Grid Alive: The April issue comes to the stage this Thursday

The second Grid Alive is happening this Thursday night and we couldn’t be more excited to hit the stage again. Like before, there will be great guests, live music and local brews, but expect a couple surprises too.

Your hosts Alex Mulcahy, Grid publisher, and Nic Esposito, Philly urban farmer and novelist will be talking with Ron Celentano, a solar PV industry consultant who has found himself deeply involved in the legislative discussion that could kill Pennsylvania’s solar industry. Following him will be Lauren Mandel, a rooftop agriculture specialist with Roofmeadow, who will discuss the possibilities for bringing rooftop agriculture to Philly. We’ll close out the night with a performance by musician Johnny Miles. There will be local beer, cheese and wine from Rolling Barrel, and we’re launching the action table, where we will be featuring The Energy Co-op.

Tickets are on sale now for $5 and available at the door. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 22 at the Trinity Memorial Church (22nd and Spruce Sts.), doors open at 5:30 p.m., show starts at 6:15 p.m. 

Intersections: Sunny Days

By Mark Syvertson

The Bourse at Independence Mall recently installed a 43-kilowatt solar array on its roof, becoming one of the first historic buildings in the city to employ photovoltaics. Due to the Bourse’s landmark status, there were concerns about preserving the integrity of the structure. SolarDock, a green energy company from Wilmington, DE, installed the panels in non-permanent brackets, mounting them at a 25 degree angle (as opposed to the standard 10), taking maximum advantage of the sunlight in the heart of Old City.

For more on the project, visit

Sun Solutions: A local catering company gets a solar panel rig for their new digs

Feast Your Eyes Catering was in Northern Liberties before the hordes. Now, they’re in South Kensington, in a spectacular space carved out of an old barrel factory. They moved so they could add an event space to their off-site catering services. And what a space it is: Rustic wood and soaring industrial beauty are paired with spectacular custom chandeliers by local artist Warren Muller.
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Sun Grab

State rebates create opportunities for solar installations--finally!
by Natasha Chart

Thinking about installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on your home or commercial building this year? “There will never be a better time to do it,” says Andrew Kleeman, the managing partner at Eos Energy Solutions.
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Conserving Our Future

Liz Robinson talks about Philly’s energy problems and a different path forward

Liz Robinson has been helping Philadelphia conserve energy since 1979. As Executive Director of the Energy Coordinating Agency, an energy nonprofit that services low-income residents, Liz has worked on the Energy
Efficiency Resource Standard, which instituted early efficiency measures for Philly’s affordable housing. She also founded the Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance and, in the late 90s, she administered the Philadelphia Million Solar Roofs Partnership. Currently, Liz sits on the Sustainability Advisory Board, which counsels Mark Alan Hughes.
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Ask Mark

Q:  [What is] your vision for residential solar power in Philadelphia’s energy future?
Many Philadelphians, like me, have homes with flat roofs that receive plenty of
direct sunlight. Is the city considering any programs that would help us tap into that potential power, like California’s “Million Solar Roofs” project?
—Tom Schrand, Director of the Environmental Sustainability Program at Philadelphia University

A: Thanks, Tom. Great question. Just to clarify, Philadelphia’s own Million Solar Roofs Partnership (PMSR) was established in 1999 by the Energy Coordinating Agency and the Sustainable Development Fund. It was a regional effort to contribute new solar installations to a national goal of one million by 2010. Through public/private collaboration, public education, developing a market and infrastructure for solar applications, and providing training opportunities to those interested in solar technologies, the PMSR helped to install approximately 185 systems.

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