Posts Tagged ‘Secretary Steven Chu’

22 February

We’re Going Further Than Reaching the Moon, We’re Reaching For The Sun


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

People! People! My belief/suspicion has been confirmed !  Solar Industry is going to be BIG! Huge! In time, solar energy will no longer represent less than one percent of our energy portfolio.  If I were to wager on the matter, I’d bet that  solar energy will  eventually take care of more than 50% of our energy needs…just wait…in 10-20 years….

I’d like to invite you to a live discussion with Secretary of Energy Steven Chu on Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, at 2:00 pm EST, that was later streamed on Google +, Youtube, and on the progress of  SunShot Initiative and the role solar power is playing in our growing clean energy economy.  Questions were taken in advance and during the Hangout: via emailing, posting comments on the Energy Department’s Facebook page,  Google+ event, or tweeting @ENERGY using #askEnergy. In addition to Secretary Chu, various representatives from across the U.S. solar energy industry were also on the panel of discussion: Jeffery Halsey from Broward County (Broward County of Florida’s Director of Pollution Prevention, Remediation, and Air Quality division), Jeff Allen of Solar Junction‘s Vice President of Business Development, and Joe Desmond, Senior Vice President at Bright Source Energy. Video below:

Jeffery Halsy shared that homeowners from his community, due to their participation in the SunShot Initiataive’s Rooftop Solar Challenge,  were able to save time and money on installations by addressing the soft costs (including permitting, interconnection, and inspection requirements accounting for as much as 40% of the total cost of a single solar installation).  With preapproved design plans,Broward County residents are now able to get a solar energy system permit online in just half an hour, saving both time and money. Jeff Allen shared insight on how Solar Junction shattered an existing technical barrier with its commericia-ready SJ3 multijunction solar cell this year. Below, on the left, a graph of Bandgap vs. Max. Efficiency shows the Shockley-Queisser limit for efficiency of a single junction solar cell. It is essentially impossible for single-junction solar cell, under unconcentrated sunlight, to have more than 34% efficiency. Multijunction cell, however, can exceed that limit. The chart on the right below indicates various solar cell efficiencies researched and presented by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory). The SJ3 multijunction solar cell, with its concentrating PV cell, using a focused lens to magnify light to 418 times the intensity of the sun, was able to set a new world record of 43.5% for solar cell conversion efficiency.

NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)’s Best Research-Cell Efficiencies

Shockley-Queisser limit for the efficiency of a single junction solar cell. It is essentially impossible for a single-junction solar cell, under unconcentrated sunlight, to have more than ~34% efficiency. A multijunction cell, however, can exceed that limit.

Joe Demond talked about Ivanpah Solar Generating  Complex in California’s Mojave Desert;this utility-scale solar installation is the world’s largest solar thermal power plant under construction. Supported by an Energy Department loan guarantee, this project using mirrors to focus the power of the sun on solar receivers (through high temperature high pressure steam to turn the turbines) and is expected to generate enough electricity to power about 140,000 homes annually.  Bright Source hired over 2,300 workers to complete this project’s construction and installation phase. Furthermore, majority of this project’s supply chain comes from more than 17 states (such as Michigan-based Guardian Industries that supplied 160,000 of its EcoGuard Solar Boost mirrors).

View of Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System from Yates Well Road, The Clark Mountain Range can be seen in the distance.

Evidently, SunShot Initiative has already accomplished a great deal in reducing the soft costs, in developing new approach in technological advancement, and improvement of old way of doing things to utility-scale. It will continue its aim in reducing the cost of solar energy to be competitive with any other form of energy, without the need of subsidy. The future looks bright for solar industry. The potential of reaching below $1/watt is within reach;cost of solar will be comparable to the new cost estimate of energy from natural gas within 10 years, without any need of subsidy.  As Secretary Chu indicated, “Without any subsidy, solar energy will be able to hold its own with any other form of energy. This is our SunShot! We’re going further than reaching the moon. We’re reaching for the Sun!”This is very exciting! It is so palpable that all solar enthusiasts can feel the energy soaring…now we need to spread this good news so to speed up the process of reaching that clean, healthy and war-free Clean Energy World.  Earthlings, get ready to learn more about Solar Energy so we can all apply ourselves in this Solar Future! Thank you, Secretary Chu, for making SunShot Initiative a reality!

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions will be welcomed at


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5 February

First Day of PV America East 2013


Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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This is an interview of Rhone Resch, President and CEO of SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association), during first day of PV America East 2013, on Feb. 5, 2013, in Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA.  Mr. Resch recapped the importance (brought up during the PVA power session during the morning) for various groups working collaboratively within the solar industry to gather strength as a single voice in approaching policy makers.  Historically net metering has been a successful policy to aim toward when the solar energy/industry represented only very small (less than 1%) portion of the energy industry.  It will be interesting to see what the future has in store for solar industry as its proportion increases tremendously within the overall energy industry. Mr. Resch also applauded many of the accomplishments by DOE(Department of Energy) during Secretary Steven Chu‘s tenure.  Mr. Resch has very optimistic outlook toward the future of solar industry in 2013 and in the years to come, encouraging our viewers/visitors in considering opportunities in solar energy industry in the future. Below is the interview with Mr. Resch:

On the first day of the PV America East 2013, the 2013 Photovoltaic Projects of Distinction Award winners are also announced, below:

2013 Photovoltaic Projects of Distinction Award Winners Announced at PV America East 2013

Nine Additional Awarded Honorable Mention Citations
Philadelphia, PA, February 5, 2013 – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)® and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) today announced the three winners of the 2013 Photovoltaic (PV) Projects of Distinction Awards at PV America East 2013 in Philadelphia, PA. Recognizing major achievements in U.S. PV solar energy, the awards were presented to the Generating Clean Horizons Solar Project, Keystone Solar and the Union County (NJ) Solar Initiative. For the first time, nine projects were awarded honorable mentions in recognition of their impressive accomplishments.
More than 100 submissions were evaluated by an independent panel of judges representing associations, consultants, distributors, government, integrators, manufacturers and utilities. To qualify for an award, each project had to be operational and demonstrate a collective benefit to the community and innovative use of policy and financing to enhance the project’s impact.
“Each year these project submissions are more impressive than the last and this year is no different. Today’s award recipients portray the innovative spirit that is driving solar energy growth in the U.S.,” said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of SEIA. “We are very pleased to present these awards and congratulate our three winners for their achievements and excellence in PV solar energy.”
“These installations exemplify how collaboration and partnerships can create successful solar energy projects,” said Julia Hamm, president and CEO of SEPA. “The three winners and the nine honorable mentions brought teams together to develop solutions to achieve their communities’ renewable energy goals.   Generating Clean Horizons project is the largest solar facility in Maryland and is expected to generate 20 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, Keystone Solar brought together area colleges and the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team, while the Union County Solar Initiative is bringing renewable power to 30 facilities including schools, libraries and a community center for seniors.”
The winning projects are:
Generating Clean Horizons, Emmitsburg, MD
Located on 100 acres leased from Mount St. Mary’s University, this 16.1 megawatt (MW) grid-connected solar power system is one of the largest operational solar facilities in Maryland. The $50 million solar facility was completed with no upfront costs to the state of Maryland, and it demonstrates the potential of public-private partnership to advance renewable energy. This project serves as a prime example of how to successfully finance, develop, construct and operate large-scale solar projects. Constellation, an Exelon company, was the financer, developer, owner and operator; First Solar Electric was the EPC contractor and panel manufacturer; and Mount St. Mary’s University owns the land being leased to Constellation.
Electricity generated by the system is purchased by the state’s Department of General Services and the University System of Maryland under 20-year solar power purchase agreements with Constellation. The system is expected to generate 20 million kilowatt hours of emissions-free electricity per year. According to the EPA, this could prevent the release of 17,981 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. In addition to the 16.1 MW system, Constellation owns and operates a 1.6-megawatt solar power system at the site that supplies power directly to the university. In addition to furthering Maryland’s Generating Clean Horizons initiative, the solar project’s construction created approximately 165 green jobs.
“Constellation is honored to be recognized by SEIA and SEPA and to bring online one of Maryland’s largest solar installations,” said Michael D. Smith, vice president of solar and energy efficiency sales for Constellation. “The project contributes to the state of Maryland’s leadership role in renewable energy and is an example of our commitment to provide customers clean, affordable energy choices.”
Keystone Solar, Lancaster County, PA
The Keystone Solar farm is a tribute to innovative energy marketing and exemplary project development.   Developed by Community Energy and built by gro-Solar, Pennsylvania’s largest solar project is secured by a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Exelon Generation and backed by retail solar purchases by Drexel University, Eastern University, Franklin & Marshall College, Clean Air Council, Juniata College, Marywood University, Millersville University, the Clean Air Council and the Philadelphia Phillies major league baseball franchise.
Community Energy worked closely with the fabled Lancaster County farming community and local officials to support both farmland preservation and agricultural soil restoration in the project design, and EPC contractor, groSolar, built the project to those exacting standards. Solar panels were installed on driven posts without concrete to avoid soil disturbance and allow removal at the end of the 25-30 year life of the project, and the site will be maintained with selected cover vegetation to preserve and improve organic soil content.   After three years of community building, 250 team partners celebrated on October 16, 2012 with a “Turn the Power On” dedication event.
The solar project received financing and funding from the Sustainable Energy Fund and the State of Pennsylvania. The project has 6 megawatts DC capacity and provides approximately 8,000 megawatt hours (MWhs) of clean, fuel-free electricity per year, enough to power over 950 homes, and eliminates 5,516 tons of Carbon Dioxide.
“Keystone Solar brought together the best of the best to build solar at scale in a challenging market.  It was a pleasure to join experienced teams, from design, construction, utility, to finance—and everyone delivered.   We particularly appreciate our long-term solar partners in colleges and universities that stepped up to buy SRECs and incorporate our PRAXIS solar teaching modules in their studies,” said Brent Alderfer, president and CEO, Community Energy Inc.
Union County Solar Initiative, Union County, NJ
In 2012, solar developer Tioga Energy undertook a project to bring renewable power to 30 facilities across New Jersey’s Union County, including schools, libraries, and a community center for senior citizens. The 3.34 MW of solar installations represent the largest public-private partnership of its kind in the U.S.  Dozens of government agencies, facility managers and vendors were needed to bring these systems to life.  To finance the project, Tioga Energy employed a unique structure dubbed the “Municipal Financing Model,” which combined low-interest municipal bonds with state utility and federal tax incentives to significantly lower the cost of solar electricity. With Tioga’s SurePath Solar power purchase agreement (PPA) in place, Union County will receive guaranteed energy savings over the next 15 years, paying rates for electricity that are approximately 50 percent less than those of the local utility. The systems—ranging in size from less than 10 kW to almost 500 kW—were installed through a joint venture between Pro-Tech Energy Solutions and Huen Electric with environmental and engineering management firm Whitman providing design services.
Although Tioga Energy designed these systems to withstand extreme weather, nobody expected they’d be put to the test so quickly. Hurricane Sandy ripped through Union County in late October, forcing 13 towns in the region to declare states of emergency. In the aftermath of the storm, each of the 30 solar installations emerged unscathed.
“Our project in Union County is a powerful testament to how different organizations can pull together, working collaboratively to their mutual benefit,” said Paul Detering, CEO, Tioga Energy. ”The success of this partnership reflects the hard work of many, and we’re honored to be recognized for our efforts by the solar industry’s most esteemed organizations.”
The honorable mention winners are:
Berkshire School Solar Project, Shefield, MA – 2 MW
Camden Solar Center, Camden City, NJ – 1.8 MW
Long Island Solar Farm, Long Island NY – 32 MW
Melink Solar Canopy at the Cincinnati Zoo, Cincinnati, OH – 1.564 MW
Saint Paul River Center Parking Ramp, Saint Paul, MN – 82 kW
St. Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ – 2.1 MW
SunGen 1 Sharon, Sharon, VT – 2.2MW
SunSmart E-Shelter Program, -100 10 kW throughout Florida
Toms River Regional School District, Toms River, NJ – 4.5 MW
For more information on PV America East 2013 visit:
Elite PV America East 2013 sponsors include: ReneSola, Canadian Solar and Suntech.
Upcoming PV America East:
PV America East 2014 – June 23-25, Boston, MA
# # #
About PV America East 2013
PV America East is presented by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)® and Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA)®, whose combined efforts have created a world-class, regionally focused and vertically integrated event for installers, designers and suppliers of photovoltaic (PV) technology and services. Unlike other PV conferences, all proceeds support the expansion of the U.S. solar energy market through SEIA’s and SEPA’s year-round research and education activities, as well as SEIA’s® advocacy efforts.
About SEIA®
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 and its 1,000 member companies are building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works 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.
About SEPA
The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) is an educational non-profit dedicated to helping utilities integrate solar power into their energy portfolios for the benefit of the utility, its customers and the public good. With more than 1,000 utility and solar industry members, SEPA provides unbiased utility solar market intelligence, up-to-date information about technologies and business models, and peer-to-peer interaction. From hosting national events to utility strategies, SEPA helps utilities make smart solar decisions. For more information, visit

More interviews and video recorded session of the PV America East 2013 will be coming in future posts and in sunisthefuture Youtube Channel. Keep checking!

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions are welcomed at

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


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4 February

Farewell, Secretary Chu, Difficult Job Well Done !


Greetings, Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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It is with both sadness and appreciation that many of us in the solar/renewable energy world are receiving the news of  Secretary (of US Department of Energy) Steven Chu’s decision to return to his life of  a scientist.

Please view the announcement video clip below:

Secretary Steven Chu returning to his life of a scientist rather than a second term as the Secretary of Department of Energy (DOE)

In my opinion, Secretary Steven Chu is the first Secretary of Department of Energy who is truly deserving of his title  after many decades of Secretaries who could have just as well  been called Secretary of Nuclear Energy.  We appreciate President Obama’s insight in naming a Nobel  scientist with guts and pragmatism during this critical juncture in both American and Human Energy history.  Without the past four years of Chu’s tenure, we could not have seen the long list of scientific and clean energy programs, ranging from  Wind and Solar Energy Initiatives, BioEnergy Research Centers, nuclear safety, appliance efficiency standards, etc.  He is the first Secretary of Energy who truly appreciated the rising temperature as a present and growing danger to our planet earth and actively addressed this issue by building a foundation for research, creativity, and with funding guarantees to a plethora of clean energy projects supporting manufacturing plants throughout the country.  Since the list of accomplishments during his tenure is extremely long, I will simply name few of his accomplishments and share with you a more complete list made available via U.S. Department of Energy site.

  1. ARPA-E became a reality, designed to support high-risk, high reward technology development;this program has earned the respect of industry and academia alike for its outstanding funding choices and its thoughtful and thorough program management. Fred Smith, the CEO of FedEx, thought ARPA-E was the best government funding program he has ever seen.  In the first few years, 11 of the companies funded with $40 million dollars have attracted more than $200 million in combined private investment.
  2. The SunShot Challenge called for reducing the full cost of utility scale solar energy to $1/watt, roughly equates to a levelized cost of electricity (LOCE) of 6 cents/kWh without additional subsidies created for the solar industry.  This is close to the projected EIA cost of natural gas and the anticipated LOCE on a new natural gas electricity generator a decade from now.
  3. The President announced an EV Everywhere Challenge, with the goal to achieve plug-in hybrids or EVs with a 100 mile range at the same cost of owning and operating a comparable sized internal combustion engine car with 40 miles/gallon for 5 years.
  4. The production of clean, renewable energy from wind and solar has doubled during Chu’s tenure.
  5. In addition to $25 billion annual budget, Congress entrusted DOE to make a $36 billion investment through the Recovery Act to help ensure that the clean energy jobs of tomorrow are created in USA.
  6. The DOE has made significant progress in encouraging collaboration between the basic science and applied science programs such that the Office of Science and the Applied Energy programs have collaborated from the beginning in the design of Funding Opportunity Announcements.  So called “Tech teams” that span Energy, Science, and APRA-E have started to meet regularly in areas such as solar energy, electricity transmission and distribution, computation, and biofuels.  Brainstorming sessions where young scientists are encouraged to share ideas and joust with Department veterans have begun.

At this point, I’d like to invite you to read/see the more complete list of accomplishments during his tenure, available at US Department of Energy site (<–please click).

Statement from SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch on the Notice of the Departure of Energy Secretary Steven Chu:“SEIA applauds Secretary Chu for his outstanding leadership of the Department of Energy and for his work to foster the growth of clean energy technologies to power America. Secretary Chu clearly believes in the power of science and innovation to drive change, which was evident in the way he led the Department. Under Dr. Chu’s leadership, the Department launched the SunShot Initiative, an effort to advance solar photovoltaic technology developments; promoted the clean energy loan guarantee program spurring $55 billion in economic investment; and advanced the prominence of solar energy as a critical energy source.

Under the Obama Administration, the amount of solar powering homes, businesses, and military bases has grown by nearly 500 percent – from 1,100 megawatts in 2008 to more than 6,400 megawatts today. Solar installations and jobs have risen dramatically throughout the U.S, while costs have fallen. Today, the solar industry employs more than 119,000 Americans at 5,600 companies, mostly small businesses, across all 50 states – this is more than double the number of Americans working in solar in 2009. The U.S. now has enough installed solar capacity to power a million households, and 2013 is on track to be another year of record growth for our industry.

“We thank Secretary Chu for his passion for solar innovation, his public service, and his outstanding work to advance renewable energy across the United States.”

We applaud you for having led us on the right path to a cleaner, safer, and more sustainable future powered with greatly increased amounts of renewable energy. Job well done!

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any of your comments/suggestions/questions are welcomed at

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8 November

Let’s Take The Initiative !


Dear Friends & Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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During our post-election momentum, I’ve reached out to our Senator Bill Nelson of state of Florida, letter below, and to any of you out there who may have suggestions/input to help the state of Florida or any other states.

Greetings, Senator Nelson,

Firstly, congratulations in winning the election !

Especially in light of recent Hurricane Sandy, I implore you to seriously consider supporting any effective Solar/Renewable Initiative or Bills on the federal level.  In solving much of our energy/ environment/national security/job issues, please support our Energy Department Secretary Steven Chu;Secretary Chu had proven to be quite worthy of his office and is working on solving some of the most critical issues facing our nation today.

We are residents of the Sunshine State.  Let us not squander our beautiful sunshine away.  I would like to seek your advice in how to effectively approach our state legislators to ask for implementation of these measures, below:

1.  Setting Solar/Renewable Energy Goal for the state of Florida.

2.  Implementing an effective Feed-In-Tariff policy (otherwise also known as the Renewable Energy Dividend Policy) that will be inclusive of small users as well as large-scale users.  Feed-In-Tariff had proven to be the most effective incentive program/policy that would speed up the implementations of solar PV .  The goal of  Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) is to offer cost-based compensation to renewable energy producers, providing the price certainty and long-term contracts that help finance renewable energy investments.

3.  Streamline the permitting process of solar PV and solar thermal so to reduce the cost and amount of time in completing the process.

4.  It seems feasible/optimal to introduce regulation to require solar thermal (solar hot water heating systems) when/where it is already a foregone conclusion that this would be an economically feasible approach in building design.  Perhaps it is time to start the discussion in considering implementing this as part of the building code.

Any of your input will be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.


Susan Sun Nunamaker

I would suggest that all of you out there who are Florida residents and are concerned about our energy future to also visit this site, and write a similar letter to remind Senator Nelson of our concern.  For those of you from other states please refer to this site –> and please approach/write your respective district legislators regarding 4 items above (with variation for item 1 ).  Together, we will be able to gather enough strength and voice !  For Florida residents, you may find your respective District Representatives and District Senators at these two sites, , and

~have a bright and sunny day~

written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,


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30 September

Solar Decathlon-Winners of The Communications Contest


Dear Readers,

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.

Richard King, the Director of the Solar Decathlon for the U.S. Department of Energy, said, “Effective communication skills are critical to helping the public to understand the practical applications of energy-saving technologies and how these innovations can help every American household save money.”

For the Communications Contest, teams earned up to 100 points based on a number of criteria, including: web content quality, appropriateness, originality;video content, including walkthrough information, accessible captioning, clarity of the audio narrative and overall creativity; onsite graphics, photos, signage, and displays quality;message delivery to target audiences and people of all levels;use of innovative methods to engage audiences, including website visitors and people waiting to tour a house.

Middlebury College earned a score of 90 out of a possible 100 points for their Self-Reliance design, placing First in the Communication Contest.  Middlebury College wowed jurors with its video walkthrough, website, and engaging tours.  The Middlebury team demonstrated balanced talent across the entire communications competition, making renewable energy technologies accessible to the public.  Stacy Wilson, one of the contest’s jurors and founder and president of Eloquor Contulting, Inc., a communication firm specializing in web and social technology, commented that “We were inspired by Middlebury College.”  Our reporter (yours truly) of received a very informative interview from a Middlebury College student Melake, showing us that this LAS College team (the only team that is completely composed of non-engineering students)  is quite capable of constructing a comfortable (bordering on luxurious) solar home with tremendous market appeal.  The Self-Reliance is a design with gable roof, two-bedroom, for a family of four, with solar array of 30 panels (producing 7,930 kWh annually),

A look at Middlebury College's Self-Reliance's children's bedroom

Middlebury College house's solar array combines solar panels with a solar hot water heater on the roof of their entry

an air-to-air heat exchanger that circulates air through a network of aluminum ducts and feeds the green wall with condensed moisture, triple-paned windows with cork-insulated frames that have an R-value of 7 and a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.53 (which allows them to provide net heat gain over the course of a year).

Middlebury workers prepare the Self-Reliance of Middlebury College for installation of gable roof and PV panels

Appalachian State University came in second with their The Solar Homestead with 89 points.  I arrived at the Solar Decathlon 2011 to interview Appalachian State University’s The Solar Homestead on a rainy day so their ingenious aluminum hat was very well received by all visitors

Appalachian State University's The Solar Homestead shines brightly at night after a stormy day

14-month-old Graysen Black, son of an organizer, gets a preview tour after the opening ceremony, wearing the special aluminum reflective hat by Appalachian State University

to the Solar Decathlon, not only did it serve as a protective device sheltering our heads from the element, but it is also full of information about the design of The Solar Homestead. This affordable and attractive design features outdoor shower, outdoor kitchen, forty-two bifacial PV panels (that supply solar energy while providing filtered daylight), a generous outdoor living space called the Great Porch, an on-demand solar thermal domestic hot water system that uses phase-change materials to provide constant water temperature in compact storage, and a  Trombe wall that is filled with phase-change material to store heat throughout  the day and release it at night.

Bifacial PV panels of Appalachian State's The Solar Homestead above U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Jeffrey Tiller and David Leea


University of Maryland’s Watershed came in third in this contest with a score of 88 points.  Besides the pamphlets, walthrough, and web presentations, University of Maryland also provided the unique presentation of Q & A sessions outside of the Watershed design while visitors were waiting in line to see this home.

University of Maryland's student Justin Huang answers visitors' questions about Watershed design

It sure helped all visitors passing the time while getting a sneak preview of what to expect before they enter this design.  Watershed is inspired by the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, searching for a solution to water and energy shortage by managing storm water onsite (filtering pollutants from greywater and minimizing water use) and using the PV and solar thermal arrays, effectiveness of building envelope, and increasing the efficiency of the mechanical system.  Watershed has very  holistic approach to water conservation, recycling, and storm water management, green roof that slows rainwater runoff to the landscape while improving the house’s energy efficiency, a garden, an edible wall system

a clear view of the Watershed design of University of Maryland

, and a composting station to illustrate the potential for improved health, energy, and cost savings with a complete carbon cycle program.  Some of its interesting features  are: the liquid desiccant waterfall serving as a design feature and provides humidity control, a home automation system that monitors and adjusts temperature, humidity, lighting, and other parameters to provide maximum function

visitors waiting in line to see Maryland's Watershed design

with minimal impact on the environment.  Watershed is intended for a working couple that can use the house as home and office, providing the opportunity to telecommute, thus reducing travel expenses in one of the most congested areas of the country.


written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker,


Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at

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