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Pioneering community-owned renewable energy

NC Sustainable Energy Association Conference Wed, 11/9 – Register Now!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 -

Top 5 Reasons to Attend NCSEA’s Making Energy
Work Conference Wednesday, November 9th

5. Celebrate NC’s Clean Energy Economy

4. Gain CEOs’ Insight on Clean Energy’s Future

3. Get the Scoop on the 2011 Industries Census

2. Hear Latest on the Duke-Progress Merger

1. Network and Build Relationships

This has been an eventful year for NC’s rapidly-growing clean energy economy – and it’s time to celebrate our recent success and innovations and plan for further growth! Join NCSEA at this year’s “Making Energy Work” Annual Conference & Membership Meeting, which will be held at the Raleigh Convention Center on Wednesday, November 9.

Register for the “Making Energy Work” Conference HERE.

Boone Community Solar Initiative Update

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009 -

It’s been a while but AIRE’s community solar demonstration is finally producing electricity and reducing Boone’s carbon footprint. Here’s a brief update and look ahead to some next steps. Keep in mind the purpose of our first project was to illuminate the barriers to community-based renewable energy, and then create solutions to those barriers.

Here’s our progress so far:


  • 2.5 kw solar PV installed atop AIRE’s office at the Greenhouse.


  • Small, but significant, design details had to be ironed out between town inspector and installers. (For example, what standard for grounding will Boone adopt?)


  • Utility interconnection standard had to be created. We can’t connect to the grid without this. We connect to New River Light & Power; BREMCO sells power to New River. New River will have to develop an interconnect standard for the town of Boone, which we understand they will do. It may take a few months. BREMCO and New River will have to sort out their legal agreements over power supply in order for us to begin selling power back to the grid.
  • Then we awaited town inspection. Since Boone isn’t San Jose, California where solar panels are commonplace (“like wall-to-wall carpet”), the town didn’t have inspection protocols for solar. After convalescing from surgery, the town inspector blessed our system, and it began producing solar electricity on Friday, July 31st.


  • Real-time performance data will be up on AIRE website by August 7th, but for now you can see daily updates on how the system is performing.
  • Finalize memberships and donations on the above project (more on this shortly; remember this is a community-owned project)
  • Launch “1-megawatt campaign” to solarize Watauga

Talk of these “barriers” isn’t meant to place blame on anyone. On the contrary, AIRE looks forward to working with community and energy partners to improve policies and relationships concerning renewable energy.

We will announce a meeting date in the very near future with an attorney and CPA to answer questions about your participation via memberships and donations.

Thanks once more for you interest and dedication in making locally produced, community owned renewable energy a reality.

Take Action! NC Conservation Network Calls for Action on Wind in NC

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009 -

From Jessilyn Kemp of the North Carolina Conservation Network…

Earlier this week we sent you an email about protecting the responsible development of wind energy in North Carolina. We have a quick update and another chance for you to take quick action: http://ncconservationnetwork1.org/campaign/windmtns

Senate Bill 1068 is essentially a good bill that the environmental community supports because it would create a needed permitting process for wind projects. But some key state Senators, including yours, are at the heart of an ongoing effort to amend S1068 to ban wind power in the mountains of North Carolina.

If you haven’t had a chance to make a phone call yet, please send a quick email to your Senator asking him/her to oppose a ban on wind power in Western NC: http://ncconservationnetwork1.org/campaign/windmtns

Wind power on just five percent of our ridges could create, conservatively, 800 megawatts of capacity -enough to power over 400,000 homes. We can develop wind in Western North Carolina without damaging the region’s environment – and we must to transition NC away from dirty energy sources that threaten our health and our environment.

We need your help to tell our state decision makers that we should NOT ban responsible wind energy projects in North Carolina: http://ncconservationnetwork1.org/campaign/windmtns

Thank you,

Jessilyn Kemp
NC Conservation Network

P.S. If this bill is passed with a ban on mountain wind energy, NC risks:

  • Sending millions of energy dollars, and hundreds of jobs out of state
  • Keeping millions of dollars of local economic development dollars out of the mountains
  • Undermining local governments who have adopted permitting laws for commercial wind
  • Stripping utilities from one of the most cost-effective options for meeting the NC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard.

If you’d like, you can still call your Senator and ask that they don’t close the door on wind energy in North Carolina’s mountains and to support responsibly sited wind energy in the mountains of North Carolina! http://tools.advomatic.com/19/windmtns

A CALL TO CONSCIENCE: Peaceful Assembly to Halt the Construction of the New Coal-fired Power Plant at Duke Energy’s Cliffside Facility

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 -

Cliffside Climate Action this Monday April 20th in Charlotte, NC.

Join the Cliffside Climate Action on Monday, April 20th in Charlotte, NC for a rally to stop construction of Duke Energy’s Cliffside Coal-fired Power Plant.

On this day of action, named Call to Conscience: Cliffside Climate Action, hundreds of North Carolinians will demonstrate their moral indignation at the use of 19th Century technology that is unneeded, unlawful, and is damaging our health and the habitability of our planet.

Building Cliffside is a wasteful, $2.4 billion expenditure that would be more wisely used to create a green jobs, clean energy economy – the fastest way to help slow climate change.

It is time to insist that Duke CEO Jim Rogers, NC Governor Perdue’s administration, and NC state legislators join the growing list of elected officials across America moving to stop construction of coal-fired power plants – climate change time bombs.

We invite you to come and bear witness as responsible citizens. Father John Rausch, working with communities in Appalachia devastated by mountaintop removal mining, is right when he says, “Feet in the street can move a mind in a bind.”

Bearing witness is one option, or you may wish to learn more about engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience. If so, please join us on Sunday, April 19th for non-violent training. Almost all important social change movements in US history have been initiated through nonviolent acts of resistance.

“Coal plants are factories of death. It is no wonder that young people (and some not so young) are beginning to block new construction,”
says Dr. James Hansen, Director of NASA’s Goddard Space Studies Institute.

Other ways of participating include:

  • Volunteering with our organizing effort
  • Informing your friends and social network
  • Donating for legal defense
  • Sending a SHORT message to Gov. Beverly Perdue:Office of the Governor
    20301 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-0301
    (919) 733-4240

Please let us know if you plan to attend by registering HERE.

AIRE - pioneering community-owned renewable energy
a fiscally sponsored project of Inquiring Systems Inc.
164 South Depot St. • Boone, North Carolina 28607 • info@aire-nc.org • phone: 828.268.5022
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