Posts Tagged ‘2012’

28 September

Solar Decathlon Europe (SDE) 2012 Director & Organizer


Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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This video clip below is composed of two interviews taken place at Madrid, Spain (more specifically Villa Solar) on September 26, 2012, one with Director Javier Serra (from Ministerio de Formento or Ministry of Development), followed by one with Organizer of SDE 2012 Martin Gil Von Der Walde.

Between September 14-30, 2012, 18 teams from 11 countries (Germany, Brazil, China, Denmark, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Portugal, and Romania) arrived in the Villa Solar at the Puerta del Angel site within Madrid’s Casa de Campo, to build 18 energy efficient houses.  For 15 days each house have undergone 10 contests with scoring.  The one consuming the least natural resources and producing the minimum waste in its lifetime would be the winner of the competition.

Solar Decathlon Europe originated from the American edition of the competition. The U.S. Department of Energy created the Solar Decathlon competition in 1999 and its first edition was held on the National Mall in Washington DC in 2002. The Polytechnic University of Madrid participated in the American editions in 2005 and 2007 and led to the agreement between governments of both countries on the launching of the first edition outside USA. The first edition of Solar Decathlon Europe was held in 2010 in Madrid with great success, with 200,000 people visiting the sustainable houses of the participating teams.This year, 2012, the second edition of the Solar Decathlon Europe 2012 is organized by the Ministry of Public Works, Madrid’s City Council and the Polytechnic University of Madrid, through its Higher Technical School of Architecture, and its principal sponsors are Schneider Electric and Kommerling.

Some of the special considerations that occurred in SDE 2012: reuse and conservation of all natural resources.  I applaud the Europeans for this consideration because this is even more critical in preservation of our planet.   Solar Decathlon Europe (SDE) 2012 offers a variety of activities related to sustainable energy, aiming to entertain and amuse children while helping them to realize the importance of caring for our environment and the advantage of house powered by solar energy.  One of the main novelties of this edition of SDE is the intelligent network or smart grid.  Solar Decathlon’s Micro Smart Grid connects and controls the whole electrical system from this micro grid, connecting the 18 houses in the Villa Solar, as well as organizational buildings, stands, marquees, services and even the electrical recharging points for electric vehicles at the Villa Solar.  The network, designed by Schneider Electric, could manage some 180,000 kWh in a year and effect a saving equivalent to 180 tons of CO2. In 2010 edition of SDE , participating houses produced three times as much energy as they consumed. Overall, they generated 6,177 kWh while they consumed 2,579kWh. The surplus energy was fed into the network for the benefit of people in the neighborhood. In 2012 edition of SDE, for the first time, any surplus energy generated can be fed into the city’s power network, enabling the city’s citizens to benefit from power generated by participating houses.

More posts to come covering Solar Decathlon Europe 2012….

Any of your comments/questions/concerns/suggestions are welcomed at
There is always more on solar energy at

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker


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11 September

Solar Power International (SPI) 2012 CEO Panel Discussion


Dear Friends & Visitors/Readers/Viewers,

(Please click on red links, below)

I’d like to share with you some of the highlights during the General Session of Monday, September 10, 2012, at Solar Power International (SPI) 2012, of the CEO Panel discussion: Growth In An Uncertain Market. Moderators & Panelists are:Julia Hamm, President & CEO of Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA); Rhone Resch, President & CEO of Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA); Tom Boyle, P.E., EVP, NRG Energy CEO of NRG Solar and President of West Region;Jurgen W. Krehnke, President and General Manager of SMA America, LLC and President of SMA Canada, Inc.;Peter H. Marte, President & CEO of Hannah Solar, LLC;Nancy E. Pfund, Found and Managing Partner of DBL Investors;Eric Silagy, President of Florida Power & Light;Tom Werner, CEO of SunPower Corporation.

Solar Power International 2012 began its four-day run in Orlando with a dynamic panel of industry thought leaders stressing that now is the time for collaboration and cooperation to establish a level playing field to create a marketplace where all energy can compete including solar. The wide ranging discussion explored renewable portfolio standards, net metering, regulation, storage, grassroots support for solar and the future of the investment tax credit. The executives agreed that it is imperative to create a partnership between the industry and utilities to create the necessary stability to make solar a larger share of our energy mix. Julia Hamm urged the “solar industry and the utility industry to invest in the development of a regulatory structure that allows for a new long-term, sustainable utility business model that encourages customers capable of installing solar to do so and rewards utilities that innovate and create a platform on which solar is fully leveraged for its strengths and which ensures the costs and benefits are fairly distributed.” Rhone Resch reported that the U.S. solar market had achieved its second best quarter in history having installed 742 megawatts of solar power, while the utility segment registered it best-ever quarter with 477 megawatts. Through Q22012, the U.S. now has 5,700 MWs of installed solar electric capacity, enough electricity to power nearly a million homes with a total projected 3.2 gigawatts of new installed solar for 2012.(Source:SPI2012 news release)

In the video clip below, you might hear a whispered comment about Feed-In-Tariff (FIT). Effective FIT is the perfect incentive policy for renewables/solar that would provide the certainty and weaning away from subsidies. If you would like to learn more about FIT, please check out sunisthefuture Youtube Channelor item F at right. Without further ado, this discussion is below:


Please feel free to visit for more on solar energy and more on Solar Power International (SPI) 2012 will be revealed at sunisthefuture Youtube Channel and at . As always, any of your comments/questions/suggestion/concerns are welcomed at

~have a bright and sunny day~
sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,

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10 September

Who Should Attend Solar Power International (SPI) 2012 ?


Dear Friends & Visitors/Readers/Viewers,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

Solar Power International (SPI) 2012 is taking place at Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL, Sep. 10-13, 2012.  Participants will be: Engineering firms, Architects, Builders and project developers, Installers and contractors, Manufacturers, Distributors, Utilities, Government representatives and policymakers, Investors and financiers, Entrepreneurs, Legal/Services, Military. More will be coming at covering SPI2012. For those of you who are curious, here are some prelude to the event:

1.  Schedule-at-a-glance 2.  Registration information

3.  Accommodation 4.  Solar Idea Swaps

5.  PV Technical Training 6.  Turn Your Trip to SPI into a Vacation

For more details: (click–>) Solar Power International 2012

Hypower Completes One of the Largest Rooftop Utility Solar Projects in the Northeast

ORLANDO, FLORIDA (September 2012) – Hypower, Inc. is pleased to announce the successful completion of one of the largest rooftop utility solar systems in the northeast; located in Cranbury, New Jersey. The system with a total of 5.7 Megawatts (MW) covers 1,108,500 square feet on four warehouse rooftops all connecting into an underground collection system which is interconnected to the medium voltage Public Service Electric & Gas PSE&G distribution lines. Just over 21,000 solar panels convert sunlight into electricity.Hypower, Inc. is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The project was managed by Jeff Krysiak, Senior Project Manager. “We are very pleased with the work that Jeff’s team accomplished on this flagship project”, says Richard Paul-Hus, Sr. Vice President at Hypower, Inc. As a result of this project, Hypower exceeds 110 MWs of installation experience and places the company among the Top Investment Grade Bankable Solar Contractors in North America.  Hypower Inc. Energy Infrastructure Group team will be at the Solar Power International Conference in Orlando showcasing their Design-Build services for solar PV projects throughout North America and the Caribbean.

More will be in store for Solar Power International (SPI) 2012.

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,


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9 September

Upcoming Solar Power International 2012 & Reaction to Jugar Shah’s Statement On European Investigation Into Chinese Solar Cell Exports


Dear Friends & Readers/Visitors/Viewers,

(please click on red links, below)

As I’ve remarked at the end of yesterday’s (September 8, 2012 post of post, “we need to try harder in order to have a bright and sunny day tomorrow” and furthermore, we need to shift our focus/attention toward constructive rather than destructive direction, changing our paradigm to the possibility of infinity rather than forever operating from/playing a zero sum game of finite competition !  We are living in a critical time in human history; we are all part of a great turning  of a fundamental shift in the way we live on this planet, whether we are American, Chinese, or European.  We need to keep our eyes on the prize/gift of  the fact that cost of solar is now competitive with fossil fuels and will offer a future of hope and optimism rather than a future of doom and gloom.

The practice of dumping, anti-dumping tariff, etc. is nothing new. It occurred in the auto industry, steel industry, etc. historically.  That is why there had been General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade among international/world trade scene. I would like to invite you to visit some historical background on Dumping practice and pricing policy.

Actions in the United States

In the United States, domestic firms can file an antidumping petition under the regulations determined by the United States Department of Commerce, which determines “less than fair value” and the International Trade Commission, which determines “injury”. These proceedings operate on a timetable governed by U.S. law. The Department of Commerce has regularly found that products have been sold at less than fair value in U.S. markets. If the domestic industry is able to establish that it is being injured by the dumping, then antidumping duties are imposed on goods imported from the dumpers’ country at a percentage rate calculated to counteract the dumping margin.

Related to antidumping duties are “countervailing duties“. The difference is that countervailing duties seek to offset injurious subsidization while antidumping duties offset injurious dumping.

Some commentators have noted that domestic protectionism, and lack of knowledge regarding foreign cost of production, lead to the unpredictable institutional process surrounding investigation. Members of the WTO (World Trade Organization) can file complaints against anti-dumping measures.

Actions in the European Union

European Union anti-dumping is under the purview of the European Council. It is governed by European Council regulation 384/96. However, implementation of anti-dumping actions (trade defence actions) is taken after voting by various committees with member state representation.

The bureaucratic entity responsible for advising member states on anti-dumping actions is the Directorate General Trade (DG Trade), based in Brussels. Community industry can apply to have an anti-dumping investigation begin. DG Trade first investigates the standing of the complainants. If they are found to represent at least 25% of community industry, the investigation will probably begin. The process is guided by quite specific guidance in the regulations. The DG Trade will make a recommendation to a committee known as the Anti-Dumping Advisory Committee, on which each member state has one vote. Member states abstaining will be treated as if they voted in favour of industrial protection, a voting system which has come under considerable criticism. (Source: J. Eggert,

As is implied by the criterion for beginning an investigation, EU anti-dumping actions are primarily considered part of a “trade defence” portfolio. Consumer interests and non-industry related interests (“community interests”) are not emphasized during an investigation. An investigation typically looks for damage caused by dumping to community producers, and the level of tariff set is based on the damage done to community producers by dumping.

If consensus is not found, the decision goes to the European Council.

If imposed, duties last for five years theoretically. In practice they last at least a year longer, because expiry reviews are usually initiated at the end of the five years, and during the review process the status-quo is maintained.

Chinese economic situation

The dumping investigation essentially compares domestic prices of the accused dumping nation with prices of the imported product on the European market. However, several rules are applied to the data before the dumping margin is calculated. Most contentious is the concept of “analogue market”. Some exporting nations are not granted “Market Economy Status” by the EU: China is a prime example. In such cases, the DG Trade is prevented from using domestic prices as the fair measure of the domestic price. A particular exporting industry may also lose market status if the DG Trade concludes that this industry receives government assistance. Other tests applied include the application of international accounting standards and bankruptcy laws.

The consequences of not being granted market economy status have a big impact on the investigation. For example, if China is accused of dumping widgets, the basic approach is to consider the price of widgets in China against the price of Chinese widgets in Europe. But China does not have market economy status, so Chinese domestic prices can not be used as the reference. Instead, the DG Trade must decide upon an analogue market: a market which does have market economy status, and which is similar enough to China. Brazil and Mexico have been used, but the USA is a popular analogue market. In this case, the price of widgets in the USA is regarded as the substitute for the price of widgets in China. This process of choosing an analogue market is subject to the influence of the complainant, which has led to some criticism that it is an inherent bias in the process.

Now that we do have a more clear picture of what is going on, let’s approach the issue rationally and calmly. I do agree with Jigar Shah that “the last thing the US and European solar industries need is the further escalation of a trade war in which there is no winner”, but SolarWorld is operating within its right to file for complaints or request for investigation. This is all part of the process for transparency in a democratic society.  But it is important to note that the process of choosing an analogue market is subject to the influence of the complaint and may be inherently biased.  This issue needs to be carefully addressed and requires a group of independent and fair minded individuals to help to reach the right decision.  Sometimes threats/sabre rattling (be it from China or Europe or USA) is the best way to insure that all parties involved will look at the matter seriously for its eventual decision may have a great deal of consequence, more than just the immediate industry or country involved, but on a global scale, its security, safety, prosperity, and longevity .

Another point:  Criticisms have argued that it is quite unreasonable to compare China’s goods price to the USA’s as analogue. China is now developing into a more free and open market, unlike its planned-economy in the early 60s, the market in China is more willing to embrace the global competition now.  Instead of only depending on its cheap labor source,  China is now a true contender on the world commerce scene from many perspectives.  Then, it is thus required to improve its market regulations and conquer the free trade barriers to improve the situation and produce a properly judged pricing level to assess the “dumping” behavior.  Think of this as  growing pain…the difference between treatment toward a baby or growing tiger/ elephant/growing human versus treatment toward fully grown tiger/elephant/adult human.   It is incumbent upon those who have already participated/competed many decades on the world scene to indoctrinate carefully/patiently  those who are  joining the club more  recently.  Henceforth, the true sign of leadership from Chinese Premier Wen and German Chancellor Merkel need to be followed. It is far wiser to continue the dialogue, discussion, or implementing measures that focuses on cooperation rather than retaliation, for I believe that all of us have the common goal  for the future of our planet to be clean, healthy, prosperous, and free from war.

Perhaps the SPI (Solar Power International) 2012 (Sep. 10-13, 2012, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL) will be a great place for discussions of cooperations to be taking place. Lastly, I’d like to call to the attention that part of the solution will also lie in improving market for all by increasing the demand for solar installations. I can not think of any better incentive policy than effective Feed-In-Tariff in accomplishing this goal.  So home owners, solar businesses, policy makers, and lobbyists, please consider and ask for the implementation of effective Feed-In-Tariff !  Let’s all take part in pushing through the inflection point on this curve of solar growth/transition. Let’s all march toward the future of Renewable Energy Age !

~have a bright and sunny day~

researched, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,

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7 September

Top U.S. Solar Companies Will Be Unveiled By SEIA & Vote Solar Initiative at SPI2012


Dear Friends & Visitors/Readers/Viewers,

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Want to find out which are/will be the top solar companies in the U.S. that will be unveiled by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Vote Solar Initiative on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, during a press conference at SPI (Solar Power International) 2012 (at Orange County Convention Center of Orlando, FL, 9:00 A.M., EDT, in room 206c)?

Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,100 member companies to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at

The Vote Solar Initiative:
Vote Solar is a non-profit grassroots organization working to fight climate change and foster economic opportunity by bringing solar energy into the mainstream. Visit Vote Solar online at

Rhone Resch, CEO and President of Solar Energy Industries Association, Adam Browning Executive Director of the Vote Solar Initiative, and Rob Threlkeld, Manager of Renewable Energy of General Motors will be available for questions. If you would like to register for call information for this press conference or learn about the solar legislation in Congress, please click below:
or simply visit next week for update regarding this press conference.
Below, is a clip of an interview with Rhone Resch of SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) back in 2010 in Cancun, Mexico:

~have a bright and sunny day~

written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,

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2 September

Upcoming Solar Power International (SPI) 2012


Dear Fellow Solar Enthusiasts,

(Please click on red links below)

There is an upcoming solar event, the Solar Power International (SPI) 2012, that will take place in Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, between September 10-13, 2012.  It is considered one of the largest and most comprehensive solar energy event in North America.  Besides thousands of professionals from solar energy and related fields, former President Bill Clinton will be there as a keynote speaker on September 12, 2012, 4:00 pm-5:00 pm, to describe the challenge of globalization, to emphasize the growing interdependence, and to point toward the path of a common future based on shared goals and values.  SPI is also partnering with Solar Energy International (SEI) and North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) to provide free technical training in Orlando (Booth 1008);these 60-90 minute sessions, taught by SEI’s and NABCEP’s experienced instructors, are available to all SPI Full Conference and Expo Hall Only registrants.

“SPI is the most valuable U.S. solar networking event with unrivaled opportunities to meet with both leading and up-and-coming players in the solar sector from around the world.”  Lisa Frantzis, Managing Director of Energy, Navigant commented.

This is what Lee Peterson, Sr. Manager of National Tax-Renewable Energy, Reznick Group, said, “I’ve attended SPI every year since 2006, and it has always been the absolute best solar industry event. It attracts everyone who matters in the industry, provides current updates on all important aspects of solar energy, and gets all the people you need to meet in one place at one time. SPI is a must-attend event for every serious solar energy professional.”

Here is:  the Schedule-at-a-Glance, Registration information, Accommodation, Solar Idea Swaps, PV Technical TrainingsTurn Your Trip to SPI into a Vacation, etc.  To wet your appetite for this event, please allow me to show you a clip of SPI of last year (2011), below:

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,

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23 July

Stage 5 and Overall Final Result of American Solar Challenge (ASC) 2012


Dear Fellow Solar Enthusiasts,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

Here are the results of Stage 5 and Overall Final Results of American Solar Challenge (ASC) 2012 you’ve been waiting for.  July 21, 2012, was the end of the Stage 5 and overall American Solar Challenge (ASC) 2012, right in front of the Capitol Building of St. Paul, MN.  Even though there’s been rain during the early part of the day, the sky had cleared and the sun was welcomed by all participants and supporters of American Solar Challenge (ASC) 2012 around noon.

Capitol Building at St. Paul, MN, on July 21, 2012, the finish point of American Solar Challenge (ASC) 2012

Stage 5 Results

Team # and Name LaCrosse Start 7/21 St. Paul Finish 7/21 Stage 5 Penalty Time Stage 5 Elapsed Time
35 – Minnesota 09:05:00 12:58:57 00:00:00 03:53:57
32 – Principia 09:02:00 13:31:11 00:00:00 04:29:11
254 – CalSol 09:03:00 13:28:17 00:12:00 04:37:17
9 – Iowa State 09:01:00 13:50:42 00:00:00 04:49:42
2 – Michigan 09:00:00 14:23:55 00:00:00 05:23:55
20 – Western Michigan 09:05:00 14:36:52 00:00:00 05:31:52
256 – Oregon State 09:04:00 15:21:35 00:01:00 06:18:35
5 – Illinois State 09:07:00 Trailer 05:48:54 12:48:54
55 – Montreal 09:06:00 Trailer 04:38:15 11:38:15
28 – New Paltz 09:09:00 Trailer 06:27:42 13:27:42
4 – MIT 09:11:00 Trailer 07:08:48 14:08:48

Last updated 7/21/12 – 22:00 Central. Times given as hh:mm:ss.

Univ of MN team (with their solar car & mascot) was the first to arrive at the finish line of Stage 5

These photo images are photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker at

Images are under Creative Commons with Attribution (just mention photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker at




Principia College, the liberal arts college of about 500 students consistently overcame all challenges




CalSol/Univ of CA-Berkeley team running to greet their solar car

Iowa State University's Hyperion returning to the finish line, with its team members running along side of it










Univ of MI, came in first from Stage 1-4, and is the winner of overall American Solar Challenge (ASC) 2012





Western Michigan University zoomed into the finish line in its golden chariot







Oregon State University solar car, escorted by its enthusiastic team members





Illinois State University completing the race, cheered on by supporters. This is also the team that was stopped by OH state trooper along their journey.





Montreal Polytechnique Esteban arriving, with its fluttering flag above







SUNY's New Paltz, a 2nd year participant, learned a great deal and appreciated support from other teams









MIT's Chopper Del Sol encountered a moderate crash on second day, but team members repaired parts and persevered to the end











We will continue to upload our photos & video interviews onto: sunisthefuture channel at Youtubesusansunnunamaker’s channel at Youtube in the coming week, sharing much lessons learned and stories experienced.








Overall Final Results

Team # and Name Stage 1 Time Stage 2 Time Stage 3 Time Stage 4 Time Stage 5 Time Total Elapsed Time Miles Credited
2 – Michigan 04:13:29 10:32:55 12:26:15 11:59:47 05:23:55 44:36:21 1652.80
9 – Iowa State 04:22:34 16:03:25 14:02:33 15:36:49 04:49:42 54:55:03 1652.80
32 – Principia 05:26:59 14:22:48 17:12:00 14:18:31 04:29:11 55:49:29 1652.80
254 – CalSol 05:34:35 15:32:19 16:04:08 15:33:46 04:37:17 57:22:05 1652.80
35 – Minnesota 04:32:09 13:25:16 22:01:03 17:00:52 03:53:57 60:53:17 1572.45
256 – Oregon State 5:56:04 17:07:27 16:30:44 31:11:09 06:18:35 77:03:59 1390.05
5 – Illinois State 06:12:05 23:57:36 29:33:27 29:54:57 12:48:54 102:26:59 911.80
20 – Western Michigan 05:10:14 35:54:12 24:18:45 32:07:57 5:31:52 103:03:00 886.80
55 – Montreal 07:21:18 32:25:12 28:46:39 28:58:57 11:38:15 109:10:21 829.35
28 – New Paltz 08:54:39 30:48:12 28:03:03 35:25:57 13:27:42 116:39:33 727.70
4 – MIT 05:27:05 47:10:06 39:49:33 16:00:52 14:08:48 122:36:24 854.65

Last updated 7/21/12 – 23:37 Central. Times given as hh:mm:ss.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

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18 July

Stage 2 & Stage 3 Results of American Solar Challenge 2012


Dear Readers & Friends,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

Here are the Stage 2 (July 15-16, 2012: Erie, PA to Mansfield, OH and Mansfield, OH to Ann Arbor, MI) and Stage 3 (July 17-18, 2012: Ann Arbor, MI to Kalamazoo, MI and Kalamazoo, MI to Normal, IL) Results of American Solar Challenge (ASC) 2012, below:

ASC2012 Stage 2 Results: University of Michigan-First;University of Minnesota-Second;Principia College-Third

Team # and Name Erie Start 7/15 Mansfield Arrival 7/15 Ann Arbor Finish 7/16 Penalty Time Stage 2 Elapsed Time
2 – Michigan 09:00:00 14:20:38 11:31:55 00:01:00 10:32:55
35 – Minnesota 09:02:00 16:01:45 14:23:16 00:02:00 13:25:16
32 – Principia 09:04:00 16:38:10 15:22:48 00:00:00 14:22:48
254 – CalSol 09:02:00 16:47:14 16:31:19 00:01:00 15:32:19
9 – Iowa State 09:01:00 16:03:25 00:00:00 16:03:25
256 – Oregon State 09:07:00 16:55:27 00:12:00 17:07:27
5 – Illinois State 09:08:00 Trailer 05:57:36 23:57:36
28 – New Paltz 09:10:00 Trailer 12:48:12 30:48:12
55 – Montreal 09:09:00 Trailer 14:25:12 32:25:12
20 – Western Michigan 09:03:00 Trailer 17:54:12 35:54:12
4 – MIT 09:05:00 Trailer 29:10:06 47:10:06

Last updated 7/16/12 – 23:50 Eastern. Times given as hh:mm:ss.

ASC2012 Stage 3 Results:  University of Michigan-First;Iowa State University-Second;Principia College-Third  

Team # and Name Ann Arbor Start 7/17 Kalamazoo Arrival 7/17 Normal Finish 7/18 Penalty Time Stage 3 Elapsed Time
2 – Michigan 09:00:00 13:02:09 13:14:15 00:12:00 12:26:15
9 – Iowa State 09:03:00 13:29:33 14:57:33 00:10:00 14:02:33
32 – Principia 09:02:00 14:15:17 17:57:00 00:15:00 17:12:00
254 – CalSol 09:04:00 15:08:08 17:02:08 00:02:00 16:04:08
256 – Oregon State 09:05:00 14:30:12 17:18:44 00:12:00 16:30:44
35 – Minnesota 09:01:00 13:35:20 Trailer 04:01:03 22:01:03
5 – Illinois State 09:06:00 Trailer 11:33:27 29:33:27
28 – New Paltz 09:07:00 Trailer 12:12:09 30:12:09
20 – Western Michigan 09:06:00 14:26:34 Trailer 06:18:45 24:18:45
55 – Montreal 09:05:00 Trailer 10:46:39 28:46:39
4 – MIT 09:09:00 14:22:40 Trailer 11:35:33 29:35:33

Last updated 7/18/12 – 23:40 Central. Times given as hh:mm:ss.

Next stage, Stage 4, will start on July 19-20, 2012: Normal, IL to Verona, WI and Verona, WI to La Crosse, WI

  • Stage Start on July 19th at Illinois State University, 210 N School St (Parking Lot F67), Normal, IL 61761
  • Checkpoint on July 19th at Reddan Soccer Park, 6874 Cross Country Road , Verona, WI 53593. Checkpoint opens at 11am and closes at 5:45pm.
  • Stage Stop on July 20th at Western Technical College, 750 Badger St (Parking Lot D), La Crosse, WI 54601

Final stage, Stage 5, will start on July 21, 2012: La Crosse, WI to St. Paul, MN

  • Stage Start on July 21st at Western Technical College, 750 Badger St (Parking Lot D), La Crosse, WI 54601
  • Finish on July 21st at Minnesota State Capitol, MLK Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55155.Finish line closes at 4pm.


*Some of the interviews with various American Solar Challenge 2012 teams have already been loaded up to sunisthefuture channelsusansunnunamaker’s channel at Youtube (and more will be uploaded as the week continues), so  be sure to check them out!

More videos will be available in future posts.  Any of your comments, suggestions, questions, and concerns will be welcomed at

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

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9 July

Here Comes The American Solar Challenge (Solar Car Race) 2012!


Dear Solar Enthusiasts,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

Remember our coverage on Veolia World Solar Challenge of 2011 between Darwin and Adelaide, Australia? Here, in North America, we will have our very own solar car race soon, the American Solar Challenge, from July 14-21, 2012. The event will take student teams and their solar cars from Rochester, NY, to St. Paul, MN. This is a competition for student teams to design, build, and drive solar-powered cars that will race through 1,650 mile course through multiple cities (in NY-PA-OH-MI-IL-WI-MN) across the United States. All teams (18 teams have registered and 16 teams are planning to compete in both Formula Sun Grand Prix-July 10-12, 2012 and the American Solar Challenge-July 14-21, 2012) have to go through three days (July 7-9, 2012) of careful scrutineering process in Monticello, NY, at the Monticello Raceway, where each and every solar car is inspected from electrical and mechanical engineering adherence (such as body and sizing) to safety regulations and dynamic testing (consisting of a slalom course followed by a breaking test where each driver must demonstrate that he/she can come to a complete and controlled stop, under wet driving conditions, within a time limit) before the solar car will be allowed to enter the track.  This is a very friendly competition, so occasionally some teams are given additional shot at the braking qualifier. The purpose and emphasis of the scrutineering process is in safety and adherence to regulation.  Then Scrutineering will be followed by three days of track racing, the Formula Sun Grand Prix portion of the event. On July 13, 2012, solar car teams will travel to Rochester, NY, to be displayed and to prepare for the start of the cross-country rally, The American Solar Challenge. On July 14, solar car teams will leave on the start of the race at 9:00AM at one minute interval.

Day I       (July 14, 2012): Rochester, NY———>Erie, PA

Day II     (July 15, 2012): Erie, PA—————–>Mansfield, OH

Day III   (July 16, 2012):Mansfield, OH———->Ann Arbor, MI

Day IV    (July 17, 2012):Ann Arbor, MI——–>Kalamazoo, MI

Day V      (July 18, 2012): Kalamazoo, MI——–>Normal, IL

Day VI    (July 19, 2012): Normal, IL————->Verona, WI

Day VII  (July 20, 2012): Verona, WI————>LaCrosse, WI

Day VIII (July 21, 2012): LaCrosse, WI———->St. Paul, MN

The American Solar Challenge race will finish at the Capitol Building of St. Paul, MN, on July 21, 2012.

Below, please allow me to share a clip of ASC 2012 (American Solar Challenge 2012):

Take a look at the team photos of this year’s American Solar Challenge solar race teams (University of MI, University of KY, MIT, IL State University, IA State University, Northwestern University,  MI State University, Western MI University, State University of NY-New Paltz, Principia College, University of MN, Georgia Institute of Technology, Polytechnique Montreal, University of CA-Berkeley, OR State University, University of NM) .  So far,  we’ve received reporting of Missouri University of Science and Technology Solar Car Team has withdrawn from the 2012 American Solar Challenge due to insufficient time in completing the vehicle before the race starts (July 14, 2012) in Rochester, NY. “The team, which consists of a large percentage of new student members, was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the project and thus the design and fabrication took longer than anticipated,” says Dr. Roger A. LaBoube, director of S&T’s Student Design and Experiential Learning Center. “I’m sure our team will take what we learned during this process in preparation for the next big race.” It is true that experience really matters and we wish Missouri University of Science and Technology Solar Car Team the best next time. Let this also be a lesson for all potential future entering teams: please allot a great deal of safety factor in terms of preparation time because these are complicated designs and it will always take more time than one anticipates.

Here are some links/video clips that may be of interest to you: American Solar Challenge 2012 official site,  past American Solar Challenge 2010, Veolia World Solar Challenge 2011, below:

More coverage of the Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP) 2012-July 10-12, 2012 and American Solar Challenge (ASC) 2012-July 14-21, 2012 will unfold in future posts.  Until then, I wish all of these teams…..

~bright and sunny days during the complete course of the race~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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14 June

SunShot Grand Challenge Summit & Technology Forum-June 13-14, 2012, in Denver, CO


Dear Readers,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at Thank you very much.


My Dear Friends of the Sunshine,

It is with both hope and pleasure that I am bringing you report about an event that took place on June 13-14, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency in Denver, Colorado:  The SunShot Grand Challenge Summit and Technology Forum.  In addition to featuring the solar industry’s most influential leaders, the event showcased the work of more than 200 SunShot awardees.  The list of distinguished speakers at this SunShot Grand Challenge: Summit and Technology Forum were: Steven Chu (the 12th Secretary of Energy who is also the co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997);

Participants gather for the plenary session in the SunShot Grand Challenge Summit & Technology Forum in Denver, CO, June 13-14, 2012 (Creative Commons)

Energy Secretary Steven Chu meets with students from Front Range Community College at an exhibit session (Creative Commons)

Dan Arvizu (Director and Chief Executive of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL);Harry Atwater (Howard Hughes Professor and Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science at the California Institute of Technology, active in PV research for more than 20 years);Bill Ritter (Colorado’s 41st Governor and the Director of the Center for the New Energy Economy, CNEE, at Colorado State University);Dorothy Robyn (Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment in 2009);Richard Swanson (one of the premier authorities on crystalline-silicon solar cell technology, processing, and manufacturing);John Woolard (President and CEO of BrightSource Energy, a developer of utility-scale solar power plants).

In 2010, the SunShot Initiative was established to decrease the total installed price of solar energy by 75% by 2020. Since then, photovoltaic module costs have been cut in half.  While there is still another factor of two to go before reaching a tipping point, in some markets cost-competitive solar is already a reality.  During the SunShot Grand Challenge Summit in Denver, CO, the event brought together more than 700 bright minds in solar to discuss what challenges lie ahead.  Among the many challenges: streamlining and standardizing solar permitting processes;convincing the financial community to embrace innovative technologies that have not yet been tested over long periods of time; and planning for infrastructure that will be able to handle high levels of variable solar energy inputs were discussed.

The audience listens to a presentation by Harry Atwater, Howard Hughes Professor during the plenary session(Creative Commons)

Energy Secretary Steven Chu is reflected in a Suspension Heliostat made by Solaflect Energy (Creative Commons)

Recalling that the first commercially available solar cells costed $400 per watt back in the 1960s and prices for the state-of-the-art installed PV systems were about $3 per watt at the utility scale by the end of 2010,  we’ve come a long way to have arrived at today’s bids for large-scale plants in the range of $1.20 per watt. (source: Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Director of the SunShot Initiative and Solar Energy Technologies Program)

Participants talk outside the plenary session (Creative Commons)

Researchers participate in a poster session (Creative Commons)

Dear readers, evidenced by the many innovations that’s been covered in , it is not difficult to imagine the day when we will drive down the cost of solar to $1 per watt for a fully installed solar energy system in the near future.  I am sure that the SunShot Director Ramesh had learned during his term that the seemingly impossible will one day be possible.  Until then, Secretary Chu is playing his part in speeding up this process by announcing the “America’s Most Affordable Rooftop Solar” competition to aggressively drive down the cost of rooftop solar energy systems as well as nearly $8 million to nine small businesses to lower the cost of financing, permitting, and other “soft costs”, which can amount to nearly half the cost of residential solar systems.  This will support the Department’s aggressive goal of achieving cost-competitive solar energy by 2020.  “As President Obama has repeatedly said, we need an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that deploys every available source of American energy, driving job creation, energy innovation and manufacturing leadership in our country,” said Secretary Chu.

The audience listens to a presentation by Dorothy Robyn Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment at the plenary session (Creative Commons)

Secretary Steven Chu looks at new technology with exhibitor Joe Sarubbi seated (Creative Commons)

Below, I have extracted pertinent paragraphs (in italics) from U.S. Department of Energy web site:

To spur the use of low-cost residential and small commercial rooftop solar systems across the nation, the Department is launching the first SunShot competition to challenge U.S. teams to quickly drive down the cost of installed rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems. “America’s Most Affordable Rooftop Solar competition” offers a total of $10 million in prize money to the first three U.S. teams that can install 5,000 rooftop solar PV systems at an average price of $2 per watt. By setting an ambitious target, the competition aims to spur creative public-private partnerships, original business models, and innovative approaches to make solar energy affordable for millions of families and businesses.

Secretary Chu also today announced up to $8 million to support nine highly innovative startups through the SunShot Incubator program. These companies are developing transformative solutions to streamline solar installation processes such as financing, permitting, and inspection. This investment builds on the Incubator program’s proven track record of attracting follow-on investment for solar startups at a ratio of $30 in private investment for every $1 of government funding. Since 2007, the Energy Department has invested more than $60 million in the Incubator program, accelerating the development of solar technologies that have since attracted more than $1.6 billion in private investment.

The SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort to make solar energy cost competitive with other forms of energy by the end of the decade. Inspired by President Kennedy’s “Moon Shot” program that put the first man on the moon, the SunShot Initiative has created new momentum for the solar industry by highlighting the need for American competitiveness in the clean energy race.

With all of these initiatives, the clean/solar energy economy is already here and poised for tremendous growth in the coming years.

For more details of this SunShot Grand Challenge Summit & Technology Forum, please feel free to visit:

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

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