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Renewable Energy Options

In this episode, Madelynn Nelson, an AmeriCorps member serving with Energy Corps as a sustainable-agriculture farm-energy educator at NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana, talks with West Virginia farmer and beekeeper Eric Grandon. Eric, an alumnus of the Armed to Farm training for veterans offered by NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, runs Sugar Bottom Farm in Clay County, West Virginia. After farming for just five years, Eric and Sugar Bottom Farm won the Conservation Farm of the Year for 2018 in West Virginia’s Elk Conservation District. Eric and Madelynn talk about farm energy conservation and using solar power on the farm as well...

In this podcast, NCAT Energy Specialist Stacie Peterson discusses ATTRA's new Farm Energy Efficiency Tutorial. This series of lessons is designed for farmers who would like to increase the energy efficiency of their farm and processes. It features tutorials on farm building efficiency, outdoor lighting, irrigation efficiency, solar, small-scale wind, and biodiesel....

Urban Frontier House: Direct-Current Microgrid Randy Hafer of High Plains Architects discusses the ongoing "Urban Frontier House" project in Billings, Montana, during the 2015 Harvesting Clean Energy Conference. The house, a step toward an off-the-grid house in an urban environment, is super insulated, has solar panels, and an "urban turban" wind generator. The generator is manufactured by a Japanese company and is one of the first in the country. The home also has a Direct Microgrid, and a water-capture system. Hafer discusses the process of building the home, including the positive reaction of the neighbors in the mixed-income neighborhood....

Tom Schneider of Montanans for Affordable Electricity speaks at the Harvesting Clean Energy Conference in Billings, Montana. The United States has at long last taken a significant step in addressing the escalating costs and risks of climate change in adopting rules to reduce carbon emissions pursuant to the Clean Power Plan. The State of Montana has an extraordinary opportunity and responsibility to develop its unique plan based upon a transition from its reliance on coal fired generation to a future based upon our abundant renewable energy resources and improved energy efficiency. There is substantial and mounting evidence that such a Montana...

"Returns on Renewable Energy Investments" gives participants the tools they need to better evaluate whether alternative-energy systems are good investments for their operations. It demonstrates how to evaluate the actual performance of on-farm alternative-energy applications as well as how to apply tools that measure the return on investment when considering purchasing alternative-energy technology for operations. NCAT Energy Engineer Dave Ryan is the presenter....

The U.S. renewable fuel standard requires 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel to be blended in transportation fuels by 2022. Out of this, 21 billion gallons must come from advanced bio-fuels; i.e., ethanol and/or hydrocarbon fuels from lignocellulosic biomass (conversion of non-grain resources such as agricultural residues, energy crops, etc.). Farm-scale thermochemical conversion technologies such as gasification and pyrolysis hold the potential to improve the farmers' bottom line. This webinar will provide some basic facts about gasification and pyrolysis technologies to the non-engineer. This webinar will be moderated by Leif Kindberg, NCAT Farm Energy Specialist and presented by Dr. Samy Sadaka,...

Mike Morris discusses his work on farm energy audits and the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) at the first Energy Training for Agriculture Professionals (ENTAP) held in 2009....

Farm-Scale Biodiesel Production: Taxes and Financial Incentives, the third in ATTRAs biodiesel webinar series, provides useful information about the federal and state fuel excise taxes that apply to biodiesel. The webinar also covers excise tax refunds for off-road use and exemptions and incentives that might apply to farm-scale biodiesel production. It also provides recordkeeping information and resources that are helpful in properly paying fuel excise taxes or qualifying for refunds or incentives. The webinar was presented by NCAT biodiesel specialist Al Kurki and National Agriculture Law Center staff attorneys Shannon Mirus and Rusty Rumley. For more basic information about brewing your own...

Anaerobic digestion of fruit and vegetable waste can provide an energy source, reduce water pollution, and create a valuable soil amendment. Dr. Gary Hawkins, from the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Georgia, presents new research findings on the anaerobic digestion of onions and other vegetables. This webinar is part of the Energy Training for Agriculture Professionals project, being offered by the National Center for Appropriate Technology and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, with funding from the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program....

The second installment of ATTRA's farm-scale biodiesel production webinar series. DIY Biodiesel: Keeping It Safe, Keeping It Legal helps the novice biodiesel producer on the right track to establishing safe and legal production practices. It covers safety practices including personal safety, workspace safety, materials handling and regulations, waste stream handling, methanol, compatibility with equipment and environmental safety and regulations....