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AST Newsletter – March 2015




April 18 – Fairbanks Solar Tour – Robert Shields at ARK 907-799-7045 or robert@a-r-k.us
April 25 – Mat-Su Solar Tour – David Johnson at 907-232-4765 or davidsalaska@live.com


May 16 – Anchorage Solar Tour – Andy Baker at YCE 907-350-2084 andybaker@yourcleanenergy.us
May ?? – Kenai Solar Tour – Gary Dawkins at GAE 907-262-or garysauto.electric@acsalaska.net

Find Out More

at our Alaska Solar Tour websites at
http://www.alaskasolartour.org and email us at info@alaskasolartour.org

THE STORY: How Alaska Solar Tours got Started

Back in 2008, Phil St. John and Andy Baker had read about the National Solar Tour in the magazine Solar Today that is published by American Solar Energy Society (ASES). It looked like a really great way to get folks out to see solar systems working in the Anchorage area, and to get Anchorage on the map as a ground breaker in these technologies. In November of 2008 Andy took a work trip to the Denver area and arranged to meet the Solar Tour National Director Richard Burns at the ASES office in Boulder. Andy told him that they wanted to get Alaska on the national map for solar tour and he told Andy how to do it. Phil and Andy were on the ACAT Board at the time, and the idea was presented to the board as a great solar project for Alaska. The board was excited to help them get the word out. Phil and Andy wanted to have the tour in the spring when folks in Alaska were getting sun again and thinking about solar energy. Since the rest of the states were doing it in October, we would end up being the first city in the USA each year to hold a tour.

When Andy came back to Alaska, he told Phil about the National Solar Tour guidelines and offered to organize the Anchorage Solar Tour. Phil took on the task of organizing tours in Kenai, Homer, Wasilla and Fairbanks starting in May 2009. Each year it has grown and we have been able to tell the story of the tours in both statewide and national news. Fairbanks will be the first one starting us off this year’s 7th Annual Solar Tour in Alaska on April 18, then Mat-Su April 25. Anchorage’s solar tour will be on Saturday May 16th and Kenai will be holding theirs sometime in May TBA. The Idea of having a solar tour is to connect and inspire those people doing solar in our areas that want to share with others what they have done; and to provide an opportunity for those that want to learn from those that have done it. It is the owners of the property (usually) telling their story of what they did, why, how, and the pros and cons of what they learned from it. It is literally People Helping People.

Alaska Solar Tour Statewide Coordinator Team


Largest Solar Thermal System in Alaska Now Operating

The Anchorage Solar Tour will feature what is now the largest solar thermal system in Alaska, on the rooftop of the four story Coronado Senior Village Complex in Eagle River. Spanning nearly 300 feet across the skyline, this giant renewable energy system is comprised of fifty-six flat plate collectors, each 4ft x 10ft. The steep tilt collectors are anchored to the roof structure via a space frame aircraft aluminum racking attached to engineered glue lam roof curbs. Sixty five feet below the roof, the mechanical room is host to 3,300 gallons of solar heat storage and a state of the art packaged control/pump station. Owned and operated by Cook Inlet Housing Authority, the system was placed on-line December 2014 and has been easily heating the majority of domestic hot water for 72 apartments. You can explore this system top to bottom on the Tour this year, and witness the immense power of the Alaska sun working to displace natural gas and avoid CO2 emissions.

Ladders To The Sun

In parallel with the public tour on Saturday, a separate tour for high school students called “Ladders To The Sun” will be conducted during the week. The idea of this tour is to get a large group of students up to the top of tall buildings with solar and let them see how they work and how they are designed. Last year was the first run for the Ladders To The Sun program and it was a big success (see photo below). For more information or if you want to participate in the ‘Ladders To The Sun” please call Andy at Your Clean Energy at 907-274-2007 or visit his website at http://www.yourcleanenergy.us.

The Tightest House in America

The tightest certified house in America is right here in Alaska- Dillingham. It uses the Passiv Haus Design, build by its owner, and has been on the solar tour for several years now to help inspire others by example. It is so tight it has to calculate the body heat from their dog as well as themselves. It was tested and certified in 2014, and the hear the rest of the story in Connect with Local Solar Leaders, by Gina R Johnson, Solar Tour Today October 5, 2013 page 36 at http://www.omagdigital.com/publication/?i=164079&p=36 ; or visit our Dillingham Solar Tour website at http://alaskasolartour.com/individual-community-tours/dillingham/.

Mat-Su Sustainable Energy Tour

Mat-Su Sustainable Energy Tour is being hosted for the first time by UAA Mat-Su Sustainable Energy Department. It will be a self-guided tour of homes and businesses mostly solar electricity, solar hot water, wind turbines, ground-source heat pumps, masonry heaters and super-efficient building construction. The tour is being organized by Mat-Su College students and is open between 10am and 6pm. To learn more check them out at their Facebook events page at: Online Mat-Su Solar Tour https://www.facebook.com/events/881316695265733/ or
connect with Mat-Su student David Johnson at 907-232-4765, davidsalaska@live.com
Mark Masteller, Mat-Su Faculty Coordinator at 907-745-9784, mamasteller@matsu.alaska.edu

Fairbanks Solar Tour

The Alliance for Reason and Knowledge (ARK) is proud to host the 2015 Fairbanks Solar Tour. This educational tour is open to any project that demonstrates clean energy generation technologies; progressive conservation strategies; or innovative “green” design features.
The self guided tour has been created to increase public education about the wide variety of options available today and encourage greater adoption. The event is free of charge and guides will be available the week prior to the event.
For more information visit us on the web www.a-r-k.us or
contact, Robert Shields, ARK Executive Director robert@a-r-k.us 907-799-7045

Kenai Solar Tour

Kenai Solar Tour will be sometime in May, and are working on securing a date. This community has one of the best Solar Tours in Alaska as they have always had a bus you can get a ticket for and travel around with the property owners themselves on the tour and hear first hand all about their site during the cozy warm ride all day. And, they usually stop somewhere scrumptious for lunch too.
If you are interested in helping with Kenai Solar Tour this year Please Contact
Gary Dawkins at GAE 907-262-3993 or email: garysauto.electric@acsalaska.net


For other events happening around Alaska, stay tuned for future Alaska Solar Tour Monthly Newsletter, and to apply to receive a free electronic copy just sign up for our mailing list.


American Solar Energy Society

American Solar Energy Society has sponsored and helped us get the word out to the rest of the world since the beginning of doing tours in Alaska in 2009. Please go check out all the other wonderful things they do. Thanks
http://www.ases.org/ and http://www.ases.org/solar-tour/find-a-tour/


If you know of anything you would like to share with others in the newsletter please email us at info@alaskasolartour.org.


Alaska Center for Appropriate Technology
http://acat.org/ or http://acat.org/resources/

Renewable Energy Alaska Project
http://alaskarenewableenergy.org/ or http://alaskarenewableenergy.org/energy-efficiency/energy-efficiency/

Alaska Center for the Environment
http://akcenter.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/AlaskaCenterfortheEnvironment

Alaska Energy Authority

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Alaska Forum on the Environment

Alaska Energy Efficiency

Cold Climate Housing Research Center

Alaska Housing Finance Authority

Alaska Craftsman Home Project

Alaska Conservation Foundation

Alaska Energy Wiki

Sponsored by ACAT and ASES

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