Thursday, December 27, 2012

Solar Power at Work in Media, PA.......Or is it?

....or is it?!?!?
Media, Pa is not just the County Seat, but a leader in the state when it comes to solar power initiatives.  Thanks to former Council President, Pete Alyanakian, Media was able to secure government grants in the hundred of thousands of dollars that allowed Media to become a showcase for clean, reusable energy.  In fact, some would say Media may even be a supplier of electricity, as our solar power is setup to supply electricity back to the regional grid.

Could anything be better than supplying Media Buildings with clean energy, while also providing energy for others?  How about the electricity from the roof top solar panels on the firehouse used to supply our very own car changing station?  Well, yes, it could be better and that includes the operation and management of these systems.

Believe it or not, the current Borough Council must not have any idea of what buildings are operating correctly or even if the solar power is online.  To my surprise, last week I was told that one building went offline and no one knew about it.  I'm not talking about a weekend thunderstorm resetting a breaker, but a whole system being offline for weeks, months or who knows how long.  This is the second building I know of that suffered a lengthy outage because no one is actively monitoring these solar systems.

One of many solar energy monitoring systems that Media could use
Also would help to ensure Media solar energy is working efficiently.

It's not good for anyone when we can't even take the time to manage these resources to make sure they are operational?  When this first happened, I had asked that a monthly or quarterly assessment be done of each solar facility that has benefited from these grants.  Two reasons: First it's important to know these panels are operational. Second, it would also be beneficial to share the statistics of how well these systems are performing.  Some information could include: How much electricity did we put back on the grid?  What building created the most power?  How much did solar power contribute to energy cost savings?  What dollar amount has Media saved since installation?  There's a tremendous amount of information we could capture that I think would also inspire people as well.

It's not enough to have people drive by and see solar panels on roof tops.  A lot of people may not even know they are there.  What would really be impactful would be to see real time reports, or even manually prepared ones on the borough website so people can really see a value and environmental impact.

It's unacceptable to hear that these solar panels we have installed aren't being  monitored properly.  With today's technology, I can turn my lights and HVAC systems on from my phone half way around the world.  There's no reason why the borough can't do a better job of monitoring their own.


  1. Takes manpower to stay on top of things. If you are so hot to trot volunteer to keep monitoring the guages.

    1. do we pay a public works dept to do things like this? Shouldn't need 'volunteers' when folks are paid my good taxpaying money to perform duties like energy monitoring.......

  2. We all want to generate as much clean energy as feasible, but you have to take an honest cost/benefit look at it. Obviously this is not happening if the boro isn't even monitoring operations. This generation of solar power is almost certain to be a money loser, but you need to analyze it carefully to see how it can become viable in the future.

  3. Hey Boro Council, are the lights on?!? No, really are they on? Idiots.

  4. Thanks for sharing! We wouldn't see this kind of reporting in the MSM just like the rest of the liberal media.