If you’re an independent type, you might want to consider becoming independent in a way you’ve never thought of before: energy independent.
Ken Swayne, an associate professor in the Engineering Technology program at Pellissippi State Community College, discusses solar energy and how individuals can produce their own power on March 23. The presentation is part of the college’s ongoing Faculty Lecture Series.
Producing energy is now very affordable, Swayne says, and individuals can have the satisfaction of reducing their carbon footprint and knowing that they’re taking part of the burden off the power suppliers such as TVA.
Swayne’s lecture, “Photovoltaics: an Alternate Energy Source,” is noon-1 in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The community is invited to join students, faculty and staff for the free event.
Photovoltaics, or catching the sun’s energy in solar panels, allows homeowners to do something they’ve never done before: generate their own power and even get money back on monthly power bills.
Homeowners are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit and $1,000 through TVA’s Green Power Switch program to help offset the cost of installing a photovoltaic system. Plus, TVA will purchase the total energy generated from the homeowner. Businesses can benefit even more because of additional incentives.
Pellissippi State offers a wide variety of green classes, including online and classroom instruction. The next 54-hour hands-on Photovoltaic System Design and Installation course is scheduled April 5-9.
“Photovoltaics allows us to bring energy generation down to the user level,” Swayne said. “If you want to improve your carbon footprint or have that sense of independence, installing a PV [photovoltaic] system is one method of doing that.
“As a whole, our nation needs to figure out how to solve our energy crisis. Solar technology is one component, in addition to nuclear and wind. Coal and fossil fuels have a negative public image and a negative impact on the environment, which has driven people to look at other options.”
Solar panels may eventually be in his own future, Swayne says.
“I would like to have a little bit of independence generating my own energy. Then I would feel like I was doing something positive to help with the energy crisis here in the U.S.”
The final lecture in this year’s series is “Desire and the Exact Sensorial Imagination” by Annie Gray, an associate professor of English. The event is Wednesday, April 20, 2-3 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium. Gray will delve into Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s view of life, art and science.
For more information about the Faculty Lecture Series, contact Pellissippi State’s English Department at (865) 694-6708. For more information about green classes, contact Business and Community Services, the college’s non-credit division, at (865) 539-7167.