Tag Archives: government funding

Energy-Efficient Mortgages and Financing

Energy-Efficient Mortgages and Financing

The following Web sites offer information on energy-efficient financing programs, including mortgages, home improvement loans, refinancing, and home energy ratings. 

  • Financing an Energy-Efficient Home

    This fact sheet from the Department of Energy features an overview of energy-efficient financing programs from mortgages to home improvement loans.

  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Energy-Efficient Mortgage Program

    The Energy-Efficient Mortgage Program is one of many Federal Housing Authority programs that insure mortgage loans to encourage lenders to make mortgage credit available to borrowers, such as first-time homebuyers, who would not otherwise qualify for conventional loans on affordable terms.

  • Energy Ratings and Mortgages

    Energy efficient homes may qualify for mortgages that take into account a home’s efficiency. Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) provides information on home energy rating systems, energy efficient mortgages, and finding certified energy raters and lenders who know how to process energy efficiency mortgages.

  • Refinancing for Energy-Efficiency Improvements

    An overview of refinancing to make energy efficiency improvements, from the Alliance to Save Energy.

Stay Tuned for updates… with all the news on Budget Cuts by out Elected Politicians…Who Knows what will happen with the Green Clean Energy Initiative?

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DOE_Weatherization_Recovery_Act_Saves $1,200,000,000

  • weatherized more than 300,000 homes
  • reduce home energy bills
  • reduces energy consumption- average 35 percent
  • $400 saved bills 1st YR
  • 300,000 homes x $400 Saved = $1,200,000,000

 

email Scotts Contracting to schedule a Home Weatherization Inspection.   Scotty, will Analyze your Buildings Components and Supply a Proposal that will meet or exceed suggested Green Building Code– scottscontracting@gmail.com

  1. Computer Generated Reports
  2. Green Proposal will supply a ROI
  3. Cost Saving Analysis

Weatherization Doesn’t Cost it Saves


Secretary Chu Announces Major New Recovery Act Milestone: 300,000 Homes Weatherized

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that states and territories across the country have now weatherized more than 300,000 low-income homes under the Recovery Act, a major milestone in the Department’s efforts to reduce home energy bills for families. This means that states are now more than 50 percent of the way toward meeting President Obama’s goal of weatherizing approximately 600,000 homes under the Recovery Act. The weatherization program is helping families save money on their energy bills by improving home energy efficiency with upgrades like insulation, air-sealing, and more efficient heating and cooling systems. The program has also trained a new generation of clean energy workers and is employing more than 15,000 workers nationwide.

“Today marks a major milestone for the weatherization program and shows once again that we are on pace to meet the goals of the Recovery Act. This program has already benefitted 300,000 low-income families and put thousands of people to work,” said Secretary Chu. “Through the weatherization program, we are laying the groundwork for a broader efficiency industry in the U.S. that will help grow our economy while saving money for American families.”

Through November, the network of state offices, local agencies, and weatherization providers has completed 300,000 homes. Of the total, more than 100,000 have been completed in just the last four months, showing the dramatically accelerated pace of weatherization under the program. A state-by-state breakdown of the homes weatherized through November is available at http://www.energy.gov/recovery/energyefficiency.htm.

Weatherization assistance reduces energy consumption for low-income families on average 35 percent, saving families on average more than $400 on their heating and cool bills in the first year alone. Nationwide, the weatherization of 300,000 homes is estimated to save $161 million in energy costs in just the first year.

DOE has worked closely with state and local governments to ensure the program is well-managed, responsive, and flexible. Nearly all of the states and territories involved in the program have met the milestone of weatherizing more than 30 percent of their targeted number of homes and many have completed more than half of their goals to date.

 

__________

Homes Weatherized by State

The Department of Energy is collecting monthly data from the states on the number of homes weatherized under the Recovery Act. The below spreadsheets shows figures for homes weatherized (1) in April 2010, and (2) in the first quarter of 2010 (January-March). In March, the weatherization network nationally reached their target run-rate and weatherized more than 25,000 homes across the country. Since the Recovery Act began, states have used their Recovery Act funding and annual program funds to weatherize more than 193,000 homes.

This is an end-of-the-year report on the number of homes weatherized by state as part of the Weatherization Assistance Program during calendar year 2009. This data was reported by states and may be updated as states finalize figures for homes weatherized through December 31st. By the end of 2009, states weatherized more than 125,000 homes with Recovery Act and non-Recovery Act annual federal funding. Since the Recovery Act funding allowed states to accelerate their existing programs with Fiscal Year 2009 funding, the combined total is the best indicator of progress in the program. Nevertheless, the pace of Recovery Act-funded weatherization tripled in the last three months of the year.

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email Scotts Contracting to schedule a Home Weatherization Inspection.   Scotty, will Analyze your Buildings Components and Supply a Proposal that will meet or exceed suggested Green Building Code– scottscontracting@gmail.com

  1. Computer Generated Reports
  2. Green Proposal will supply a ROI
  3. Cost Saving Analysis

Weatherization Doesn’t Cost it Saves

scottscontracting@gmail.com

Joke of the Day- Rep J Shimkus believes god will save us from Global Warming–

When I read something like this a few things jump out at me and I really wonder what and who my Neighbors to the East voted for? With Leaders such as this Governing our Nation its painfully obvious why we are in the Mess we are in. The Old Adage of the Blind leading the Blind. I expect nothing less from the Republican Party who accepts the Largest Contributions from the Fossil Fuel Industry.

via Joke of the Day- Rep J Shimkus believes god will save us from Global Warming–.

Renewable Energy Rebates-Ameren UE-Federal Tax Incentive


Ameren UE Renewable Energy Rebate Program

Recently I was asked:

  • “Why does Ameren UE buy back the electricity created by Renewable Energy System on my House?”

When I directed the question to Ms L.Cosgrove[i] who handles the Local Ameren UE Renewable Energy Department.  She replied:

  • AmerenUE provides the MO Solar Rebate in response to Missourian’s passing Proposition C back in November, 2008[ii],[iii]”

In a nutshell it seems to me that Ameren UE will either have to build Renewable Energy Producing Systems or Purchase the Electricity that is made from Residents and Businesses to comply with the Law.
Which means that Ameren has a Stake in any Renewable Energy Sytem that produces Electricity and is Interconnected utilizing Net Metering to our / their Electircal Grid here in the St Louis Area.
Good News for all those who would like additional Monetary Incentives for Installing RE (Renewable Energy) Systems.
The Ameren Rebate and the Federal Tax Incentive can add up to as much as 2/3 of the cost of the RE System.
Click Here to Contact Scotty if any additional information is needed.

Posted by Scotty  Labels: , , , , , , , ,



[i] Lisa M. Cosgrove | Renewables Specialist  | 1901 Chouteau Avenue, MC 611 | St. Louis, MO 63103
314-554-2649 | fax 314-206-1387 | lcosgrove@ameren.com [ii] See http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2008petitions/2008-031.asp for more details.

[iii] 2008 Initiative Petitions
Approved for Circulation in Missouri

Amendment to Chapter 393 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, Relating to Renewable Energy, version 4, 2008-031

THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT

Be it enacted by the people of the state of Missouri:Chapter 393, RSMo, is amended by repealing sections 393.1020, 393.1025, 393.1030, and 393.1035, and substituting therefor three new sections to be known as sections 393.1020, 393.1025 and 393.1030, to read as follows:393.1020. Sections 393.1025 to 393.1030 shall be known as the Renewable Energy Standard.393.1025. As used in sections 393.1020 to 393.1030, the following terms mean: 1. “Commission”, the public service commission; 2. “Department”, the department of natural resources; 3. “Electric utility”, any electrical corporation as defined by section 386.020; 4. “Renewable energy resources”, electric energy produced from wind, solar thermal sources, photovoltaic cells and panels, dedicated crops grown for energy production, cellulosic agricultural residues, plant residues, methane from landfills or from wastewater treatment, clean and untreated wood such as pallets, hydropower (not including pumped storage) that does not require a new diversion or impoundment of water and that has a nameplate rating of 10 megawatts or less, fuel cells using hydrogen produced by one of the above-named renewable energy sources, and other sources of energy not including nuclear that become available after the effective date of this section and are certified as renewable by rule by the department; and 5. “Renewable energy credit” or “REC”, a tradable certificate of proof that one megawatt-hour of electricity has been generated from renewable energy sources. 393.1030.1. The commission shall, in consultation with the department, prescribe by rule a portfolio requirement for all electric utilities to generate or purchase electricity generated from renewable energy resources. Such portfolio requirement shall provide that electricity from renewable energy resources shall constitute the following portions of each electric utility’s sales: (a) No less than two percent for calendar years 2011 through 2013; (b) No less than five percent for calendar years 2014 through 2017; (c) No less than ten percent for calendar years 2018 through 2020; and (d) No less than fifteen percent in each calendar year beginning in 2021.

At least two percent of each portfolio requirement shall be derived from solar energy. The portfolio requirements shall apply to all power sold to Missouri consumers whether such power is self-generated or purchased from another source in or outside of this state. A utility may comply with the standard in whole or in part by purchasing RECs. Each kilowatt-hour of eligible energy generated in Missouri shall count as 1.25 kilowatt-hours for purposes of compliance. 2. The commission, in consultation with the department and within one year of the effective date of sections 393.1020 to 393.1030, shall select a program for tracking and verifying the trading of renewable energy credits. An unused credit may exist for up to three years from the date of its creation. A credit may be used only once to comply with this act and may not also be used to satisfy any similar non-federal requirement. An electric utility may not use a credit derived from a green pricing program. Certificates from net-metered sources shall initially be owned by the customer-generator.  The… continues on web site


Clash of Titans-Renewable Energy Control Wars

The Renewable Energy Control Wars: Clash of Titans

Alternative Energy Production from Solar, Wind and other Renewable Energy Producing Systems
Scotty,Scotts Contracting: I hope this article will shed some insight into the US Grid system and how the Utility Companies view Alternative Energy Production from Solar, Wind and other Renewable Energy Producing Systems. I feel that: when more Homes are producing Energy for their use. It would lessen the Burden on Utility Companies- who in turn, would then be able to meet any Emergency Energy Demands. ?Large Scale Battery Back-Up Power ?

Article by Jon Previtali and Jon Guice, AltaTerra Research
Published: July 8, 2010

On June 25, we joined 500 executives at Stanford University for the 2010 Silicon Valley Energy Summit. The CEO of a large California utility company, Chris Johns of Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), was the first keynote speaker. His topic was PG&E’s effort to roll out 10 million smart meters. At an average rate of 15,000 installations each day, the devices are the first and most important pieces of PG&E’s smart grid infrastructure. All PG&E customers will have electric and gas smart meters by the end of 2012.

Johns noted near-term benefits familiar to most of us: no physical meter reading, faster identification of grid faults, and most importantly, lower peak power as residential customers are given the double-edged sword of time-of-use rates and “near-time” energy pricing data for the purpose of managing their power use more cost effectively.

But to those of us who are thinking about the future through the lens of solar power and other distributed generation (DG), PG&E’s venture into the emerging smart grid space could mean much more. Smart meters could become the communications and control gateway to two major areas of progress for the solar power industry:

1) An increase in solar power yield through better system monitoring and remote inverter repair.

2) The deployment of much higher photovoltaic (PV) penetrations than are currently allowed in power distribution networks.

Demand for accurate solar power system monitoring and remote repair has been increasing since the commercial solar market shifted to a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) model in which PV system operators are paid for energy delivered. There is clear incentive to maximize generation and minimize downtime. Solar monitoring companies such as FST, Draker Labs, Energy Recommerce (now National Semiconductor), and Deck stepped up to serve this market, and PPA company SunEdison even introduced its own monitoring system.

This demand has also encouraged module and inverter companies to make customer relationships more “sticky” by bundling monitoring systems that work with portfolios of systems made for their products. Module companies such as SunPower and Suntech offer complete system packages with bundled monitoring systems. Inverter companies, including Satcon, PV Powered (now owned by Advanced Energy), and SMA, are dedicating more development cycles to monitoring, communications, and control features. We also expect utility supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) companies will start to support big new utility projects such as Southern California Edison’s and PG&E’s massively distributed 250 megawatt (MW) PV implementations.

The second initiative—high-penetration PV—has even higher stakes for the solar industry.

Today, grid operators get nervous when as much as a few percent of peak load is met by renewable energy (RE) within a distribution area served by a substation. As a result, we see rules across the country that directly limit the size of solar power systems and the amount of peak load that can be met by RE. Hawaii’s most populous island, Oahu, is a good example. The following rule is taken from the North Carolina Solar Center’s DSIRE Database:

For customers of Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), the maximum individual system capacity is 100 kW. The aggregate capacity of net-metered systems is limited to 1% of HECO’s peak demand. Of this 1% limit, 40% is reserved for systems 10 kW or smaller.

Rules like this hinder the growth of the solar power industry. Oahu has an estimated 1.2 gigawatts (GW) of peak load. The above rule reduces that 1.2 GW to 7.2 MW of commercial solar power systems allowed on the island. At 40 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), a common revenue target after incentives, the maximum number of commercial solar power systems on Oahu would generate $4.3 million per year. Unfortunately, that’s about what a single supermarket makes each year.

So, what’s the problem? Hawaii’s electricity comes mostly from foreign oil, they’re ranked among the highest in greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting states, and they pay the highest price for electricity. Meanwhile, they have a lot of sun. It seems they would want PV everywhere. The explanation: they don’t think their grid can handle that much solar power.

And they may be right. PV systems produce power at variable rates based on available sunlight. They also automatically disconnect from the grid when they sense poor power quality or no grid power. There is no reason for concern when solar power fluctuation is a small percent of total power on a distribution grid. However, if it becomes too large, grid operators are responsible for compensating for dips and spikes. The problem is they can’t. Conventional power plants don’t ramp quickly enough, and operators don’t control customer demand.

Also, when distributed generation (DG) exceeds load in a substation area, it flows through transformers onto transmission lines—a prospect that makes grid operators shudder. Unless they’ve been upgraded to bidirectional relay equipment, substations are not equipped to handle “reverse flow,” meaning operators cannot measure or throttle power flowing onto transmission lines. And, if a transmission line fails, blackouts can occur.

This happened in Europe in 2006 when one of two redundant German transnational high-voltage lines was “idled” to allow a newly built cruise liner to pass underneath. The ship was late, night came, and two factors arose that resulted in the automatic curtailment of 10 million customers: an unusual rise in demand due to a cold snap in the south, and a common upsurge in wind power from the north. Despite debate over the root cause, the failure spawned Germany’s Medium Voltage Directive, which appears to be the first large-scale mandate of grid operator communications and control over third-party DG.

The directive gives grid operators the ability to remotely disable RE systems connected at 10-110 kilovolts (kV), requires power ramping to prevent harmful surges and dips, enables RE systems to ride through grid faults when linemen are clearly not at risk, and may require that inverters provide reactive power to correct voltage problems. The directive seems chiefly intended to manage wind power. It’s yet to be seen if it will be necessary for solar power management, because PV conveniently generates during times when solar power is most likely to be consumed by adjacent loads.

In the U.S., a similar communications and control requirement is under development by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which proposed its version several months ago for RE systems connected to California’s transmission system. Some industry prognosticators believe the CAISO requirements will also be adopted by utility grid operators to manage single systems and system portfolios in the MW range. Considering the concern among operators, this seems like a reasonable prediction, especially as California approaches its limit for net-metered DG, currently set at 5% of peak demand.

The race is on for communications and control within the RE industry. At AltaTerra, we’ve coined the phrase Distributed Generation Communications and Control (DGC2) to describe this burgeoning area of information technology. With the addition of automated control intelligence to system monitoring, we believe DGC2 will be essential for the coordination of all forms of DG with RE-supply and conventional demand forecasting, dynamic pricing, smart grid transmission and distribution components, SCADA systems, and a wide range of load-shedding smart grid devices yet to come. DGC2 will be the brains that direct these new and not-so-new technologies to work together to reduce peak load, dampen RE variability, and safeguard grid operations as we blow past the current limits to RE DG.

Jon Guice is the co-founder and Managing Director of Research at AltaTerra Research.

Jon Previtali has 13 years experience in product management, specializing in renewable energy and related fields such as energy efficiency, smart grid devices and energy storage. Prior to AltaTerra, at SunEdison, the largest generator of solar power in North America, Mr. Previtali managed the operations service for third-party systems, assisted in the development of the solar power fleet monitoring system and developed a high-penetration PV-grid integration strategy. Jon Previtali also launched SunEdison’s channel partner program, which has resulted in over 100 MW of solar power projects and is today responsible for the majority of SunEdison’s system construction. Earlier, Mr. Previtali was the Director of Product Management for Monitoring and Reporting Services at Digital Island, a leading Internet infrastructure firm. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Stanford (1993) and an M.S. in Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder (2007).

The information and views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of RenewableEnergyWorld.com or the companies that advertise on its Web site and other publications.

BP OIL Spill, US Temporary Recievership, Politics as usual

by-Rev. Jesse Jackson

Civil rights activist
Posted: June 5, 2010 08:24 PM

Earlier this week, Robert Reich argued that President Obama and the U.S. government should place BP under temporary receivership. I concur.

When he visited the Gulf Coast last week, the President declared, “I take full responsibility.” But only if the government takes the reins away from BP and places it under its own authority can that claim be fulfilled.

From the beginning, BP has fed the public lies, mistruths, and half-truths. Was it 1,000 barrels a day spilling into the Gulf? Or 5,000? Or perhaps 15,000? Is it mustering all of the available global know-how, wisdom, innovation and resources to cap the well? Is BP trying to cap the gushing well with golf balls or tires? Have the guys on the beach in the white suits–clean and white, I should say–been there since day one and are they in for the long haul, or was it a one day photo op while the President was in town?

Left to BP, the public has absolutely no confidence that BP is telling the truth about the oil spill or is doing whatever it takes to cap it. And now that the Attorney General has launched a criminal investigation, it makes all the more sense for the Obama administration to take control over BP and the oil spill clean up operation. President Obama cannot be in charge if BP is still holding the keys.

But make BP foot the bill.

Reich stated, “If the government can take over giant global insurer AIG and the auto giant General Motors and replace their CEOs in order to keep them financially solvent, it should be able to put BP’s north American operations into temporary receivership in order to stop one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history.”

Isn’t that one of the primary functions of government–to protect the public–yes, the nation–from harm and disaster; to look after the public welfare when the private sector utterly fails to work in the public interest?

And BP, which has one of the worst health and safety records of any oil company–from the Texas City explosion that killed 15 people, to leaks in the Alaska pipeline, to rigging the markets in the Midwest–has shown little concern about the welfare of people and communities. It may have the “equipment and expertise”, but it does not have the interest of the people and the surrounding Gulf Coast communities and industries at heart.

Reich’s “five reasons for taking action” against BP are worth noting: 



1. We are not getting the truth from BP….(BP chief) Hayward says BP’s sampling shows “no evidence” oil is massing and spreading underwater across the Gulf. Yet scientists…say they’ve detected vast amounts of underwater oil, including an area roughly 50 miles from the spill site and as deep as 400 feet. Government must be clearly in charge of getting all the facts, not waiting for what BP decides to disclose and when. 



2. We have no way to be sure BP is devoting enough resources to stopping the gusher….If government were in direct control of BP’s North American assets, it would be able to devote whatever of those assets are necessary to stopping up the well right away.

3. BP’s new strategy for stopping the gusher is highly risky…. But scientists say that could result in an even bigger volume of oil–as much as 20 percent more–gushing from the well. At least under government receivership, public officials would be directly accountable for weighing the advantages and disadvantages of such a strategy.

4. Right now, the U.S. government has no authority to force BP to adopt a different strategy….The President needs legal authority to order BP to protect the United States. 



5. The President is not legally in charge. As long as BP is not under the direct control of the government he has no direct line of authority, and responsibility is totally confused.

(Robert Reich)

Yes, the BP oil spill is the environmental equivalent of a nuclear meltdown; the nation’s security is at risk. It’s a state of emergency that cannot be left to a private corporation like BP to deal with. BP has betrayed the public interest and demonstrated the worst behavior with the worst impact one could imagine. Management of this crisis must be under the authority of the President and our government who are charged with protecting the nation.

And yes, BP must foot the bill. That’s easy enough for a corporation that averages over $20 billion in annual profits from oil. It must pay for the immediate capping of the well and clean up of the Gulf Coast. It must pay for the long-term restoration of the region. It must pay for the damage and devastation it has caused to the lives and livelihood of families and businesses; to the birds and fish; to the marshes and beach–all of which surely will exceed the $75 million liability cap under federal law.

It’s time to go beyond BP!

$3,000 for energy audits and improvements, Government Funding

Obama Unveils ‘Cash for Caulkers’ Rebates for Energy-Efficient Retrofits

Homeowners eligible for up to $3,000 for energy audits and improvements.

March 2 — President Obama today announced the details of “Homestar,” a Cash for Clunkers-like rebate program designed to entice Americans to make their houses more energy efficient.

Under the proposal, homeowners could be eligible for up to $3,000 in rebates for purchases of efficient product upgrades or whole-house audits/retrofits. Obama wants the program, dubbed “Cash for Caulkers” and first mentioned in his January State of the Union address, included in a jobs package being drafted by Congress.

The administration hopes the incentives will boost demand for building products such as insulation, efficient windows, and roofing in the same way car sales skyrocketed last year when consumers were offered rebates for trading in their gas-guzzling autos for more fuel-friendly models. The White House says the program would create “tens of thousands” of jobs, cut energy bills for families by $200 to $500 per year, and reduce the nation’s dependence on oil.

In a statement, the NAHB acknowledged the program’s economic possibilities: “This has the potential to be a real shot in the arm for the home building industry,” said association chairman Bob Jones. “It will help put America back to work, and it will help families save on monthly energy bills.”

Administration officials are still working with Congress on details but confirmed the program would cost about $6 billion and that up to 3 million households would participate, according to the Associated Press. Some details, including how long the program will run, have not been worked out with Congress.

“It is going to be politically difficult to do some of this,” Obama said outside Savannah Technical College, the site of his announcement. “I am confident we can do it.”

DETAILS UNVEILED

Under the plan, consumers would collect point-of-sale rebates for energy-efficient purchases. A broad array of vendors, from small independent building material dealers and energy efficiency professionals to large national home improvement chains would market the rebates, provide them directly to consumers, and then be reimbursed by the federal government.

Under the first level of rebates, Silver Star, consumers would be eligible for up to $1,500 for a variety of home upgrades, including adding insulation, sealing leaky ducts, and replacing inefficient water heaters, HVAC units, windows, roofing, and doors. There would be a maximum rebate of $3,000 per home.

The more comprehensive Gold Star level would provide a $3,000 rebate to consumers for a whole-house energy audit and subsequent retrofit tailored to achieve a 20% energy savings. Additional rebates would be available for savings above 20%.

Click here for full details of the Homestar program. Details Can be viewed at: stlouisrenewableenergy.com

Along with the NAHB, building products manufacturers and nonprofit environmental groups heralded the new plan.

“American homes are so wildly inefficient that billions and billions of dollars in wasted energy are holding back our economic recovery,” said Lane Burt, manager of Building Energy Policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a wildlife protection organization. “Even the most basic upgrade puts money in our pockets, puts Americans back to work, and puts energy waste on the run.”

Masco Home Services president Larry Laseter, one of three manufacturers who joined President Obama at the announcement, urged Congress to approve the program. “We applaud the efforts of the administration to introduce a jobs creations program that is truly a win-win-win,” said Laseter. “The Homestar program will put our nation’s skilled construction force back to work, benefit homeowners through comfort and energy-efficient improvements to their existing homes, and result in long term energy efficiency gains.”

The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association was more cautious, telling EcoHome’s sister publication ProSales that it will be working closely with the White House, the DOE, and Congress to help ensure the program does not put small and large independent dealers at a disadvantage over big-box retailers.

The NAHB also expressed that equal access for everyone will be essential to the program’s success.

By:Jennifer Goodman, Senior Editor Online for EcoHome.
Provided by: Scotty, Scott’s Contracting, St Louis “Renewable Energy” Missouri