Western North Carolina for Renewables


Western North Carolina for Renewables

I have developed this group for people who are or would like to be involved in the renewable energy movement in the western north carolina region. Lets make a difference!

Location: Asheville
Members: 74
Latest Activity: May 22, 2013

Discussion Forum

Global Warming Solution

Started by Charles E. Campbell, Founder CEO May 22, 2013.

Brainstorming About the future of CNG

Started by Wes Radman Oct 20, 2008.

Government taking a firm stand to reduce need for oil

Started by Patricia Donaubauer Sep 13, 2008.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Western North Carolina for Renewables to add comments!

Comment by Dan Kincaid on September 16, 2011 at 12:53pm
For those interested in what is happening in Western North Carolina related to energy efficiency, renewable energy and alternative vehicles/fuels, our web site (http://www.cleanenergywnc.org/) provides information on events, current news as well as information on the initiative.  To participate in an interactive web site, register on our AdvantageGreen Network (http://www.advantagegreennetwork.org/).
Comment by Ed Matricardi on December 5, 2008 at 4:04pm
As we approach the new year (and get ready for the new WH Administration & Congress), we are shifting gears to begin recruiting Pickens Plan District Leaders in every congressional district to help with activities in the coming months.

Please let me know if you are interested in serving as a District Leader in your area and I will get you additional information.

Comment by Ed Matricardi on November 22, 2008 at 10:37am
5 NC Mayors Sign Pickens Pledge for Energy Independence

To date, 168 Mayors across the nation have signed the Pickens Pledge, joining T. Boone Pickens’ national campaign to reduce foreign oil imports by utilizing abundant domestic resources including wind power and natural gas.

In NC, the following Mayors have signed the pledge:

William Bell, Mayor, Durham
John Grogan, Mayor, Eden
Alfonzo King, Mayor, Goldsboro
Yvonne Johnson, Mayor, Greensboro
Raymond Pennington, Mayor, Lumberton

If your Mayor is not on the list, contact their office today and urge them to sign the pledge for energy independence!

For a complete list of Mayors who have signed the pledge, please visit:

Comment by Michael, Houston on November 9, 2008 at 2:32am
Have you noticed the Referral Rewards up to $1,000 listed on Green Jobs Now! group page?
Comment by Ed Matricardi on October 16, 2008 at 12:48pm
Region ripe for energy jobs?
Forum speakers cite demand, incentives as a nuclear renaissance takes root in the area.

By Bruce Henderson
Posted: Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008
Growing energy demand and government incentives for renewable fuels make the Charlotte region ripe for a surge of new energy-related jobs, speakers said at an economic forum Wednesday.

Global investments in energy from the sun, wind and other renewable sources are soaring as a predicted renaissance in nuclear power takes root in Charlotte's backyard, industry experts told an audience hosted by the Charlotte Regional Partnership.

The nonprofit agency encourages economic development in a 16-county region of both Carolinas.

What's unknown: whether the global financial crisis will scare off lenders and investors, especially in renewable energy. And whether schools and universities can turn out enough grads to staff high-tech energy firms.

“This is the challenge – matching graduates with the needs of industry,” said Steve Patterson, whose job is to help make that happen.

He's the first director of UNC Charlotte's Energy Production and Infrastructure Center, or EPIC, which intends to produce both a technical work force and technological advances.

Access to capital in a financially dry marketplace will also pose a major challenge, added Mike Horkey, who finances energy efficiency and “green” energy projects for Banc of America Leasing. Many projects involving renewables need longer than average financing, he said, compounding the problem.

“A lot of people have mistakenly thought that the sun is free, the wind and wave action is free,” Horkey said. “It's the conversion of the resources to energy that's not cheap.”

Other speakers included John Sisson, whose InSite Consulting helps companies find new locations worldwide; Duke Energy Carolinas president Ellen Ruff; and Randall Taylor, an executive with the engineering giant URS Corp.

The Charlotte region has shared in the growth that is watching global investment in renewables grow between 20 percent and 60 percent a year.

Duke Energy, meanwhile, is adding to its conventional power fleet for the first time in decades. Duke is building a new coal-fired unit at its Cliffside coal-fired power plant 50 miles west of Charlotte and plans a new nuclear plant just south of Cliffside near Gaffney, S.C.

In the past year, Sencera International Group announced it will invest $36.8 million to build a solar-module factory in Mecklenburg County. Finland-based Metso Power is building a $13.2 million boiler manufacturing plant in Lancaster County, S.C., where the engineering firm URS/ Washington Group brought 400 jobs for a nuclear-design facility. Shaw Power Group added 500 design and engineering jobs in its Charlotte location.

A study last month for the American Council on Global Nuclear Competitiveness, a pro-nuclear group, estimated that South Carolina could generate more than 50,800 new jobs, tops in the nation, if a new wave of nuclear power plants are built. North Carolina could see 20,700 new jobs, the report said.

Subscribe to The Charlotte Observer & Earn Miles.

Comment by Ed Matricardi on October 16, 2008 at 12:42pm
Is the future of N. Carolina's electric power blowing in the wind?

By LIZ MITCHELL lmitchell@islandpacket.com
Published Sunday, October 12, 2008

Five years from now, 210-foot-tall wind turbines could be spinning off South Carolina's coast, generating electric power.

That's the prediction from the S.C. Energy Office, which was recently awarded a $500,000, three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to study the potential for generating wind energy off the coast. Clemson and Coastal Carolina universities and the Savannah River National Lab are also participating in the research.

"The purpose of this (grant) is to develop all the necessary regulations and get a better feel for what's available (in wind resources offshore)," said Erika Hartwig of the state energy office.


The state hopes to build an 80-megawatt wind farm of between 12 and 15 turbines about 3 miles offshore. On a clear day, the turbines would be faintly visible from the beach, Hartwig said.

One megawatt of wind power can produce enough electricity to serve 250 to 300 homes on average each day, according to the DOE.

The pilot project could serve between 20,000 and 24,000 homes.

It would be paid for by utility companies interested in using the power that's generated, Hartwig said. The wind farm location would be determined from studies now under way, but the most likely sites would be between Charleston and North Carolina, Hartwig said.

"The wind field drops offshore as you go south," said Paul Gayes, director of the Burroughs and Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies at Coastal Carolina. "Here at the Grand Strand and on Hilton Head (Island), there is a large demand for power right along the coast. ... (However) wind energy is not as viable (off Hilton Head)."

The farther off from shore the turbines move, the more expensive wind energy becomes.

In addition to potentially harnessing the wind, the grant provides money to study other possible energy sources, including tidal flows and wave currents, Gayes said.

"There are very strong tides in Hilton Head where turbines driven by tidal flow are feasible," he said. "Part of this overall cooperative is looking at how to integrate all the resources that are out there."


Ralph Nichols, an engineer at the Savannah River National Lab, said the best way to measure the potential of coastal wind, wave and tidal energy is to use data-collecting technologies.

Buoys, for instance, can measure wave speed, height and temperature.

A 6-foot cube-like box called a sodar can measure wind speed and direction. The box can be placed atop buildings onshore or on platforms in the ocean and measure wind data up to 600 feet high, Nichols said.

Aside from assessing the resources, Nichols said, the study will also:

• Identify the needs and barriers of integrating offshore wind energy into the power grid.

• Identify technology that can transfer the power to the shore.

• Establish a state task force to determine the economic and environmental effects of wind energy and create a permitting process for wind farms in state waters.


Off the coast of South Carolina, winds are estimated to blow between 15 and 16 miles per hour, fast enough to power a wind farm, Nichols said.

"The power you can get out of wind is very strongly related to" wind speed, he said. "If you double the wind speed, you can increase your amount of power by eight times (based on current modeling)."

Nichols said wind power could help decrease the Palmetto State's dependence on other states for energy and boost local economies.

"Wind by itself won't power the whole state, but it can certainly help," he said.

"And, in some of our most congested places, the population ... is expected to grow 20 to 30 percent in the next 30 years. It's hard to get nuclear and coal-powered plants permitted, much less built. So I hope (wind is) one way we can meet the increasing demand."

Wind energy is a form of solar energy. Winds are caused by the uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the irregularities of the Earth's surface and the rotation of the Earth.

Wind energy or wind power describes the process by which the wind is used to generate mechanical power or electricity. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in wind into mechanical power, which can then be converted into electricity.

Comment by Dan Kincaid on October 7, 2008 at 11:30pm
Western North Carolina has the potential to become a center for the development and application of alternative energy. As most of you know, there is an obstacle to the development of wind generated electricity on the ridges of western NC. An interpretation of the so-called "ridge law" by NC's attorney general has inhibited the development of one of the two areas in NC with significant wind potential. The challenge that the US will face should wind resources be developed (as I understand the plan) will be in the development of an adequate electrical grid capable of transporting the western US generated electricity to those areas of the country that currently meet their peak electrical demand through the use of natural gas powered turbines. Compressed natural gas is being successfully used as a transportation fuel in fleet applications where the fleet returns to a CNG fueling facility each night. The development of the CNG fueling infrastructure for non-fleet transportation will be a challenge, but one that can be addressed. In parallel with the development of the CNG fueling infrasturcture, the development of adequate natural gas pipeline capacity serving western NC will require a financial investment that the current uncertainty in the equity and credit markets may present problems. In short: Infrastructure requires money and the availability of money requires a strong business case and a market capable of acting on a strong business case. I look forward to comments on this regional blog and the opportunity to generate interest in how western NC may help and benefit from clean energy opportunities.
Comment by Ed Matricardi on October 4, 2008 at 9:20pm
Tuesday night after the next Presidential debate, we are going to host the largest e-Rally ever for energy independence!

On October 7 at 10 pm EDT, just before the Presidential debate ends, log on to PickensPlan.com to rally and show the politicians that we mean business!

We have their attention - but what you do right now matters more than ever. Click here to RSVP now to attend the Pickens Plan e-Rally on Tuesday night. You can also click here to leave a comment asking the two candidates to support the Pickens Plan.

During the debate the candidates will have their say. Now it's time for you to have your say. We will deliver your comments and the comments of everyone who attends the e-Rally to both Presidential candidates within 48 hours of the end of the Presidential debate.

Also, we need you to do one more thing - find one friend and ask them to attend the e-Rally with you. How big can we grow this e-Rally? How many Americans will join our New Energy Army and join this e-Rally for energy independence? Only you can answer that question!

We have tremendous momentum, over 13,000 strong joined our post debate chat for energy independence after the last Presidential debate. You won't want to miss this event! RSVP right now and forward this email on to a friend today!
Comment by David Forms on September 12, 2008 at 8:25pm
The Pickens Plan is a beginning. If we wait on our elected delegates to do anything we're in dire straits. The important aspect of this plan is that it is generating great interest and debate from the true American population; the working people of this great country who work for a living and ask nothing in return. We must be energized to formulate many different plans to revert to alternative fuels, but we must also begin focusing on the 2012 elections to clean house locally, statewide and nationally to rid ourselves of the self serving old guard. It's great to be a part of this movement! I can't wait to see the progress we can make.
Comment by James Thomas Shell on September 1, 2008 at 9:14am
I read Heath Shuler's comments. They show that he is nothing more than a tool. More of the same old "Oil companies are the bad guys" rhetoric.

He's just going over the talking points forwarded by Mrs. Pelosi. The politicians are the ones that are always interjecting politics into everything. We need a longterm plan, but it will take short and intermediate plans to get there.

We cannot tank our short term economy and expect to be able to build the infrastructure needed to move forward and adapt to alternative energies. It will take hydrocarbon energies to build that infrastructure. It will be a lot easier and quicker to build that infrastructure with hydrocarbons at lower prices than at higher prices.

It should be the government's job to make it easier for companies to move toward renewables and at the same time not punish the public for having to live our lives. The government is the reason we are in this fix. They just don't get it. They don't understand how we got to this point and they don't know where to go from here.

It's simple. Get oil prices down for allowing for more supply. Give incentives for energy companies to develop and move us toward renewables and more efficient products. Give the public incentives to do the same. More supply of all energy sources will lead to lower prices. It's a win-win-win.

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