Category Archives: MAGE SOLAR

SO’s plan to make the Southeast a net exporter of the energy from solar and wind? –John S. Quarterman @ SO 2013-05-22

SO CEO Tom Fanning didn’t budge from nuclear and coal, but he did announce a tiger team to get on top of distributed solar and wind through a smart grid, headed by SO’s COO, at the 22 May 2013 Southern Company Stockholder Meeting.

Next question --Tom Fanning Mr. John S. Quarterman from Lowndes County, Georgia, and he holds 220 shares of Southern Company.

TF: Hello, John. Good to see you again this year.

jsq with SO fade jsq: Hi. I’ve come to compliment Tom Fanning and Paul Bowers. Last year, Tom Fanning was so persuasive I ran out and bought $10,000 worth of stock.

TF: Bless you. [Applause]

However, apparently because of SO’s admission a few minutes before in that same meeting that it was going to have to eat Kemper Coal cost overruns, SO stock tanked that same day, causing my stock to stop out, and Standard & Poor’s downgraded SO the following day because of Kemper Coal, noting that if the same thing happened with SO’s nuclear project at Plant Vogtle, S&P’s would probably Continue reading

Videos: Solar Dublin High School groundbreaking @ DHS Solar 2013-03-11

Breaking ground Groundbreaking for solar power to save Dublin High 40%, thus reducing teacher furloughs, financed by municipal bonds, made possible by cooperation among a wide range of government officials, private companies, and individuals: that was the groundbreaking story in Dublin, Laurens County, yesterday, videod by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE.

Dublin City Schools are willing to try something new, and that’s why they were groundbreaking, said Chuck Ledbetter, Superintendent, yesterday. He recognized members present of the Dublin City Council, the Laurens County Commission, the Dublin-Laurens Development Authority, and state representative Matt Hatchett, and Public Service Commissioner Bubba McDonald. Ledbetter’s theme,

News camera and speaker Everybody worked together to make this happen.

was echoed over and over by many other speakers. What they worked for was economic help for Dublin City Schools through solar power, financed by municipal bonds.

The Mayor of Dublin, Phil Best added to the list Continue reading

Solar Dublin High School groundbreaking tomorrow

Dublin gets the jump on the rest of Georgia again: Dublin High School will get a megawatt of solar electricity through a lease agreement with a private company using local government bonds to get around Georgia’s special financing problem.

Kenny Burgamy reported for for Thursday, Solar Plant To Be Located at Dublin High,

Dublin High School of Dublin City Schools will soon implement 1 megawatt of solar energy.

The 4,000 panel solar power plant will be the largest in Central Georgia and is expected to save the school 40 percent in energy costs.

Dublin City Schools Superintendent Chuck Ledbetter told 13WMAZ, “The facility will be built and owned by private business and the school system will lease the solar power plant, saving us money in energy costs.”

The original plan was developed more than 15-months ago by German based MAGE SOLAR, which has a plant located in Laurens County.

The story has been carried by GPB by Athens Banner-Herald via AP.

This installation is similar to but slightly different from Continue reading

Renewables are Winning, Nukes are Dead, and Coal is Crashing

Somebody is willing to read the sunshine writing: Renewables are Winning, Nukes are Dead and Coal is Crashing, as Kathleen Rogers and Danny Kennedy wrote for EcoWatch 14 Dec 2012.

As I wrote back in April when formerly coal-plotting Cobb EMC went solar:

Coal is dead. Nuclear is going down. Solar will eat the lunch of utilities that don’t start generating it.

Can Georgia Power and Southern Company (SO) read that handwriting on the wall? They can’t fight Moore’s Law, which has steadily brought the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy down for thirty years now, and shows no signs of stopping. This is the same Moore’s Law that has put a computer in your pocket more powerful than a computer that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in 1982 and was used by an entire company. Solar PV costs dropped 50% last year. Already all the new U.S. electric capacity installed this September was solar and wind. As this trend continues, solar will become so much more cost-effective than any fossil or nuclear fuel power that nobody will be able to ignore it.

Rogers and Kennedy explained this phenomenon:

The seismic shift in how we all use cell phones and mobile technology to access the internet almost snuck up on the incumbent technologies and the monopolies that made money selling us landline telephones and a crappy service. Now, we’re all using apps on smartphones all of the time. So too, the shift to a scaled, solar-powered future built around the modular technology at the heart of solar power—the photovoltaic solar cell—will come as a surprise to many. We call it the solar ascent, and it is happening every day in a million ways.

Will SO and Georgia Power continue to prop up that 1973 legal wall that inhibits solar financing in Georgia? Companies and even economic development authorities are starting to find ways around it, and of course there’s Georgia Solar Utilities (GaSU) trying to wedge into the law as a utility. After Hurricane Sandy, rooftop solar for grid outage independence has suddenly hit the big time (Austin Energy caught onto that back in 2003). The U.S. military got solar and renewable energy back in Afghanistan and are now doing it bigtime everywhere.

SO and Georgia Power can try to ignore Continue reading

New biomass plant near Dublin, GA: what it’s really about

Not really about jobs, and not about feeding electricity into the grid: the new biomass plant near Dublin, GA is about saving that company money on electricity: but at what cost to the state and to local residents?

Mike Stucka wrote for 6 December 2012, Deal announces $95 million biomass power plant for Laurens County,

A new biomass power plant announced Thursday is expected to bring hundreds of related jobs and a direct $95 million investment.

A statement from the office of Gov. Nathan Deal said the plant itself will bring 35 permanent jobs to Laurens County.

Compare 35 permanent jobs for $95 million to MAGE SOLAR’s 350 jobs for $30 million. That’s about $2,700,000 per job for this deal, vs. $85,714 per job for MAGE SOLAR. Which would make MAGE SOLAR’s facility more than 30 times more effective at producing permanent jobs.

OK, but what’s this one supposed to do?

Continue reading

Valdosta: 3rd poorest city

Valdosta #3! Followed by Albany #4! In poorest cities in the country. What can we do about that?

Michael B. Sauter, Alexander E.M. Hess and Samuel Weigley, 24/7 Wall St., wrote for NBC News 14 October 2012, America’s richest and poorest cities,

3. Valdosta, Ga.
  • Median household income: $32,446
  • Population: 140,599 (87th lowest)
  • Unemployment rate: 9.2 percent(140th highest)
  • Percent households below poverty line: 27.6 percent (ninth highest)

From 2007 to 2011, the unemployment rate in Valdosta increased by 130 percent, from 4 percent of workers to 9.2 percent. The number of employed workers declined by more than 6,000 during that time. Those jobs remaining often pay a lower salary. Last year, nearly 17 percent of the work force was employed in the generally low-paying retail industry, the sixth highest percentage of all metro areas. In 2007, just 11.3 percent of the labor force worked in retail. Valdosta, however, has an improving and active housing market. Home prices rose nearly 12 percent between 2007 and 2011. Despite these positives, 14.4 percent of housing units were vacant last year, higher than the national vacancy rate of 13.1 percent. Also, 15.3 percent of homes were worth less than $50,000 versus 8.8 percent nationwide.

The study is actually for “U.S. metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs” and this population is not just for Valdosta, it’s for the Valdosta MSA, which includes Brooks, Echols, Lanier, and Lowndes Counties.

Look who’s next on the list:

Continue reading

Dublin ahead of us again: solar street lights

Dublin, Georgia already got MAGE Solar and car part manufacturer Erdrich Umformtechnik. Now Dublin is ahead of us again, with solar street lights.

Austin Lewis wrote for 13WMAZ yesterday, Dublin Sets Up Solar Street Lights,

Dublin has started putting up Solar street lights on South Jefferson near the city's downtown. This project got federal funding from the federal government administered by the Georgia's Department of Transportation.

And grant supported! If anybody around here had applied, maybe we would have gotten such a grant.

Instead, it's another first for Dublin:

"This is the first transportation corridor that has solar lighting in the state of Georgia so it's just very exciting for us, first to have a solar industry in Dublin, now to have the first state roadway lit by solar lighting," said Tim Lake, of T. Lake Environmental Design.

Bragging rights and practical, too:

Lake said the cost of these street lights is about $11,000 and that the standard street lights cost just over $7,600. But the typical street light have other costs like a leasing fee and monthly energy costs that go to the electric company.

He said because the solar street lights are powered by the sun, they will end up saving taxpayers about $500 dollars a month or $15 per street lamp.

"The first is return on investment happens very quickly, 3.7 months for the city to get a return on investment on these lamps," said Lake.

All that plus this:

The solar panels were also made in Dublin by MAGE Solar. Lake said this was a truly collaborative project.

Collaboration. Maybe our Industrial Authority should try it.


Jerome Tucker honored at Civic Roundtable

The Civic Roundtable honored Jerome Tucker for some of the many things he has done for Lowndes County and south Georgia. And as usual he hit the nail on the head.

Dawn Castro wrote for the VDT yesterday:

“We do have one of the best communities,” Tucker said. “The toughest part of me standing before you is knowing how much better we could be if all the little groups would work together.”
He also said:
“I am still blessed to have my dad with me,” Tucker began. “He always asks me, ‘Where have you been?’ and ‘Did you do any good?’
Here are a few good things Jerome Tucker has done recently: Continue reading

Andrea Schruijer’s Opportunity —John S. Quarterman

Here’s my op-ed in the VDT today. -jsq
Welcome Andrea Shuijer Schruijer to a great opportunity as the new Executive Director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA)!

For a year I’ve been asking for a list of jobs attracted by the Authority. We welcome your marketing expertise so we’ll know the Authority’s successes!

We welcome your communications expertise to inform the community affected by the process of bringing new jobs. VLCIA could publish its agendas, minutes, and videos of its meetings, events, and new jobs on its web pages, and facebook, maybe even twitter.

We welcome your stewardship of the Authority’s $3 million/year in taxes. Maybe some

Continue reading

PSC lining up to vote for solar

Previously PSC Chair Lauren McDonald said he wanted Georgia Power to “come up with options in the next 30 days for expanding the tiny amount of electricity generated from solar power”. Yesterday, PSC Commissioner Chuck Eaton said “Solar is great for diversity, independence, research, and business,” and added that until recently he had discounted solar, but now he had seen it. And it turns out that Friday PSC Commissioner Tim Echols wrote an op-ed saying
It wasn’t until I entered the training room of Mage Solar in Dublin and saw 40 subcontractors in their solar academy that I got it. The growing solar industry is not just about funky collectors on a roof or left-leaning environmentalists who hate fossil fuel. It is about skilled jobs in manufacturing and construction, about economic development in Georgia, about consumers saving money on their power bill so they can spend it somewhere else, and about empowering people to essentially create their own power plant. This could eventually be big.
That’s three out of five commissioners. I’d call that a majority shaping up to do something in the PSC Energy Committee meeting of 16 July 2011. I couldn’t say what, exactly, since there nothing on the energy committee’s agenda about this. But something solar seems to be in the works.