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NH Company Helps Bring Power To Puerto Rico

ReVision Energy Partners with Amicus Solar Cooperative and Amurtel to Bring Solar Outreach Systems to Puerto Rico

BRENTWOOD, NH: Local solar installer ReVision Energy is partnering with Amicus Solar Cooperative, a nationwide purchasing cooperative of solar energy companies, and Amurtel, a non-profit working in disaster relief, to build Solar Outreach Systems (SOS) to bring dozens of desperately needed portable solar energy systems to power storm-ravaged areas in Puerto Rico.

Millions of Americans living in Puerto Rico (Boriqueñas) remain without power due to Hurricane Maria, many still without passable roads, access to clean drinking water, in need of basic supplies, and unable to receive the medical care they would otherwise have with functional electricity.

“We have already secured the solar panels that will enable us to build up to 100 portable emergency power units that will power communications systems, computers, laptops, cell phones and lighting for the hardest hit areas,” said Phil Coupe, co-founder of ReVision Energy and the company’s volunteer coordinator with Amicus and Amurtel. ReVision Energy is a founding member of Amicus Solar. ReVision Energy’s N. Andover, MA warehouse will be used as a staging area to begin construction on the first portable solar power units.

Located close to the equator where there is a powerful solar resource, Puerto Rico is an ideal geography for harnessing solar energy, but with so few solar energy systems in place right now, not many businesses or homes are able to take advantage of this abundant renewable energy. Having to depend on what’s left of the island’s power grid means that many Puerto Rican communities could be without power for up to a year. The Solar Outreach Systems, which are portable community-based communication and emergency power hubs, will immediately assist on-the-ground relief efforts.

The SOS units will be deployed by the Aireko Foundation, an offshoot of Aireko Energy Solutions, which is a Puerto Rico-based member of Amicus.  These units will be loaned to the communities for the duration of their need and then be redeployed to other disaster areas as needs and events dictate.  “The aftermath of Hurricane Maria has been as difficult and often even harder than the path of the storm itself, especially for those communities in the interior of the island.  After more than a month, reestablishment of electric power for those communities is still unknown, and the quality of water is not the best – for those communities that are lucky enough to have this service, which are very few.  Sadly, those communities are far from returning to their normal lives,” said Hector Rivera Russe of Aireko Energy Solutions. “I’m deeply touched by how my Amicus partners, alongside Amurtel, have jumped without hesitation, to putting their time, resources and effort to give relief to my people in Puerto Rico.  I will always be thankful to them.”

This Amicus-Amurtel SOS partnership is actively fundraising for the Power on Puerto Rico project to design, build, and deploy 10 initial portable, off grid solar systems for remote community centers where the public can charge cell phones, rechargeable lights, radios, and other low load, high value items that will offer immediate relief to disaster victims. A goal of 100 units will be deployed through this effort. Tax deductible donations of materials, services and cash contributions are being coordinated through http://www.amurtel.org/get-involved/donate/

AMURTEL is an international volunteer organization founded in 1975 that works to help improve the quality of life for people experiencing chronic poverty or acute stress from environmental, financial, or political distress. We encourage and enable individuals and communities to harness their own resources for securing the basic necessities of life and for gaining greater economic sustainability and social and spiritual fulfillment. It is the goal of Amurtel to assist communities in their recovery and development while honoring their customs, language, and religious beliefs. www.amurtel.org

Founded in 2011, AMICUS SOLAR COOPERATIVE, is the first purchasing cooperative in the U.S. solar industry. As a member-owned company, we share best practices with each other and pool our purchasing power to obtain lower pricing on both products and services allowing us to deliver better value to our customers. AMICUS is made up of 43 member-owners, each operating under their own brand with over 60 office/service locations in 29 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Amicus is equally owned and democratically governed by its membership of independent solar photovoltaic (PV) installation companies. More information can be found at www.amicussolar.com.

For more information contact: Phil Coupe, phil@revisionenergy.com or 207-232-6595. Please visit our webpage and Facebook page for updates as the project progresses.

REVISION ENERGY is certified B-Corp and employee-owned company that specializes in the design, installation and service of solar energy systems, battery storage, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, heat pumps and LED lighting. Our mission is to transition northern New England from a fossil fuel based economy to a sustainable, renewable energy based economy. In 2017 ReVision Energy was named the #1 Rooftop Solar Installer in New England by Solar Power Industry Magazine based on the company’s reputation for exceptional customer service and unrivaled technical competence gained through the course of more than 7,000 clean energy systems placed in service since 2003.

Joyce Craig Releases Plan To Address Opioids and Crime While Gatsas Plays Games With Voters

This week, the Manchester mayoral race ratcheted up a notch as Joyce Craig unveiled her plan to address the opioid epidemic and the current Mayor, Ted Gatsas, looks to score political points with additional funding to the ‘Safe Station’ program and a new solar power project.

On Tuesday morning, Joyce Craig released her plan to address the opioid crisis and crime in the city, titled “Safe Streets, Opioid Crisis, and Recovery Services Plan.” The plan includes important provisions involving early education, support for expanded Medicaid, and receiving support from the state.

“The opioid crisis is continuing to harm Manchester. Programs like Safe Station are vital to our response, but we need to be doing more. I believe we need a comprehensive approach including early education, prevention, peer recovery support, strong enforcement, and increased advocacy. As the largest city in the state, Manchester needs to lead the effort to combat the opioid crisis. As mayor, I will fight for state and federal resources and empower our community service providers to respond effectively. The safety of every resident of Manchester is my first priority, and my plan reflects the steadfast approach I will take to addressing opioid and safety issues in our city,” Craig said.

Although the city of Manchester has been making efforts to combat the opioid crisis, the problem is as severe as ever and remains a top concern for residents. This past September saw the most overdoses in Manchester in a single month with 147, and every month this summer saw increased overdoses from last year. Policies such as Safe Station are important, but more must be done if we want to see an end to this crisis.

Craig’s plan includes:

  • Continue regular ride-alongs with the police and fire departments to understand the challenges our community and first responders face
  • Develop and implement an evidence-based substance use prevention education program for schools and the community
  • Hold landlords accountable for problem properties where drugs are being sold and used and crimes are committed
  • Lead weekly interdepartmental meetings between the mayor, fire, health, police, office of youth services, the superintendent and key community organizations to ensure we are working together to comprehensively address the opioid crisis
  • Track and report outcomes based on funding to identify the most effective programs and improve services that combat the opioid crisis
  • Monitor indicators such as arrest data, emergency room admission rates, respite center admission rates and average wait time to identify key areas that need improvement
  • Compile citywide overdose data and utilize the data to identify and target interventions to reduce overdoses and overall opioid misuse
  • Establish partnership with the state to address this statewide problem. Over 65% of Safe Station entrants come from outside of Manchester, we need the state to recognize and invest in this program as a statewide resource
  • Advocate for resources from state and federal agencies that city departments and community service providers need to make a lasting difference in this fight, such as recovery housing throughout the state
  • Maintain a full police complement at all times to ensure resident safety
  • Support and advocate for expanded Medicaid. Without it, Safe Station would end and treatment options in Manchester would significantly decrease
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive plan to address chronic homelessness

In a surprising announcement yesterday, Mayor Gatsas and Governor Sununu announced additional funding for the ‘Safe Station’ program.

“I want to thank Governor Chris Sununu, Drug Czar David Mara, and Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeff Meyers for working with the City of Manchester to ensure the continued success of the Manchester Safe Station program. The immediate $150,000 commitment by Governor Sununu and his leadership team will assure the continuation of Manchester Safe Station and the programs in place to provide the services to Safe Station. I am confident that as we move forward we will secure additional funding for the future,” Gatsas said.

This announcement is surprising because it was Mayor Gatsas who opposed an additional $50,000 requested by Chief Goonan to be moved to Serenity Place as part of the Safe Station program in July of this year.

Gatsas is hoping that with today’s announcement people will forget about all of the times he opposed increased spending on the Safe Station program.

During her campaign for mayor, Joyce Craig has advocated on multiple occasions for state funding for Safe Station. Joyce recognized that Safe Station is a statewide resource in the fight against the opioid crisis and should receive support from the state.

In a written statement, Craig said, “This is good news for Manchester’s Safe Station program and those dealing with substance misuse. Safe Station has been a great tool to help people receive recovery services and I am thankful to our first responders for implementing this program.

Unfortunately, Ted Gatsas didn’t bother to take action to make sure Safe Station is recognized as a statewide resource until three weeks before his next election. I’ve advocated for state recognition for months and I am glad Mayor Gatsas decided to take my lead and ask for funding in Concord this week. We need a mayor who works for Manchester every day, not just in the weeks leading up to an election.”

Another example of Gatsas playing games with the people of Manchester is his new solar power project.

“The proposal consists of a twenty five-year power purchase agreement for solar energy and the construction of a solar array on Mount Manchester, also known as the former city dump, that will generate at least three mega watts of power,” reported Girard at Large.

In 2015, Gatsas killed a proposal that was fully supported by the Board of Alderman to install solar panels at the former landfill in Ward 12.

Craig called out this proposal for what it is, a half-baked idea to “score political points” with voters just prior to the election.

“It was clear from the presentation this evening that this proposal was nowhere near ready to be presented to the full Board of Mayor and Alderman. Although he acknowledged being aware of the issue for weeks, Mayor Gatsas failed to provide any information to the Aldermen until tonight. Mayor Gatsas is attempting to rush this issue through the board to score political points before the election. He should have followed the usual protocol and sent this to the city’s energy committee for proper vetting.”

Craig was also quick to criticize Gatsas for his failure to support a similar proposal in 2015.

“Manchester would already be realizing energy savings and revenue if Mayor Gatsas didn’t kill a fully vetted and approved solar project for the landfill in Ward 12 that was overwhelmingly supported by the aldermen in 2015.

I’ve been a strong advocate for renewable energy as an alderman and during my campaign for mayor. While I appreciate Mayor Gatsas is finally endorsing renewable energy, the city would have been better served had the mayor supported a fully vetted project two years ago. Manchester needs a mayor who serves the city every day. Unfortunately, Mayor Gatsas is scrambling to fix his record with rushed plans three weeks before the election.”

Solar-Powered NH Town Celebrates Clean Energy Transition

Brentwood, NH — Municipalities across the country are leading the charge to transition to clean energy, and the Town of Brentwood is the latest example. A public ribbon cutting and tour are scheduled on September 16th to commemorate the recent installation of a ground-mounted solar array that will offset 100% of the town’s municipal electric load, with the exception of Swasey School. The event coincides with the town’s 275th anniversary celebration. ReVision Energy representatives will be on hand through 3 p.m. on Saturday to conduct tours.

Public Ribbon Cutting & Tour

Saturday, September 16th
11 a.m. to Noon
Brentwood Fire Department
419 Middle Road
Brentwood, NH

After Brentwood voters approved two related warrant articles this spring, ReVision Energy installed a 132.37-kilowatt solar array this summer on land between the fire department and Route 125. Harnessing the sun to generate electricity will save taxpayers as much as $1 million over the life of the system while also drastically minimizing the town’s impact on the environment.

“The town is excited to partner with Revision Energy on a great project that will save the town thousands of dollars every year,” said Rob Wofchuck, Brentwood conservation committee member. “The solar array will significantly increase the town’s energy security while drastically lowering the town’s carbon footprint. We firmly believe that it is the job of every municipality to lead by example. This project is a visible symbol that Brentwood is looking toward the future and cares about the environment and sustainability.”

The array includes 434 solar panels, each rated at 305 watts, spread across eight rows of ground-mounted racking secured by ground screws. The panels are backed by a 25-year warranty and have an expected lifespan of 40 years. If all of the solar panels were laid lengthwise, end-to-end, the panels would span nearly one-half mile.

The system also includes three inverters, which convert direct current generated by the array into alternating current used by the town. A web-based monitoring platform will allow the town to track the array’s performance.

The array is expected to produce approximately 165,300 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The clean energy produced by the array is equivalent to offsetting 175,879 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, which is equivalent to offsetting the emissions of 185 barrels of oil or 8,977 gallons of gas or the carbon sequestered by 76 acres of forests.

ReVision Energy owns the system through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the town. The agreement is an innovative financing tool that allows the municipality to benefit from solar power at no upfront cost. Under the terms of the PPA, the town purchases electricity from ReVision Energy at a negotiated rate. At year seven of the agreement, the Town of Brentwood will have the option to purchase the system at a significant discount, enabling the municipality to generate free solar power for decades to come.

Savings over the first six years combined are estimated to be approximately $49,000. Projected average savings from year seven and beyond are $28,000 each year, if the town agrees to purchase the system.

“As a local company based in Brentwood, we’re grateful for the opportunity to help the town in which we operate transition away from fossil fuels,” said Jack Ruderman, director of community solar initiatives at ReVision Energy. “Brentwood is a shining example of our mission, and it’s inspiring to partner with a town that embraces the value of clean energy.”

New Report Highlights 17 Bad Actors Waging Aggressive Anti-Solar Campaigns

Manchester, NH – With solar power on the rise around the country, a national network fossil fuel and utility-backed organizations have joined forces to put the brakes on this fast growing pollution-free energy resource.  Trade groups and think tanks backed by deep pocketed anti-clean energy ideologues and fossil interests are bankrolling campaigns, promoting model legislation and media campaigns to provide cover for anti-solar campaigns across the country, said a new report released today by Environment New Hampshire Research & Policy Center. 

“Pollution-free solar energy represents New Hampshire’s most abundant energy resource,” said Michelle McCarthy, Campaign Organizer with Environment New Hampshire.  “For our climate and our environment, we can’t allow special interest forces in the fossil fuel industry to pull the plug on the bright potential of solar power.”  

The report, Blocking the Sun, documents 17 fossil fuel backed groups and electric utilities running some of the most aggressive campaigns to slow the growth of solar energy in 12 states. 

Of the findings, the report documents how the Koch brothers have provided funding to the national fight against solar by funneling tens of millions of dollars through a network of opaque nonprofits; the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) provides utility and fossil fuel interests with access to state legislatures, and its anti-net metering policy resolution has inspired legislation in a set of states; utilities in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, West Virginia, California and Illinois have undertaken extensive campaigns to revoke renewable energy policy or impose new charges on their solar customers.

“Solar has the chance to become a leading technology,” said Rachel Cross of Frontier Group, report co-author. “It’s ready, it’s more accessible every year, and it’s a solution for a world that needs to quit burning carbon. Allowing electric companies and fossil fuel interests to stand in the way of that kind of progress defies common sense.”

In mid-2016, there were at least 84 ongoing policy actions in U.S. states that could impact the growth of solar energy, including through limitations to net metering or new charges to make rooftop solar power less economically viable.  

“In New Hampshire, we were fortunate to have a bipartisan group of legislators who realized the very real threat to the future of non-polluting solar energy by hitting the so called ‘cap’ allocated to our four electric utilities,” said. Representative Bob Backus of Manchester. “Legislation resulted which while, unfortunately not eliminating the cap entirely, increased it to permit the NH PUC to undertake a proceeding, now underway, to set new net metering rates.”

The report urges state decision makers to recognize and resist utility and fossil fuel industry influence that seeks to undermine solar energy and to instead encourage the growth of solar.

“Solar energy is important to my family by assuring that we leave a healthier planet for our grandchildren by drastically reducing the use of fossil fuels one house at a time,” said Lester Cuff, a solar homeowner in Stratham, NH. “Since installing solar panels in 2012, we have been a residential power plant. The panels have generated to date, 36.3 megawatt hours, which is equivalent to lighting the Eiffel Tower for 15 nights. Our carbon offset to date is equivalent to planting 656 trees. Our family and the State of New Hampshire will receive accumulative economic and environmental benefits for at least 25 years.” 

“Solar is finally catching on and providing tremendous benefits, reducing pollution, saving consumers and businesses money, and revitalizing local economies,” said McCarthy. “Now, more than ever, states must lead the charge on a transition to solar power and renewable energy. ” 

Read the full report here.

Van Ostern Pushes For Renewable Energy At Peterborough Solar Array

Van Ostern Contrasts His Record Of Supporting Solar And Renewable Energy Projects With Chris Sununu’s Steadfast Opposition 

PETERBOROUGH, N.H. – Today, Colin Van Ostern, Democratic nominee for Governor, toured the Peterborough Solar Array, where he discussed his plans to create solar and renewable energy jobs and protect New Hampshire’s natural resources as Governor. On the Executive Council, Van Ostern successfully fought to secure funding for the largest solar array in New Hampshire that’s now powering the town of Peterborough’s municipal buildings. Van Ostern’s opponent, Chris Sununu voted against this project and has consistently opposed other renewable energy projects across New Hampshire. 

“Solar and renewable energy projects are critical to boosting our clean tech economy, lowering energy costs, protecting our natural resources, and creating good-paying jobs,” said Colin Van Ostern, Democratic nominee for Governor. “I’m proud to have helped lead the charge to expand renewable energy projects in communities across New Hampshire. Chris Sununu’s repeated opposition to solar and renewable energy projects throughout New Hampshire is threatening to hold our economy back.” 

Van Ostern is committed to supporting renewable energy technologies that have strong local support, create good paying jobs, lower energy costs for New Hampshire residents, and make the state less dependent on fossil fuels. Working on the state Executive Council, he has successfully championed energy efficiency initiatives and solar and renewable energy projects in Manchester, Peterborough, Plymouth, Durham, and Berlin, all of which had the support of local communities. 

Chris Sununu has consistently opposed solar and renewable energy projects on the Executive Council while taking thousands of dollars in contributions from the oil and gas industry. Despite the scientific consensus that climate change is a real, Sununu continues to deny its existence.

Between 2013 and 2016, Sununu voted ten times against solar and wind projects in New Hampshire—six times, he was the only councilor to vote no.

sununu-recorded-votes

  • In October 2014, Sununu was the only councilor to oppose $4.1 million in financing for a five-turbine wind farm project in Berlin.
  • In January 2014, Sununu voted against $1.2 million in funding for a solar project in Peterborough—and was again the lone dissenting vote.
  • In December 2013, Sununu was the only councilor to vote against a $1 million grant to install and operate a wind energy project on Jericho Mountain.
  • In July 2015, Sununu successfully killed $998k in funding which would have helped Manchester Solar LLC to install, own, and operate a solar photovoltaic electric generation system.
  • In July 2015, Sununu voted no on authorization of $581k in funding to Milton Town Solar LLC, to Install a Solar Photovoltaic System at the Closed Milton Town Landfill.
  • In June 2015, Sununu voted against awarding $502k in funding for Durham Solar P2 to continue their Innovation Research Center.
  • In March 2014, Sununu was the only councilor to vote no on retroactively amending funding for the City of Manchester to realign the Solar Photovoltaic Facilities, by increasing the amount by $501k.
  • In January 2016, Sununu voted against $450k in funding for two solar projects in Portsmouth.
  • In December 2013, Sununu was the only councilor to vote against $318k in funding to install a solar photovoltaic system at Plymouth Village Water and Sewer.
  • In December 2013, Sununu was the only councilor to vote against $175k in funding to install, operate, and monitor a Solar Photovoltaic System at Franklin Pierce University.

Furthermore, on multiple occasions, Chris Sununu has denied climate change and has stated his belief that if climate change is real, that it is not man-made.

  • In an interview with Concord News Radio earlier this year, Sununu said that “the jury is still out” on climate change.
  • After speaking with Sununu ahead of the Republican presidential primary, New York Times editorial writer Lawrence Downes noted Sununu’s “baffling, classically Republican insistence that there is no scientific consensus about the reality of human-caused climate change.”
  • Less than two weeks ago, Sununu said “no one knows for sure” if climate change is man-made.

“What state is this?” asked NHDP Press Secretary Evan Lukaske. “The Republican nominee for governor, Chris Sununu, doesn’t believe in climate change and has waged a crusade against renewable energy projects that would create good-paying jobs and help protect New Hampshire’s natural resources. His Republican ideology fits Mississippi better than it does New Hampshire.”

NEXTGEN Climate Is Pushing Climate Change To The Forefront Of Our Political Discussions

Nextgen 2

NextGen Climate is an organization dedicated to bringing climate change to the forefront of American politics. In 2016, that means playing a big role in the upcoming election by holding politicians accountable to lay out their plans to address the risks of climate change and accelerate our country’s transition to a clean energy economy.  Voters across the country and right here in New Hampshire are eager for leaders who are ready to solve this problem—and we‘re organizing across our state to demand solutions.   

state_lead-horizontal_R-01Climate change threatens to have devastating impacts on our economy. Left unaddressed, climate change will reduce U.S. GDP 5 percent by 2050. In New Hampshire, we’re already experiencing the impacts firsthand. Our state has seen a 70 percent uptick in severe weather events in the last 15 years and warmer temperatures are already starting to dampen the tourism industry that the Granite State’s economy depends on. The moose population is greatly harmed by the heightened presence of moose ticks, the quality and availability of seafood and maple syrup is suffering, and the shorter winters are shrinking New Hampshire’s ski season. 

But the good news is that we have the solutions at hand clean energy, which will not only help solve climate change, but will also create jobs and strengthen our economy . Transitioning to clean energy is a common sense approach to create jobs and support broad-based economic growth that will benefit American families. We’re asking our leaders to lay out their plans to achieve 50 percent clean energy by 2030 and 100 percent clean energy by 2050. And a new report commissioned by NextGen Climate America concludes that accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy will create over a million jobs by 2030 and up to two million jobs by 2050—creating new opportunities for Americans across the country. 

This is tremendous progress by any standard, but to make this type of progress while also preventing climate disaster and promoting prosperity for all Americans? That’s a remarkable opportunity.

Nextgen 3NextGen Climate intends to take advantage of that opportunity, using the election cycle as a platform to educate voters on the importance of this issue—ensuring that Granite Staters don’t simply act on climate, but that they also vote on climate. 

Americans of every political stripe are ready for the transition to a clean energy economy. Fifty-four percent Republican voters across the country are more likely to vote for a candidate that supports #50by30, and 69 percent of swing-state voters agree. And that number jumps to 74% among young voters, who will be disproportionately affected by climate change.

A majority of Americans from both parties want to see us transition to a clean energy economy and the technology to do so is available and affordable. We have never been so desperately in need of action on climate change, but we have also never been so prepared to act. NextGen Climate is determined to make this tremendous potential a reality by educating and empowering Granite Staters and electing public officials who listen to voters and lay out their concrete plans to help build a stronger, cleaner future for our kids. 


Editors note: This is the first of many posts to come from NextGen-NH.  Starting today, NextGen-NH will begin posting a weekly editorial on the NH Labor News every Thursday. 

The IBEW Is Helping To Clean Up The Environment Installing The Largest Rooftop Solar Array In USA

 

Moving away from coal power is an instrumental part of cleaning up our environment, and the IBEW is doing their part.  The IBEW recently completed installation on the largest rooftop solar array in the country.  The new array will produce over 6.4 Megawatts of power.

The development of ways to harness the abundant power of the sun, and other renewable energy sources is not only good for the environment, it is good for our economy.

This job alone employed more than a 100 journeymen level workers and apprentices. Can you imagine the number of new jobs we could create if we started installing solar arrays like this throughout the country?

Investing in our future is just one way that we can put people back to work, and clean up our environment at the same time.

(Video can also be viewed on youtube here)

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