Category Archives: Solar

Solar power is beating fracked methane like the Internet won over BITNET

Why am I so sure that I will live to see fracked methane pipelines shut down, along with their tar sands and petroleum partners in crime? Because I’ve seen it before, a quarter century ago, when the Internet won over all other networks, including BITNET.

BITNET in the U.S. and Worldwide and the Internet, Matrix News 4.10 October 1994
BITNET in the U.S. and Worldwide and the Internet, in Matrix News 4.10 October 1994.

The exponential growth of the Internet sucked users away from all the other networks. Coal is already crashing so fast that cleaning up coal ash is the biggest issue. Nukes are closing left and right. “Natural” gas is still growing, but not as fast as solar and wind, which produced more new electricity than any other source in 2020. Soon, fracked methane will peak, and then it will fall fast, just like coal did. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Solar, wind, batteries and other storage will continue to soar until almost all electricity comes from them. A cleaner world, with profit for those who buy in, and lower power charges for everyone: it’s coming fast.

Vote for clean energy and help it arrive faster.

Remember FidoNet? Probably you’ve never heard of it, and this is why. Remember BITNET? Maybe not, but one of its neologisms lingers on: Continue reading

Four Lowndes County cases: water, solar, junkyard, bodyshop @ ZBOA 2019-12-03

A solar project near the Withlacoochee River proposes to cut down pecan trees and not put up the required height vegetative buffer.

[WRPDO Site Map]
WRPDO Site Map

A family timber operation wants water and sewer for a subdivision. A junkyard wants a variance for opaque fencing. A bodyshop apparently wants to enlarge an existing nonconforming structure. All four are Lowndes County cases on the ZBOA agenda for 2:30 PM today.

The entire packet is on the LAKE website, courtesy of ZBOA member Gretchen Quarterman, who only received it this morning.

Here is the agenda: Continue reading

Videos: One Lowndes County case, solar fence, Lake Park, GA @ ZBOA 2019-08-06

Nancy Hobby recused herself before the lengthy discussion of the one ZBOA case for August 2019, which was actually in Lowndes County, VAR-2019-09 — Tycor Farms (6734 Georgia Highway 376, Lake Park) Request for a variance…. or 6530 GA 376, according to a followup letter from the applicant’s representative.

[Notice Sign]
Photo: Gretchen Quarterman, Notice Sign

There was still nothing about the wetlands around the place, leading to Enoch Creek, then into the Alapahoochee River, into the Alapaha, the Suwannee, and on to the Gulf.

[Alapaha River Water Trail Map]
Map: John S. Quarterman, from WWALS Alapaha River Water Trail Map.

However, the likely wetlands seem to be along the eastern edge of the cleared area, so one can guess the solar panels are not going there.

[Lowndes County Tax Assessor]
Map: Lowndes County Tax Assessor, Parcel 0222 002, Tycor Farms LLC, 6530 GA HWY 376, Lake Park, GA 31636.

Nobody from the audience spoke for or against the application. The result was: Continue reading

One Valdosta Lowndes County case, solar fence, Lake Park, GA @ ZBOA 2019-08-06

Update 2019-09-24: LAKE videos.

Only one case on the ZBOA agenda today: VAR-2019-09 — Tycor Farms (6734 Georgia Highway 376, Lake Park) Request for a variance….

[Aerial photograph with buffers marked]
Aerial photograph with buffers marked

Oops, it’s not really at that address; that’s a neighbor’s house. Also, the Technical Review Committee (TRC) changed from recommending denial due to no hardship to recommending approval. Actually it’s at 6530 GA 376, according to a followup letter from the applicant’s representative.

And it’s pretty obvious from the applicant’s aerial map that it’s next to a creek, which as it happens runs into Enoch Creek, then into the Alapahoochee River, into the Alapaha, the Suwannee, and on to the Gulf. Yet I don’t see a word about wetlands in the application.

Valdosta – Lowndes County Zoning Board of Appeals

Valdosta Planning and Zoning Office
300 North Lee Street, Valdosta, Georgia
(229) 259-3563

Lowndes County Zoning Office
327 North Ashley Street, Valdosta, Georgia
(229) 671-2430

AGENDA
August 6, 2019
2:30 p.m. Continue reading

Southern Company Stockholder Meeting 2019-05-22

In this year’s pilgrimage to Pine Mountain, we will hear how part of Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning’s compensation will be tied to meeting the company’s low-carbon goals.

When: 10AM, Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Where: The Lodge Conference Center at Callaway Gardens,
4500 Southern Pine Drive, Pine Mountain, Georgia 31822

What: Southern Company 2019 Annual Meeting of Stockholders

Microgrids and batteries, Annual Report

That Annual Report page on Microgrids and Batteries looks good. Until you start to notice what’s missing from the documents.

Energy Mix, Annual Report So does this comparison of energy mixes in 2007 and 2018, at least as far as “Hydro, Wind, Solar” going from 1 to 11%. However, quite lacking is Continue reading

Solar power in Georgia 2019-03-14

How much solar power is there in Georgia? Quite a bit, and it’s everywhere, according to Georgia Energy Data map by Southface.

Georgia, Solar
Gold disks indicate individual solar installations; green disks separate into many when zoomed.

There are three 1 megawattt (MW) solar farms in Berrien County I didn’t know about, and more elsewhere in the Suwannee River Basin, in almost every county. Continue reading

Solar faster, cheaper, no cooling water, no leaks, no explosions

Way back in 2014 I calculated that half the right of way acreage of the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline could produce just as much electricity, cheaper, faster, taking no land, using no cooling water, risking no leaks or explosions. Solar is even cheaper now, doubling deployed capacity every two years, and even Duke, FPL, and Georgia Power are building solar farms everywhere. So why do utilities persist in building more pipelines?

Net generation, United State, all sectors, monthly, Chart
Net generation, United States, all sectors, monthly, U.S. EIA.

Every electric utility can read that chart from the U.S. Energy Information Agency, which shows wind (the middle orange line) and solar (the green line coming up from the bottom) adding up to almost all of “other renewables” (the top blue line), with nothing else growing like that. All the pipelines rammed through regulatorially captured agencies don’t come close Continue reading

LNG export through Georgia and Florida presented to PHMSA 2018-05-16

PHMSA doesn’t have a public map of the Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline, but it does have a map of U.S. LNG Facilities, including many in Georgia and Florida. The source slides include many assertions about safety of LNG trucks and trains, but why should we take any risk for fossil fuel export profit to a few company executives and investors we solar power has no risk of leaks or explosions?

[Detail: U.S. Southeast LNG Facilities]
Detail: U.S. Southeast LNG Facilities

I’ve pulled out this detail of the U.S. Southeast, in which you can clearly see Pivotal LNG’s Alabama, Tennessee, and three Georgia plants marked with green circles as “Peakshavers with Liquefaction”, as well as Elba Island LNG at Savannah marked with a big red box. In Florida, Eagle (Maxville?) LNG at Jacksonville and Hialeah LNG at Miami are marked with stars as “Emerging LNG facilities”.

Here’s the bigger map: Continue reading

Videos: Val Del subdivision tabled second time @ LCC 2018-11-13

The same Val Del Road subdivision on today’s agenda for the third time was tabled at the applicant’s request the second time it came up, a month ago.

The longest item was 6 h/i/j Tyler Technology Repository/Processing/E-filing, in which Georgia is catching up to Florida.

Below are links to each LAKE video of the 13 November 2018 Regular Session, with a few comments. See also the agenda, the LAKE videos of the 12 November 2018 Work Session, and the LAKE blog of the county’s own videos of its 9 October 2018 Regular Session.

Videos: Subdivisions, solar, and alcohol @ LCC 2018-11-12

The same Val Del Road subdivision on today’s agenda for the third time was tabled the second time it came up, a month ago. Here it is in the LAKE videos in the Work Session of November 12, 2018, when the applicant hadn’t even responded to the Commissioners’ previous request to consider 1.5 acre lots.

By far the longest thing that day, at half an hour, was 7. Reports – Special Presentation ABM Industries Inc..

Below are links to each LAKE video of the 12 November 2018 Work Session, with a few comments. See also Continue reading