Utility Message On Gas Safety

From Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities (one of our great advertisers!):

The Natural Gas Safety Awareness Program of the city of Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities is here to educate our customers and non-customers – all those who live, work, shop, worship or play near natural gas pipelines – about natural gas safety.

Please watch this brief 17 minute video that will offer a brief history of the natural gas distribution system, and a detailed overview of the public awareness component of our overall safety program.

Dominion’s Coal-Ash Ponds Leaking Into River; Go Solar!

There are reports that the coal ash ponds are causing more pollution in the James River. From Times Dispatch article:

“We can see things bubbling up, essentially, and our position is this is leaking from the coal ash. We’ve tested the water and sediment here. We found arsenic at incredibly high levels, 282 parts per million right here, which is higher than many Superfund sites that have really bad pollution problems,” he said.

Several rounds of tests in the past year seem to show leaking from Dominion ash ponds, including prior work by the James River Association and separate sampling by a Duke University-led team. The Duke team found unpermitted leaking from coal ash facilities in five states, including at Dominion’s Chesterfield and Bremo Bluff power stations.

Chesterfield officials don’t seem to care and continue to allow Dominion to burn coal.

With Dominion’s poison in mind, it’s more important than ever that area residents push for more renewable energy.

Tomorrow night, VaSun.org is hosting a Greater Richmond Solar Co-op Information Session at the Glen Allen Library.

From their webpage:

Community members across Richmond have formed a solar co-op! From Ruther Glen in the north to Petersburg in the south, Powhatan in the west to New Kent in the east, the Greater Richmond Solar Co-op welcomes homeowners from across the region. Greater Richmond Solar Co-op members can save up to 20% off the cost of going solar and have the support of fellow co-op members and VA SUN throughout the process.

Richmond Residents Form Solar Co-op To Go Solar Together, Get A Discount

From press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2017
Contact: Ben Delman
202-888-3602 ben@communitypowernetwork.org

Richmond residents form solar co-op to go solar together, get a discount

Richmond, VA – Neighbors across the Richmond region have formed the Greater Richmond Solar Co-op to save money and make going solar easier, while building a network of solar supporters. Drive Electric RVA, the Richmond Temple, RVA HUB, and VA SUN are the co-op sponsors. The group is seeking members and will host two information meetings, March 13 at the Glen Allen Library and March 28 at the Pamunkey Regional Library to educate the community about solar and the co-op process.

VA SUN expands access to solar by educating Virginians about the benefits of distributed solar energy, helping them organize group solar installations, and strengthening Virginia’s solar policies, as well as its community of solar supporters. The group has helped hundreds of Virginians go solar.

“I am excited to work with Richmond residents to educate them about the benefits of solar energy,” said Aaron Sutch, VA SUN Program Director. “If you’ve ever thought about going solar before, this is the perfect opportunity to do so.”

Greater Richmond-area residents interested in joining the co-op can sign up at www.vasun.org/richmond. Joining the co-op is not a commitment to purchase panels. Once the group is large enough, VA SUN will help the co-op solicit competitive bids from area solar installers.

Co-op members will select a single company to complete all of the installations. They will then have the option to purchase panels individually based on the installer’s group rate. By going solar as a group and choosing a single installer, participant can save up to 20% off the cost of their system.

Information sessions

Monday, March 13, 6:30 p.m.
Glen Allen Branch Library
10501 Staples Mill Road
Glen Allen

Tuesday, March 28 6:30 p.m.
Pamunkey Regional Library
201 South Railroad Avenue
Ashland

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:
http://www.vasun.org/declaration-of-solar-rights/