Pipeline Protest Tomorrow

And, by the way, the RVA Environmental Film Festival (FREE ADMISSION) will be cranking this weekend. The Virginia film contest winner is Trouble Water: Voices From Bath, will be screened Sunday afternoon. It’s about Virginians facing Dominion Energy’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

It’s important to remember that Dominion officials themselves say they could make money from renewables like solar and wind. Why don’t they? Because they insist on using their regulated monopoly to make just a bit more profit from dirty fossil fuel. They don’t care about the risks to our water and our planet.

‘Neighborhood Batteries’

New technology is coming. How soon can Oregon Hill take advantage of it?

From article:

Solar City shareholders meet today in the Bay Area to vote on a proposed merger with Elon Musk’s Tesla. The merger will likely supercharge a growing trend of big battery facilities that can store enough electricity to power a neighborhood, small town, university or even an island like Kauai.

Grid storage is making people’s lives easier (and cheaper) by allowing communities to unhook themselves from the utility power grid. In some cases, it’s also providing an incentive for switching to renewable energy sources, which tend to dry up either at night (solar) or during the day (wind).

How Many Candidates Have Signed The Declaration of Solar Rights?

So the local Chamber of Commerce (ChamberRVA) is holding a Mayoral candidate forum tonight at the nearby Altria Theater.

It is free and open to the public (get there before 6:30 pm), and will be broadcasted live on NBC12 television at 7 pm.

By the way, you may notice that ChamberRVA has moved on from promoting the Shockoe stadium scheme to pushing for doing something with the Richmond Coliseum. Anyway, I suspect that the Coliseum will come up in the questions, but there is one question I doubt will come up, though it should:

As someone running for Mayor, have you signed the Virginia Declaration of Solar Rights?

Solar energy empowers Virginians to harness clean local energy, creates jobs, and enhances our energy security. Sadly, Virginia’s current laws violate our right to invest in and benefit from solar energy by limiting consumer choice. This fall, the General Assembly will hold a special session to review solar policies that will help all Virginians fairly access solar energy. This is a great opportunity for Richmond leaders and citizens to let our state senators and delegates know there is broad, bi-partisan support for legislation that will enable all Virginians to go solar.

There is more detail here:

Dominion RiverRock This Weekend Will Come With Protests and Rain


Dominion RiverRock Festival is scheduled for this weekend. The local corporate media trumpets this as the nation’s premier outdoor sports and music festival.

But the Virginia Sierra Club, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and other activists are planning to protest Dominion Power at the event on Saturday evening. They claim that “Dominion is sponsoring events like Riverrock at the same time it is using its political clout to pollute Virginians’ rivers, drinking water, and climate, and rig our democracy against clean energy solutions.”

At the same time, local weather forecasters are talking about a 90% chance of rain on Saturday.

Richmond Community Solar Co-op

The Richmond Community Solar Co-op had an info session last night at Henrico County’s Tuckahoe Library.
Here is the basic information:

Want to Go Solar on Your Home or Business in the greater Richmond area? Join the Richmond Community Solar Co-op

Neighbors in Richmond have formed a solar co-op to make going solar easier and cheaper. Co-op members use their group buying power to get a discount and work with the support of the non-profit VA SUN as they go solar. VA SUN brought the first Solarize program to Virginia and has helped hundreds of homeowners go solar in the Commonwealth.

Based on the same principle as buying in bulk, co-op members purchase solar systems together to save money and share knowledge. The group uses a competitive bidding process to select a single company that will install systems on all of the participating homes. Each participant signs his or her own contract with the installer, but everyone gets the bulk discount.

By going solar as a group we can save up to 20% off the cost of a solar system. You’ll also have the support of the group instead of navigating an often-complicated process alone. VA SUN is supporting the group effort.

Contact: Aaron Sutch, VA SUN Program Manager (aaron@vasun.org)

Community Partner: Sekar Veerapan (smvee@hotmail.com)

‘Booms’ and Power Outages

This past Friday night and late last night, there have been mysterious explosion sounds coming from the west, followed by power outages for certain parts of the neighborhood, including the Overlook condos.

In the morning the grid power has returned, presumably after Dominion Power does repairs. While the outages have been reported and have appeared on Dominion Power’s website, there has been no clear explanation given.

Solar Oven Picnic Scheduled for Sunday

A “solar oven picnic” is scheduled for this Sunday morning and early afternoon in Riverside Park.

From Solar Cookers International:

Most solar cookers work on basic principles: sunlight is converted to heat energy that is retained for cooking. Sunlight is the “fuel.” A solar cooker needs an outdoor spot that is sunny for several hours and protected from strong wind, and where food will be safe.

From FaceBook event page:

Cook and share food using only solar ovens at the top of the grassy slope in Oregon Hill’s Riverside Park. If it rains or it is too overcast the event will be postponed.

Seeing as the forecast is partly cloudy, this may have a 50% chance of happening, but as with the recent neighborhood yard sale, this event is an experiment that will hopefully improve with re-iteration.