Tag Archives: Hannah Solar

Valdosta Solar Power on Val Tech Road

On the closed landfill across from Valdosta State Prison on Val Tech Road, what looks like maybe a megawatt of solar panels by the City of Valdosta.

Lots of solar panels
Pictures by John S. Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange, 1 September 2017


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Solar Parking v. accessory structure in Valdosta LDR @ ZBOA 2014-08-05

Both of Dr. Urbonas’ solar parking lot variance cases were tabled by ZBOA for a month so he could figure out a revised way to do it, probably involving connecting the supports to the building so they wouldn’t be accessory structures. Plus some sentiment that Valdosta City Council needed to address this issue that solar parking shouldn’t be classed as accessory structures. This was at the 5 August 2014 Regular Meeting of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Zoning Board of Appeals.

  1. APP-2014-07 — Arunas Urbonas
    (2922 N. Oak Street)
    Variance to LDR Section 218-7 as it pertains to the location and setback distance for accessory structures

    Video. Arunas Urbonas is a doctor with an office at 3564 N Crossing Street. My guess (some sort of addition to his offices) was wrong. He wants to upgrade his solar panel structures, to shade parking lots. TRC recommended denial because of canopy oak trees that would get bigger, probably shading the panels, and were not permitted to be removed. ZBOA found many more issues pro and con than that. Continue reading

Planting Solar

When planting solar panels, be sure to tamp well:

Hannah Solar installing solar panels at Okra Paradise Farms;
Pictures by John S. Quarterman, 20 December 2011.

Actually, you may not want to try this at home, unless your panels have strong steel supports like these. Still, most solar panels are very sturdy.

More later on what’s going on here.


Financing for renewable energy projects

Most of the cost of a corporate or personal renewable energy installation can be funded through federal and state rebates, but the remainder is what stops most people. Here is what I know about that. There are many other sources of information.

Federal 30% and Georgia 35% rebates add up to 65% (see below under DSIRE). That’s for solar (PV or hot water), wind, and some other related items.

The other 35% is what stops most businesses and people. 35% of a $25,000 house solar system is still $8,750. People like that it will pay itself off in 9-15 years, but most people don’t have $8,750 to invest.

That’s a business opportunity for some enterprising local bank or banks. As Dr. Noll has explained, if you pay for that remainder yourself, the system will pay itself off in about 9 years. If you get a bank to finance it, more like 15 years. And local banks currently require collateral other than the system itself (they like real estate as collateral). The simplest business opportunity is for a local bank to accept the solar equipment itself as collateral. After all, it’s worth 65/35 or 185% of the total loan amount.

The Georgia Solar Energy Association (GSEA) can probably tell you more.

Other ways to finance renewable energy projects include: Continue reading

Yes, I do have solar

Here’s my LTE in the VDT today. -jsq
A letter last week asked, “Do you have solar energy yourself?” Why yes, I do. When we installed solar panels on our farm workshop in 2009, the closest certified solar installer was in Marietta. There were only four in the state. Now there are forty. Georgia may yet catch up with North Carolina and even New Jersey!

Hannah Solar had all the paperwork ready when Okra Paradise Farms applied for a USDA REAP grant for more solar panels a few weeks ago. Much to our surprise,

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Do you have solar energy yourself? Why yes, yes, I do

Grady Blankenship wrote a LTE in the VDT Wednesday, in which he asked “do you have solar energy yourself?” Why yes, yes, I do. And I have some questions for everyone at the end.

Back in 2009 we installed solar panels on our farm workshop. At the time the closest certified solar installer I could find was in Marietta. Four years ago there were 4 in the state. now there are forty. And that’s in a state that’s trailing North Carolina and even New Jersey in solar installations.

Also, I applied some weeks back for a USDA REAP grant for solar for Okra Paradise Farms. Much to our surprise, last week we Continue reading

Notes for Mr. Blankenship —Michael Noll

Please note that the following was inspired by a letter (attached as a photograph) that appeared in the Valdosta Daily Times in response to my earlier piece on “Solar: Infinite and Clean”. The Valdosta Daily Times seems to enforce a quota of sorts at this time, so they won’t publish my additional information for Mr. Blankenship and other “skeptics”.

Sources for the Skeptic

I have no idea why anyone would call companies in Mexico or Canada to research the feasibility of local solar energy projects. I also do not know what type of freezer the writer of “Seeking affordable solar energy” has. Either way, I will be happy to share more information, so that anyone interested in solar energy can do more research and educate himself.

At the state level you can contact the “Georgia Solar Energy Association” (www.gasolar.org/) to learn more about the viability of solar power in 2011, which is quite different from the situation in 2001. A larger solar firm our community Continue reading

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Network met yesterday

Yesterday the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Network had its second monthly organizationl meeting at the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce. It’s working up a business plan to submit to the Chamber Board for next year. The Chair is the eminent Dr. Dennis Marks, VSU Emeritus Professor, and the Chamber contact is ReKasa Deen of Opportunity Central. Here everybody says “renewable energy and solar power!”

Sherry Wheat (Hannah Solar), Sharon Jackson (South GA Solar Power), Ron Jackson (Production Community Services), Bill Branham (21st Century Telecom), ?, Dr. Dennis Marks (Chair), Matt Jansen (Boys and Girls Club), John S. Quarterman (Okra Paradise Farms), ReKasa Deen (VLCoC Opportunity Central)
picture by Myrna Ballard (VLCoC President) for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange

Sherry Wheat of Hannah Solar drove down from Atlanta to help me announce that Okra Paradise Farms got the USDA REAP grant we applied for, to add about 52 solar panels to our farm workshop. Hannah Solar helped us submit the paperwork in 3 days. More on that as it transpires.


When will the Wiregrass Solar plant be expanded? —John S. Quarterman @ VCC 9 June 2011

Compliments to Mayor Fretti for saying we will competitively expand the Wiregrass Solar plant!

Responding to George Rhynes’ point, I said that while I had recommended moving Citizens to be Heard to the end of the agenda, it never occured to me that it might get moved after Council Comments, which did lead to an impression that Council did not want to hear and did not plan to respond. I noted that if Council videoed its own proceedings and put them on the web, that would help make the problem moot. I’m thinking videos distributed by the City Council itself would probably get more citizens viewing them than ones distributed by bloggers like me and George and by LAKE.

My main point was that, even though Brad Lofton and Col. Ricketts apparently never told Mayor Fretti, there was a larger solar array in Continue reading

Expand the array, publish the minutes, private prison is a bad idea —John S. Quarterman @ VLCIA 17 May 2011

Here’s what I said to the VLCIA board on 17 May 2011. Notes are appended after the video:

Expand the array, publish the minutes, private prison is a bad idea —John S. Quarterman @ VLCIA 17 May 2011
Regular Meeting, Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA),
Norman Bennett, Roy Copeland, Tom Call, Mary Gooding, Jerry Jennett chairman,
J. Stephen Gupton attorney, Allan Ricketts Acting Executive Director,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 17 May 2011.
Videos by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

Congratulations on the Wiregrass Solar commissioning. Since this was not ever the largest array in Georgia let’s encourage Mayor Fretti and Commissioner Powell to help VLCIA expand the local array.

Referring to Mary Gooding’s comments about people who wanted to see minutes probably going to be frustrated, I pointed out that Continue reading