2008 Projects
2009 Projects
2010 Projects
2011 Projects
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Our Mission
  The Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association (MAREA) is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to informing and educating the public on renewable energy production, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through meetings, workshops, educational materials, and energy fairs.
Your membership makes these activities possible. If you can help, please
[Join MAREA]. The support is greatly appreciated and your dollars are used carefully.

Tuesday Night Topic - Last Tues. of the Month, 7PM
MAREA Monthly Meetings, the More the Merrier!
Free and Open to the Public
(Always the last Tuesday of the month)

Tuesday October 31, 7PM
“New SunShot Project for High-Density Grid Integration of Pennsylvania Solar”
New DOE SunShot pilot project will use smart grid technology to connect
hundreds of new Pennsylvania solar installations to grid by 2020

Nicole Lacouve, PPL Electric, Research and Development Engineer
In January of this year, PPL won a DOE SunShot award of more than $3 million as part of a program to support the integration of solar energy into the nation’s electric grid. PPL’s project is one of thirteen projects selected from across the country for funding by the [Enabling Extreme Real-Time Grid Integration of Solar Energy (ENERGISE)] program. This program provides $30 million in funding to enable grid operators with the technology and data they need to manage solar, and other distributed energy sources, cost effectively and reliably.

The PPL project will smoothly integrate increasing amounts of customer-owned solar generation into our electric grid to ensure continued safe, reliable, affordable service for all customers. The company will launch a pilot program to connect hundreds of new private solar installations by 2020, and will demonstrate the ability to utilize this generation to improve reliability and reduce electricity costs for all customers. The pilot program will focus on the Lancaster area, which has been an especially active region for solar installations because of the amount of sun it receives and marketing by solar developers.

The project will combine PPL’s innovative smart grid technology, which has already resulted in significant reliability improvements, with new tools and software to develop a distributed energy resource management system, or DERMS, which will be used to integrate solar and other distributed generation resources into the grid.

These tools will be used to plan for, monitor and control distributed generation resources such as solar panels. The project will demonstrate that solar and other customer-owned generation — properly placed and integrated into the electric grid — can benefit the customers who install it and can have significant benefits for society.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $9.6 million. The ENERGISE award is for $3,146,232. PPL will provide the balance of the funding in partnership with General Electric (GE) Grid Solutions, the Electric Power Research Institute, Landis+Gyr, Drexel University, the Smart Electric Power Alliance and BRIDGE Energy Group.

We hope you will bring your questions and join us at our October meeting for breaking news about this exciting project and what it could mean for the future of high density grid-integrated solar in Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. about this exciting project and what it could mean for the future of high density grid-integrated solar in Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.

Nicole Lacouve is a research and development engineer at PPL Electric Utilities. She coordinates and manages research efforts for the utility’s Distribution organization. Nicole is the vendor coordinator for PPL’s Keystone Solar Future Project. She has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in project management and engineering of energy and the environment from the Institut Mines-Télécom (formerly École des Mines) in Nantes, France. Nicole is an alumna of the Fulbright Scholarship Program, during which she performed research on materials used in hydrogen storage at the National University of Singapore

The meeting is Tuesday, October 31, at 7:00 at [TEKPark (9999 Hamilton Boulevard, Breinigsville, PA 18031] between Kutztown and Allentown). Meetings are free and open to the public. After the meeting, please plan to stick around and chat with friends old and new. Light snacks will be served. Hope to see you there!.

TEK Park, 9999 Hamilton Boulevard, Breinigsville, PA 18031-9300

[Download Information from Previous MAREA Presentations]

Upcoming Tuesday Night Topics
MAREA Monthly Meetings, the More the Merrier!
Free and Open to the Public
(Always the last Tuesday of the month)

More Info Coming Soon

TEK Park, 9999 Hamilton Boulevard, Breinigsville, PA 18031-9300

For questions, more information or to suggest a topic or speaker, contact:
Vera Cole: 215-258-0526 or veracole@comcast.net
[Download Information from Previous MAREA Presentations]

MAREA Book Discussion
Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 6:30PM to 8:00PM
at the Kutztown Community Library, 70 Bieber Alley, Kutztown, PA

Available from Firefly in Kutztown, your intrepid local book-store
or on-line
"Climate of Hope"
By Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope
(St. Martin’s Press, 2017)

With climate change, we seem to be standing still, Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope argue that many changes have already taken place and many more are happening. We need to seek the opportunities available and adjust where we look for change and how we help make it happen.

The two authors, coming from very different perspectives, unite to suggest ways to address climate change and, in the process, improve our quality of life.

Join us in our on-going search for a more sustainable future.

Join us for a congenial discussion of a more hopeful future All are welcome!
(even if you haven't read the book)

Lehigh Valley Green Drinks
2nd Wednesday of Each Month 5:30 - 7:30 PM

Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Fegley's Allentown Brew Works - 812 Hamilton Street, Allentown, PA
5:30 – Happy Hour with Networking
6:15 – For Your Holiday Feasting: How to Buy Local and Waste Less

LaKeisha Thorpe, Bethlehem Food Co-op
Madeleine Weko, Muhlenberg College

Sustainable eating can be tough - finding food that's healthy, local, AND affordable is easier said than done, especially around the holidays. How can we eat well all winter and experience good and culturally appropriate food all year? Join us as we explore the challenges of local eating year-round and solutions that are specific to the Lehigh Valley, plus how much food waste is really costing you and what to do about it.

MAREA is a sponsor of the recently revitalized Lehigh Valley Green Drinks, an informal monthly mixer that brings together folks who are interested in sustainable business, policy and living. Meet other concerned and committed eco-warriors to share drinks, conversation and news of what's up in their part of the planet, along with a brief program and lots of time for Q&A!

MAREA completes solar hot water project
to help needy.
MAREA's solar hot water installation at Reading's Opportunity House is complete!
This large system is expected to cut fuel costs and emissions by 50% and provide 100% of summertime hot water needs. The nonprofit Opportunity House offers round-the-clock childcare to support the working poor and provides emergency housing, three meals per day, and laundry facilities on a daily basis for needy men, women and children. The solar hot water installation (and related plumbing upgrades) was given to the shelter in full, with no cost to the Opportunity House for materials, labor or permitting. MAREA board member Tom Green, a mechanical engineer who works as Kutztown University's Director of Campus Energy Services, led the project, working closely with fellow board member Bill Hennessy to coordinate the efforts of many skilled volunteers and local companies who donated expertise, equipment and materials. More details to come on this special project and its many generous contributors!

Interested in being on the MAREA Board of Directors? Let us know!

Need a gift...but don't want to buy stuff?
If you'd like to make a donation to MAREA or buy someone a membership
as a gift, let us know and we'll handle the acknowledgement thoughtfully,
by email or paper mail, with your input.

Drop us a note at [themarea@gmail.com].
And remember, all new memberships get a free copy of the DVD, "Saving Sunshine"!

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

PASA 25th Annual Farming for the Future Conference
[CLICK HERE] to read more and sign up.

Upodated Schedule [HERE]

Be safe on the roof.
MAREA has two never (or very slightly) used fall-protection-in-a bucket systems that we’d like to sell at good price.
[GUARDIAN 805 Bucket] (selling for $125) and a [Gemtor VP 811] (selling for $150). Available at the TEK Park meeting. If you can’t make it, drop us a note at themarea@gmail.com.
Cash or credit is fine. We’re required to charge sales tax, but no shipping

Thinking about going solar? Resources for Homeowners & Small Businesses
"Solar Electricity for PA Homeowners" — Aug 2014 presentation slides
  If your organization would like a speaker on this topic, we’d be happy to help.
Please contact: [themarea@gmail.com]. [DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATION]
Pennsylvania Solar Electric Installers May 2016

Download an extensive list of solar electric installers in Pennsylvania
If you are solar installer in PA and would like to be included in this directory,
please complete the form here,

[PA Solar Installer Info]

[Marea Drectory of Solar Installers: May 2017]

On-Line Resources for those Considering Solar
  List of on-line resources to help you find an installer, estimate electricity generation, understand environmental value, consider financial aspects and more.
  [MAREA’s Recommended Resources]
SunnyMoney Residential Solar Electric Estimator
  Easy, on-line tool (updated 2014!) developed by MAREA to help Pennsylvania homeowners plan & budget for solar electric projects. Quick & accurate estimates for system size, electricity generation, savings, cost, Federal tax credit, environmental payback & more.

MAREA produces its first movie:
"Saving Sunshine"
Keeping the Lights on with Batteries and Solar Power”
In plain language, master electrician and solar installer Bruce Hankins explains AC Coupling, the combining of a grid-tied solar electric installation with an off-grid battery backup system. This technology, made possible through advanced electronics, offers benefits for all users of the entire electric system—both those with and without solar. Teachers, electricians, system installers, owners of grid-tied systems and solar advocates will find Hankins’ clear explanations in “Saving Sunshine” helpful in learning the specifics of an AC Coupled system and how it forms a local electric distribution system.
Free DVD with MAREA membership
While supplies last, all new and renewing MAREA members will receive a free copy of "Saving Sunshine, Keeping the Lights on with Batteries and Solar Power,” the 30-minute DVD produced by MAREA this year with funding from the Berks Community Foundation and distributed by Bullfrog Films. It’s terrific film, offering an interesting and easily understood explanation of the electricity grid and distribution generation, especially the role of batteries with solar. MAREA is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Donations and memberships are how we keep the lights on. Thanks for your help.
[Watch the Trailer on YouTube]
[Read More and Purchase the DVD]

Event Announcements
Perpetual economic growth is neither possible nor desirable. Growth, especially in wealthy nations, is already causing more problems than it solves.
You are invited to sign the Center for Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE) position statement in support of a sustainable, steady state economy with stabilized population and consumption. For full detail, please visit [TAKE A POSITION]. At the direction of its board, MAREA signed as an organization on Feb 17, 2015.
Solar Advocates Fight Utilities Over Grid Access
  Across the country the solar industry is battling utilities over the financial details of feeding electricity from renewable resources back into the power grid.

Vera Cole, president of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association, a group arguing against proposed rules in Pennsylvania that would put stricter limits on how much grid-connected solar power homeowners can produce on their property.

PA Sunshine Counts: Our Common Solar Wealth - July 2014
This report is an analysis of records obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for more than 7,000 solar electric systems receiving PA Sunshine Rebates, with detailed findings related to cost trends, system size, installation locations, component manufacturers, and installers.

In the interest of good solar, MAREA has chosen to provide this report at no charge to members and nonmembers alike. MAREA believes strongly that the more informed voices in the conversation the better the outcome.Thank you for reading this report.
MAREA is funded entirely though memberships, events, grants and donations. Your support is needed and genuinely appreciated.

  Solar Hot Water Benefits Homeless Shelter
  To help reduce monthly expenses for Opportunity House, a multi-service organization improving the quality of life for children, families and adults who face various obstacles to independent living in the Reading area, MAREA has spearheaded a project to install a solar hot water system on their main building.
Check out the Progress: [READING EAGLE 8-1-14] [WFMZ NEWS VIDEO]

Court Affirms Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association’s Right to Know,
Orders DEP to Release Solar Data
September 18, 2012, Kutztown, PA A renewable energy organization's request for access to information regarding solar installations receiving rebates from the $100 million state [Sunshine Program] was recently upheld by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. [READ THE FULL RELEASE]

Community Projects & Workshops

MAREA conducts small group workshops on practical alternative energy projects throughout the year.
[Learn from experts in the field. MAREA members receive special discount on workshops]

MAREA Educational Programs
MAREA is planning a series of two-hour workshops on possible topics that include, so far, solar electric design, solar hot water design, structural engineering for solar electric mounting systems, thermodynamics, commissioning solar electric systems, solar oven cooking, reducing electrical use in the home, all about RECs, considerations for commercial solar electricity installations, solar electricity for homeowners and wire crimping for solar installations. Whew! Let us know topics you would like covered and if there's a topic you, or someone you know, would like to instruct. Dates, locations and times will be announced soon. We expect them to be on Saturday mornings with a fee of around $45 for members. We're also nailing down plans for the next solar electric installation workshops. We'll send details as soon as they're available.
With ideas or questions, please contact
Bill Hennessy, 484-560-4666, bill@berkssolar.com.