NorCal Solar Speeds Ahead in 2014

By Elaine Hebert

NorCal Solar, one of the ASES chapters in California, has been active this year with local, national and international events.

Speaker Series. NorCal Solar organizes a quarterly speaker series in and around the San Francisco Bay Area to bring people together to learn about different topics from solar experts, and to network and learn from each other. In March, the topic was “Solar Power and Electric Vehicles.” We held this meeting at the Peninsula Conservation Center in Palo Alto — an appropriate place for this topic, as it has photovoltaics (PV) on its roof and two electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations. Presenters Ron Freund, Nick Carter, Jean Woo and Sven Thesen shared a vari- ety of experiences and perspectives on EVs and PV, and a lively discussion ensued.

In June, we met on the topic “PV and Energy Storage.” Featured speakers were Brad Heavner of the California Solar Energy Industries Asso- ciation, Bennett Chabot of PG&E, Jon Fortune of Sunverge Energy and Andrew Lutkus of SolarCity. Check for our September and November events, or become a NorCal Solar member through the website for discounted pricing on the speaker series.

Intersolar North America. NorCal Solar is a partner of Intersolar North America, the international conference and exhibition that takes place annually in San Francisco. We organize bus tours of solar sites in and around San Francisco as part of the conference happenings. This year, ASES is colocating its annual National Solar Conference, SOLAR 2014, with Intersolar (July 6-10, see We hope you can join us! See the Intersolar schedule, at, for details on the bus tours, to be held July 7 and July 9. We’ll visit the 5-megawatt City of San Francisco PV system on the Sunset Reservoir; solar thermal and PV systems at Project Open Hand, a community soup kitchen; and the building-integrated PV awning around the California Academy of Sciences.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 12.21.01 PMClimate Ride. In May I had a great adventure: I rode my bicycle 245 miles in four days! It was for Climate Ride California, a charity bike ride that raises money for groups working on climate, clean energy and clean transportation issues. Along with 150 other cyclists, I rode from San Francisco through Marin County and wine country to Davis and Sacramento. My legs were a little wobbly at the end, but it was an inspiring and uplifting experience — highly recommended. I raised more than $4,200, which will be split between NorCal Solar and Climate Ride. ASES is now also among the Climate Ride beneficiaries. Climate Ride offers two more multiday bike rides in 2014: in the Midwest and on the East Coast, both in September. You can participate in these rides or create your own customized event. It’s not too late to sign up! Raise money for ASES, NorCal Solar or your favorite organization(s) on the Climate Ride list. Visit for details.

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