, sheep (ha ha, kidding!), etc.

If you have electric or other non-gas yard equipment that you’d like to share, please let us know! Call (215) 219-7908 or email veracole@comcast.net. We’re working to get as much variety as possible. Thank you.

We’ll start this meeting a little early, meeting outside from about 6:30 to 7:15, before going to the multipurpose room for more discussion and Q&A with equipment owners. Hope you can join us! We look forward to hearing from you about any equipment you’d be able to bring along for others to try out. Many thanks!

The meeting is Tuesday, June 27, at TEKPark (9999 Hamilton Boulevard, Breinigsville, PA 18031, starting outside at 6:30 and moving indoors around 7:15.

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!
Any questions, [veracole@comcast.net]

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

[Download Information from Previous MAREA Presentations]
Upcoming Tuesday Night Topics
Tuesday, May 30 - 7:00 PM
MAREA Solar Hot Project Gives to Community
Tom Green, P.E.
MAREA is delighted to announce that our years-long project to install a solar thermal hot water system at the [Opportunity House] in Reading, is now complete! The large system is up and running, supporting the Opportunity House with domestic hot water for showers, cooking and childcare services provided to those in need.

The Opportunity House provides shelter for men, women and children and around-the-clock 24/7 daycare services. It also operates the Children’s Alliance Center for children in crisis and the Second Street Learning Center, which provides a variety of hands-on training for the disadvantaged, and provides supportive services for our veteran families in need of assistance. This wonderful community institution also has a large, unshaded south-facing roof—talk about opportunity!

With a series of successful grant applications, plus monetary and in-kind donations, MAREA has installed a large solar thermal system on this sunny roof at no cost to the Opportunity House. The abundant hot water provided by this system reduces natural gas usage and related emissions. It also saves money, freeing more resources for needed community services.

The large solar thermal system is a pressurized glycol type system with 18 roof-mounted collectors, two 800 gallon storage tanks, eight heat exchangers, a 100-gallon expansion tank, hundreds of feet of piping, and an internet capable controller. Polysun, a solar system analyzer, has projected, for this location and project scope, a 50% annual energy savings for the shelter’s domestic hot water supply.

At our May meeting, MAREA Board Member and Professional Engineer, Tom Green will present a technical discussion of the system’s design details and operation (including performance data). He’ll share lots of pictures and tales of how this project unfolded, including design questions and decisions, lessons learned and other interesting firsthand perspectives.

We hope you’ll bring your questions and join us! The meeting is Tuesday, May 30, 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!

Tom Green, P.E., is Director of Campus Energy Services at Kutztown University, with responsibilities that include the central heat plan, campus environmental control services and the utility infrastructure. He also manages the University’s Guaranteed Energy Savings Agreement (energy performance contract) with NORESCO and oversees all utility expenditures. Tom has a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Energy Management..

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, August 10, 2017 6:30PM to 8:00PM
at the Kutztown Community Library, 70 Bieber Alley, Kutztown, PA

More Info Coming Soon
"Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things"
by Michael Braungart and William McDonough.

By William McDonough & Michael Braungart
(North Point Press, 2002).

“According to some accounts more than 90% of materials extracted to make durable goods in the US become waste almost immediately”* We have been designing our products for cradle to a premature grave. What if we designed more like nature, where the result of design is a resource for its next use? Why must design hurt the natural world?
McDonough and Braungart examine how we got to where we are and new approaches to designing without “waste.” Join us for a discussion of their design approach and what it can offer us in our on-going search for a more sustainable future.

Join us for an eye-opening discussion
of this provocative and prescient classic.
All are welcome!
(even if you haven't read the book)

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.