Shed more light on solar

Interested in adding solar energy to your farm? CFAES has lots of good reading for you.

  • For starters, check out four fact sheets by CFAES’s Ohio State University Extension outreach arm: “An Introduction to On-Farm Solar Electric Systems,” “On-Farm Solar Assessment,” “Estimating the Size of Your Solar Electric System” and “Financial Considerations of On-Farm Renewable Energy.”
  • Next, read two Ohioline fact sheets, also by OSU Extension: “Using Solar Energy to Produce Electricity for Ohioans” and “Photovoltaic Systems for Solar Electricity Production.”
  • Then, go deeper: pore through the Solar Electric Investment Analysis series, whose six in-depth bulletins come from OSU Extension and the University of Wyoming.

You can find links to them all and more at the website for Energize Ohio, an OSU Extension Signature Program, energizeohio.osu.edu. Click on the “Energy Library” button.

Shine a light on adding solar

If you’re thinking about adding solar energy to your home, farm or business, check out Thursday’s Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair in Wooster.

The fair’s free Renewable Energy Workshop (10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.) will have sessions about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program and the Washington, D.C.-based Solar United Neighbors effort, as well as a panel discussion by representatives from four Ohio solar installers: Harvest Energy Solutions (Delaware), Dovetail Solar and Wind (Cleveland), Paradise Energy Solutions (Sugarcreek) and Third Sun Solar (Athens).

Those four installers also will have exhibits at the fair and staff to answer your questions, as will The Lighthouse Installation (Fredericksburg) and YellowLite (Cleveland).

It’s a good chance to learn how solar works, to see if and how it could work for you, and to get a feel for companies you could work with. Admission to the fair is free.

Sunshine? Super, man

What’s the forecast for CFAES Wooster’s Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair on Thursday? To quote Leonard in “The School of Rock”: blue. The National Weather Service predicts mostly sunny skies and a high of nearly 60 degrees. Which is especially fitting because there’s a lot to see and learn about solar energy there. (Photo: iStock.)

Sunshine on the water

Click the link in the tweet below to read about the working solar energy system at CFAES’s Stone Lab. (The system? Cool. The water it heats? Hot.) The lab is on Gibraltar Island in Put-in-Bay harbor in western Lake Erie.

Of note, now’s the time to apply for introductory college courses, upper-level college courses, noncredit workshops and professional development classes for educators there this summer.

June 17: Renewable Energy Farm Tour

The 2017 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series continues June 17 with the Renewable Energy Farm Tour at Woodland Ridge Farm and Learning Center in Athens in southeast Ohio. The farm has hybrid, battery backup, microgrid solar and off-grid systems. Admission is free and open to the public, but you have to preregister. Get details in the tour’s calendar listing or on pages 7-8 in the series brochure.

The farm is also offering two paid workshops and a dinner that weekend. Details are at the same links.

Ohio Sea Grant, Stone Lab offer new free curriculum on solar energy

A new set of lessons from Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Lab introduces students in grades 7-12 to the basics of solar energy via hands-on activities. The free curriculum is available to download and is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Ohio’s Model Science Curriculum.

Stone Lab is Ohio State’s island campus on Lake Erie. The Ohio State-based Ohio Sea Grant program is part of the national NOAA Sea Grant network.

See what Stone Lab’s solar energy system is producing today. (Photo: Stone Lab’s 2016 solar workshop by Erin Monaco via Ohio Sea Grant.)

May 16 at Ohio State: 2 ways to turn your home greener

May’s monthly breakfast program by the Environmental Professionals Network will feature Erik Daugherty, founder of the Nashville, Tennessee-based home-performance company E3 Innovate. He’ll present “Technologies and Strategies for Home Energy Efficiencies: Satisfied Homeowners, Sustainable Planet” from 7:15 to 9:15 a.m. this coming Tuesday, May 16.

Right after, Ohio State will hold its second-ever Green Home Workshop in the same location.

Register for both events by Monday, May 15 (scroll down).

EPN is a service of CFAES’s School of Environment and Natural Resources.

How to cut your home energy bill

CFAES and its partners are holding their second Green Home Workshop on May 16 in Columbus. The deadline to sign up is Monday, May 15.

Included will be tours of Ohio State’s student-designed and -built enCORE solar home, shown here, which is just a short walk from the workshop site. (Photo: Office of Energy and Environment, Ohio State.)