Tag Archives: refitting

Southern Company committed to communities, renewable energy, energy efficiency

Thomas A. Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company, says his company is committed to communities, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. So helping finance municipal refitting and solar projects should be a natural for Southern Company!

According to PR from Southern Company, 25 May 2011, Southern Company Holds Annual Meeting of Shareholders

Fanning also emphasized a continued commitment to the communities the company serves and stressed the need for a national energy policy and a robust research and development initiative.

“Southern Company keeps customers at the center of every decision we make,” said Fanning. “We remain committed to providing reliable, affordable energy for our customers and to do that we need to maintain a diverse fuel mix as well as stay focused on developing the newest technologies.”

Referencing a diverse fuel mix, Fanning highlighted the company’s commitment to nuclear energy, including building the nation’s first new units in 30 years. He also discussed the importance of preserving coal – America’s most abundant energy resource – as well as the role of natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency in meeting its customers energy needs.

“Furthermore, we are the only company in the industry that is doing it all. We’ve committed more than $20 billion to these efforts,” Fanning said.

Sure, he listed renewable energy and energy efficiency last. But this is the same Thomas A. Fanning who said in May that he’s “bullish” on solar. The same CEO of the parent company of Georgia Power, which just connected a 300 kiloWatt solar plant in Lowndes County. The same CEO who’s being nagged by the Georgia PSC chairman “to come up with options in the next 30 days for expanding the tiny amount of electricity generated from solar power.” And a company that spends more than $20 billion on new energy projects can afford a few tens of millions for community refitting and solar.


Birmingham U.K. municipal solar didn’t wait for larger governments

Banks and power companies can fund municipal solar projects; cities and counties don’t have to wait for state or federal governments to provide them grants. Or at least Birmingham, U.K. has done it for public housing. And Quitman, Georgia did it last year, too.

According to Larry Elliott in the Guardian, 3 October 2010, 10,000 Birmingham council homes to get solar panels: City agrees £100m scheme, partly funded by banks and energy suppliers, to meet target for cutting carbon emissions

Plans to fit power generating solar panels to council-owned properties in Birmingham will be pushed forward this week after the council agreed a “green new deal” scheme covering 10,000 homes.

In the biggest proposal for retrofitting houses through an energy efficiency upgrade yet seen in the UK, the council agreed a £100m proposal last week designed to create jobs and meet the city’s ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions.

The plan – Birmingham Energy Savers – will be jointly funded by Birmingham council and investment from energy suppliers and commercial banks, and follows two successful pilot schemes conducted in Europe’s biggest local authority.

Energy efficiency and solar power to create jobs!

We have local proof of concept right next door Continue reading

Why “jobs, jobs, jobs” isn’t good enough for the public good and the general welfare –John S. Quarterman

Sure, everyone wants jobs for the people right now and jobs so the children don’t have to go somewhere else to find one. But what good is that if those jobs suck up all the water those children need to drink?

This is the problem:

“What I believe the three most important things are, not only for our community, and our state, and our country, but for our country, thats jobs number 1, jobs number 2, and jobs.”

Brad Lofton, Executive Director, Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA),
speaking at the Lake Park Chamber of Commerce annual dinner,
Lake Park, Lowndes County, Georgia, 28 January 2011.
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

I shook Brad Lofton’s hand after that speech and told him I liked it, because I did: in general it was a positive speech about real accomplishments. I’ve also pointed out I had a few nits with that speech. This one is more than a nit. This one is basic philosophy and policy.

Now one would expect an executive director of an industrial authority to be all about jobs. And that would be OK, if Continue reading

VLCIA on expansion of existing industry

Local industry for local jobs: feedback loops? At the 21 Dec 2010 board meeting, Brad Lofton and the VLCIA board talk about exanding local industry, namely PCA and AlphaProTech. Lofton says AlphaProTech will add 50 new jobs. Hm, 50 is more than 25 slated for the biomass plant. And nobody even has to trade AlphaProTech land for them to produce these jobs!

According to their website, AlphaProTech sells:

“protective apparel, infection control and extended care products in addition to a line of construction weatherization building products for the housing market.”
Hm, so if VLCIA promoted refitting local houses it would also be promoting AlphaProTech.

It’s interesting to hear Gary Minchew say regarding one company:

“we just don’t need to be the front man”

Video by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

Interesting that VLCIA is not willing to be the front man for local industry (as we’ve also seen in this response from Col. Ricketts), when VLCIA clearly is the front man for Sterling Energy and Wiregrass Power LLC, neither of which are from around here.


“We’re industrial development” –Mary Gooding

After some some other things, I asked the VLCIA board (18 Jan 2011) about my previously submitted questions about house refitting for insulation and efficiency, and about rooftop solar, such as have been successful in Austin and Houston, Texas.

Mary Gooding answered:

“That really would be the city… we’re industrial development.”

She didn’t say which city. There is more than one city in the county. The question as sent to them in writing refered to Hahira; maybe that’s the city she meant. Should Hahira not expect any help from VLCIA?

And what about us who don’t live in any of the cities? So far, all the new solar rooftop installations are in unincorporated parts of the county, although both are in Hahira’s 31632 ZIP code.

Col. Ricketts, at the direction of the board, has since sent me a response, which will lead off tomorrow morning.

VLCIA seemed somewhat confused as to what their protocol is as to answering questions: Continue reading