2008 Projects
2009 Projects
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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.

  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.

MAREA produces it's 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]

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
**Please follow signs for parking and entrance to room location**
For questions, more information or to suggest a topic or speaker, contact:
Vera Cole, 215-258-0526 or veracole@comcast.net
Upcoming Tuesday Night Topics
7:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, 2014
"Local High School's Award-Winning Algae-to-Biofuel Research Student presentation of Algae Bioreactor Biofuels Research and facility Daniel High School "Green Team," Birdsboro, PA"

On Feb 20, 2014 the Green Team at Daniel Boone High School in Birdsboro, PA, learned they won first prize for the entire Eastern Region in the [Lexus Eco Air & Climate Challenge] and $15,000! This followed an earlier win in the local category and a $10,000 prize. This group of remarkable local high schoolers has presented their work on algae as a renewable energy source at the State Capital in Harrisburg and in Washington DC at both the Senate Office Building and the US Department of Energy's Bioenergy Technologies Office. We are delighted to have them as our speakers at MAREA's monthly meeting on Tuesday March 25.

The Green Team is a part of the Daniel Boone High School's Algae Bioreactor Biofuels research Group (ABBRG) based in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania. The ABBRG is a part of a seven year project which began as student research into different types of alternate energies including solar, wind, natural gas, geothermal and biofuels. During their research, the Green Team stumbled onto algae as a source clean, renewable biofuel. Ah ha!

The ABBRG was formed with the commitment to build a research facility intended to grow, harvest, and dry algae, to extract the lipid oils, and to transform the lipid oils into biodiesel. With a $1,000.00 grant from First Energy/MetEd, the facility was constructed. In their presentation, the Team will describe the biofuel facility, experiments, and research findings on a variety of topics including water chemistry, oil extraction techniques, and algae strain selection.

The project and team are led by Daniel Boone High School physics teachers Shannon Helzer and Sid Harwood. For additional information, see the Green Team website [Go Clean, Go Green, Go Algae] and this article in Lancaster Farming, [PAGE 1] ; [PAGE 2].
Please join us. After the meeting, plan to stick around and chat with friends old and new. We're also interested in your ideas for MAREA speakers, activities and services.
Light snacks will be served. Hope to see you there!
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]

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.

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.

Keep Up to Date with MAREA News
MAREA newsletters are now archived for viewing at any time.
[Read previous MAREA newsletters]