Skip to content
Colleen Hargaden at Hunter Shaw Fine Art. Zachary solar generator

Colleen Hargaden at Hunter Shaw Fine Art. Zachary solar generator

    Hunter Shaw Fine Art, Los Angeles

    September 12 – October 25, 2020

    All Photography by Ruben Diaz

    Hunter Shaw Fine Art is proud to present ​Strategies for Inhabiting a Damaged Planet​, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles based artist Colleen Hargaden. Utilizing the forms and techniques of contemporary “survivalist” culture and the DIY “maker movement,” Hargaden’s work responds to ongoing developments in technology, as well as the systemic social, ecological, and economic pressures that prompt their creation. Each project involves full participation in the collective knowledge base of one of these developments, be it the tiny house phenomenon, model rocketry, open source 3D modeling, or doomsday prepping. Underlying these subjects is the central question of our ability to create objects which will help sustain or obtain basic human necessities of shelter, land, food, water and medicine. In this way, Hargaden’s sculptures and videos exhibit what theoretician Stephen Wright refers to as “double ontology,” describing something which contains a primary ontology as whatever it is, and a secondary ontology as an artistic proposition of that same thing. In Hargaden’s practice, each project is, or contains within it, works possessing the ontology of sculpture, video, or installation, and simultaneously, that of tool, kit, or learned skill.

    This dual modality highlights the latent utility of Hargaden’s works: they are static in the role of artwork or proposed system, but ready to be actualized as survival tools if needed in the future. ​Capsule One: How To Grow Sprouts (2018), is a resource kit which provides all of the necessities to perform the work’s titular task. Inside a weather-proof Pelican case, a seed packet and manual are found alongside an instructional video which plays on a solar-powered monitor and media player. Installed on an industrial utility rack, the lower shelf displays the fruits of the process: sprouting trays lush with microgreens at various stages of growth. This work exemplifies the artist’s practice at large, engaging the viewer in an open loop of pedagogy and meaning-making. Each project provides a take-away artwork which invites the viewer to re-make the work themselves: a step-by-step demonstration of a skill, a downloadable manual, a packet of seeds, or a diagram. This exchange is about sharing resources, and presents materials and methods that can equip the viewer and aid them in the making of things, returning knowledge back to the collective source it originated from.

    The twin aspects of proposition and duplication are also evident in the two-channel video ​Reproducing “H2O” (2019), a twelve minute shot-for-shot recreation of Ralph Steiner’s ​H2O (1929), one of the earliest cinematic documents of water, its surfaces and forms. In the current installation, a small monitor plays Steiner’s original synchronized with a nearby projection of Hargaden’s remake. Throughout Hargaden’s version, the sequence is occasionally interrupted by moments of imageless darkness corresponding to scenes she was unable to recreate due to lack of access to certain bodies of water or infrastructural

    updates to waterways in the 90 years since Steiner filmed ​H20​. These absences reiterate the theme of technological development and poetically underscore the precious finitude of water as a resource.

    This subject reappears in ​Water Brick (Furniture) (2019), a series of seats and benches fashioned from stacks of interlocking water-storage jugs. Their monochromatic, rectilinear forms recall Minimalist sculpture while performing the dual function of furnishing and stockpiling the hypothetical doomsday bunker. This gesture slyly draws a connection between the possessive and macho attributes present in both survivalism and boys club Minimalism. Although the water bricks are exhibited full, the installation uses zero waste / recycled water, avoiding dead-end resource hoarding, instead acting as a conduit of redistribution. For this exhibition, the water will cycle back into use at local Los Angeles farms, Alma Backyard and Moonwater Farm.

    Throughout Hargaden’s practice a simultaneity of position arises from the contradictory nature of the subjects she pulls from. These paradoxes, despite their complexity, contain an unyielding drive to push forward and try again. In this they are possessed of the unique and generative qualities of the prototype. Hargaden’s projects, in their ability to be shared with and remade by others, have the possibility to reach outward beyond individual use and autonomous boundaries of the studio, the gallery, or the institution. The production of meaning in Hargaden’s work often manifests in unseen ways beyond what is physically in the installation, most concretely in her role as an educator. During the school year, Hargaden teaches middle school girls how to build rockets, design aqueducts, and other skills that could potentially shift the percentage of women working in engineering fields. Despite proposing ideas of what the future may look like (and what tools may help us prepare for it) Hargaden’s work ultimately reflects conditions of the present, including our relationship to space, materials, energy, and resources. Hargaden’s ​Strategies for Inhabiting a Damaged Planet question the ontological boundaries of art: what it is, isn’t, can be, or may look like tomorrow given the economic and ecological circumstances of today.

    Colleen Hargaden received a MFA in Film/Video from Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College (NY) in 2019, and a BFA in Fine Art from Art Center College of Design (CA) in 2015. Recent exhibitions include ​Say Ever Moves​, Bard College Exhibition Center, UBS Gallery, Red Hook NY (2019); ​Los Angeles Notebook,​ Jacob’s West, Los Angeles CA (2018); ​Pilot,​ Elephant, Los Angeles CA (2018); ​Belly Flop​, Pool Party, Palm Springs CA (2018); ​Built-In,​ NAVEL, Los Angeles CA (2018); ​Tiny House (End of Build) solo exhibition, Deep End Ranch, Santa Paula CA (2016). Hargaden is co-founder of Roger’s Office, an artist-run gallery in Highland Park, Los Angeles (2017-2019).

    Lebanon’s Grid Has Collapsed. What Comes Next?

    At night, central Beirut is shrouded in darkness, with a few pinpricks of light emanating from apartment Windows amidst the constant hum of diesel generators. Lebanon’s power sector is disintegrating. Some hope to revive the existing system, built around a centralized and fossil-fueled grid run by the parastatal Electricité du Liban (EDL), with natural gas imported from Egypt or the Mediterranean. Others see an opportunity to leapfrog over fossil fuels to a decentralized renewable grid. But as the political class, international donors, and energy experts debate what should come next, the ongoing scramble for fuel, electricity, and profit is creating entrenched interests that are reshaping the country’s power sector and political economy.

    There is a widely held view that electricity is key to understanding Lebanon’s crisis, and will be central to any attempt to resolve or mitigate this crisis. Human Rights Watch recently argued that electricity is a human right that Lebanon’s population has been denied. International aid diplomacy has focused squarely on the grid.

    The sector’s importance to Lebanese and international actors is also evidenced by its place in the reform program of the government of Najib Mikati, its inclusion in the Staff-Level Agreement between Lebanon and the International Monetary Fund, and the devotion of the administration of Joe Biden to securing World Bank backing and guaranteeing sanctions exemptions for a plan to revive the Egypt-to-Lebanon Arab Gas Pipeline to supply Lebanon’s power plants with fuel. This FOCUS on the grid makes sense, given the centrality of a functional power sector to economic recovery and given that the sector has historically been a major drain on public finances.

    But any serious policy toward Lebanon’s power sector must move beyond strictly technical considerations and take into account how its ongoing evolution is reshaping the distribution of wealth and political power. Beyond the Lebanese political class and its interlocutors in the international institutions and foreign governments with whom it is negotiating, multiple constituencies are filling the gaps left by the state and defining the contours of Lebanon’s electricity transition.

    Three of these constituencies deserve special FOCUS: the fuel importers who provide diesel for Lebanon’s private power generators; the “mafias” who own those generators; and the individuals and communities that are capable of organizing power provision for themselves. Whatever technocratic solution is worked out between Lebanon and international donors, these groups will continue to influence the form that the post-crisis grid actually takes—likely in ways that contradict the goal of universal and equitable access to electricity.

    Fuel Barons

    A small group of fuel-importing companies dominates Lebanon’s fuel supply. Thirteen of these companies have formed an informal cartel, coordinating in the importation of the majority of Lebanon’s fuel—including the diesel used by private generators. Their control over the country’s fuel supply guarantees privileged access to foreign currency via the central bank, and, until 2021, their sales were buoyed by government fuel subsidies that helped bankrupt the country. One company, called Coral Oil, has used its privileged access to foreign currency to secure around 80 percent of the country’s fuel imports, which it then distributes to other companies involved in this cartel. Such arrangements allow these companies to stifle competition, dominate the market, and raise their profit margins. Major fuel importers are also associated with political bosses (plural zu’ama, singular za’im) who profit from these companies while protecting their control over the market.

    Any serious policy toward Lebanon’s power sector must consider how its evolution is reshaping the distribution of wealth and political power.

    These same companies control the majority of Lebanon’s fuel storage, transportation, and distribution. According to a report by a Lebanese think tank called Triangle, Lebanon’s thirteen main importing companies own 53 percent of the country’s fuel storage infrastructure, 68 percent of its tanker trucks, and 55 percent of its fuel stations. At the peak of Lebanon’s fuel crisis in the summer of 2021, this control allowed the companies to manipulate the market by hoarding fuel to create artificial scarcity and to capture higher profits as the government slowly and reluctantly raised fuel prices.

    Learn About Century International

    Early in the crisis, EDL and the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water established a tendering process to import 30 percent of the country’s fuel supply with the purported aim of introducing competition into the market. A company called ZR Energy won fuel importation contracts in a bidding process that was widely perceived as corrupt, under terms that allowed the company to capture excess profits. ZR Energy and its co-owners, the brothers Raymond and Teddy Rahme, reportedly enjoy connections to the leadership of the political parties Amal, the Lebanese Forces, and the Marada. ZR Energy and the Rahme brothers were recently sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury.

    The Generator Mafia

    Most electricity is provided by privately owned diesel generators whose noise and fumes blanket Beirut twenty-four hours a day. The country’s generator owners, estimated at between 3,000 and 3,500 individuals, have become critically important actors in the country’s political economy. Before the crisis, residents of Beirut received twenty-one hours of state-provided electricity per day, and relied on privately owned diesel generators to provide three hours of power to fill in the gaps. Now, those numbers are reversed: the state provides less than three hours of electricity per day, forcing people to find alternative sources of electricity for the remainder.

    Private generator operators have moved quickly to fill in the gaps, selling electricity to those who can afford it. Only the wealthiest actually purchase enough electricity to power their homes twenty-four hours a day; most make do with much less, and overall electricity production has fallen by one-half since 2019. But new business, which can be very roughly estimated from the increase in consumption of the diesel used to provide electricity, has enriched generator owners. In 2017, Lebanon imported around 900 million worth of diesel for use in power generators. By 2021, that figure had increased to over 1.2 billion, and by 2022, it had reached nearly 1.9 billion—more than double the amount imported five years previously.

    This small group also wields significant political and monopoly power. Many neighborhoods and buildings depend on a single generator for their power supply, giving its owner an effective monopoly over people living in that area. Owners negotiate control over turf with one another, preventing competition. Despite state attempts to regulate the profit rate for these illegal operations, generator owners can still extract rents from their control over these effectively unregulated micro-monopolies. Much like the fuel importers’ cartel, generator owners coordinate through a syndicate and reportedly maintain relationships with powerful elements within the political class, giving them additional clout and preventing more serious government interventions in their operations.

    Generator owners could use their growing wealth and power to shape the further evolution of the Lebanese grid. They could, for instance, use their political connections and control over the power supply to act as spoilers, or force carve-outs for their operations, in any attempt to substantively rebuild or reform the sector. Such an outcome would deepen the existing predatory and highly unequal system, in which the poorest quintile of the population spends an average of 88 percent of its income on electricity to receive about thirteen hours of power per day. It would also lock in the dramatically worsened air quality that has overtaken Beirut since diesel generators began running twenty-four hours seven days a week.

    Electrical Secessionism

    Under these dire conditions, some communities and households have charted their own way. Whereas the country as a whole has been coping with state failure and contending with the cartels that have filled in the gaps, a few municipalities have long managed their own power supplies and serve as tempting models for localities that aim to do the same. Electricité du Zahlé (EDZ), for example, managed to provide twenty-four-hour electricity to the city of Zahlé from 2015 until the fuel crisis of the summer of 2021. Electricité du Jbeil (EDJ) has also fared much better than EDL, but has had to ration electricity amidst periodic disruptions in the supply of diesel. Such entities remain dependent upon fossil fuels but provide electricity more reliably than the national grid and more cheaply than the private generators do.

    colleen, hargaden, hunter, shaw, fine

    Local and international organizations and think tanks have recently begun promoting community-scale solar projects. Such projects benefit from economies of scale, making them more cost-effective than household-level systems, and have the capacity to supplant both the collapsing state grid and predatory generator operators for those lucky enough to live near them. Such solutions are clearly preferable for those communities and households that can afford them, and will almost certainly form the basis of any progress that Lebanon is likely to make on the transition away from fossil fuels.

    These new local arrangements, understandable as they are, risk accelerating the country’s disintegration.

    The wealthiest have access to personal or building generators, insulating them from dependency on the national grid and the generator mafia. Those with the resources to do so have also been importing massive numbers of solar panels, giving them variable but virtually free electricity; and batteries, allowing them to store free solar power or cheap grid electricity for later use. The number of household solar photovoltaic systems installed in Lebanon has expanded exponentially since the onset of the crisis. One recent study suggests that Lebanon’s supply of solar energy grew by almost seven times between 2020 and 2022, and its share in the country’s dwindling overall electricity supply grew from less than 1 percent to more than 10 percent across the same period. Such systems reportedly cost around 10,000 to install, a prohibitive amount for the vast majority of households.

    But those with access to community and household-level power supplies have less of a stake in a functional and equitable grid. They therefore may not be a reliable constituency for ensuring universal access to electricity. These new local arrangements, understandable as they are from a pragmatic perspective, risk exacerbating the breakdown of solidarity among Lebanese and accelerating the country’s disintegration into atomized fiefs. over, visions of a fully decentralized grid unfortunately resonate with fantasies of political secession that have plagued Lebanon since its formation. These new arrangements also further entrench already extreme economic inequality, and any formally decentralized grid could well be as unequal as the informally decentralized system that currently exists.

    What Comes Next?

    Any effort to ensure universal access to electricity in Lebanon will have to contend with the interest groups that have formed in its prolonged absence. Century International will be mapping these emerging groups and their role in Lebanon’s rapidly transforming political economy, with a view to assisting those interested in building an equitable grid.

    The vast majority of the population resides somewhere between the faltering state grid, the predatory fuel and generator cartels, and the individuals and localities that have escaped dependency on them. All these residents of Lebanon must scrape by to secure the electricity they need to work and live. Lebanon’s collapsing, evolving electricity sector both reflects and shapes the country’s political and economic trajectory.

    The quagmire embodies Lebanon’s present conditions, as well as the possible futures that coexist for the country: the state is rotting, but there are interest groups who benefit from its collapse and coordinate to keep the population divided and dependent. And forms of decentralization that seem to promise communal or individual independence risk deepening the country’s fragmentation. Lebanon’s winding path to normalcy—for its power grid and for just about everything else—must contend with such dangerous double binds.

    What you need to know about Texas’ complex — but important — electricity market reform plan

    The idea, which still lacks some important details and could be changed by state lawmakers, would change how electricity is paid for in tight times. We explain it for everyday Texans.

    by Emily Foxhall and Alex Ford March 1, 2023 5 AM Central

    Sign up for The Brief, The Texas Tribune’s daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.

    The winter storm that hit Texas in February 2021 strained the state’s electricity grid so much that power had to be cut to millions of homes and businesses to prevent the grid’s complete failure. At least 200 people died, many from hypothermia and some from carbon monoxide poisoning.

    Afterward, state legislators directed the Public Utility Commission, which regulates electricity in Texas, to make sure power generators prepared their infrastructure for extreme weather — those facilities have since been weatherized. They also instructed the PUC to find a way to keep lights on when wind and solar energy production lag.

    To that end, in January, regulators proposed a major change to the way the electricity market works.

    The PUC unanimously approved what it calls the performance credit mechanism. The controversial idea would require electricity providers — the companies, co-ops and municipal utilities that sell power to people — to pay additional money to generators that promise to be available when grid conditions get tight. Those extra costs could be passed on to consumers.

    The concept is designed to incentivize companies either to build more of, or to extend the life of, what are known as dispatchable power facilities. Dispatchable power sources such as natural gas, nuclear and coal-fired plants can turn on any time, unlike renewable sources that depend on solar and wind energy. The big-picture goal is to make the grid more reliable.

    “That’s the crux of this whole thing: We have to make sure we have adequate power when it’s really hot, when it’s really cold, when the wind’s not blowing and the sun’s not shining,” said PUC Chair Peter Lake, who championed the idea. “That’s what it comes down to.”

    There’s widespread debate over whether the proposal would indeed make the grid more reliable or just make electricity costs rise without improving it. The economists paid by regulators to monitor the market don’t support the idea. Nor do environmental and consumer advocates, oil and gas producers or industrial customers that use a lot of electricity.

    Gas-powered electricity generators do support the change, as does Gov. Greg Abbott.

    The Legislature now must decide whether to let the PUC proceed with its plan or direct the agency to pursue something different. The concept is complex and the language used to describe it is technical. So we’ve created a guide to help Texans understand how the proposed changes might work — or not.

    The energy-only market

    Let’s start with the way the state’s electricity market currently functions. Texas is unique because most of the state is served by its own electricity grid — unlike the eastern and western halves of the country where utilities are interconnected.

    Here electricity is bought and sold in an energy-only market. This means that power generators are paid for what they produce. A nonprofit called the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, operates the grid and facilitates these transactions.

    In recent years, more wind and solar energy producers have been built in Texas, which produces more wind energy than any other state. They offer cheap electricity in part because their fuel — wind and solar energy — is free. Wind and solar farms typically sell all the electricity they can produce. Last year, wind provided 25% of ERCOT’s total energy needs while solar provided nearly 5.6%.

    Gas and coal plants, by comparison, must pay for their fuel and maintain more complex, aging facilities. Because ERCOT, which sets the for electricity in much of Texas, puts the least expensive energy on the grid first, whatever demand isn’t met by wind and solar is largely purchased from gas-, nuclear- and coal-powered plants that offer the lowest rates on any given day. Gas is commonly the last in line to help meet demand, according to ERCOT.

    Some argue this landscape makes it too hard for those companies to compete in Texas.

    “[I]t’s a very well-established and understood relationship that when renewable energy comes online, that reduces the profits for all of the other generators that are on the system, specifically and particularly dispatchable resources, like natural gas and coal, and causes them to exit the system because they are not earning enough revenues to cover their costs,” Zachary Ming, a consultant hired by PUC to evaluate different market reform ideas, told legislators during a February committee hearing.

    colleen, hargaden, hunter, shaw, fine

    But when the demand for dispatchable power rises — because of extreme heat or cold weather, for example — or when wind and solar aren’t producing as much energy, that’s when dispatchable plants make their money.

    The problem

    This system exists to bring Texans the cheapest power possible. But there also has to be enough power to supply the fast-growing state consistently, and it has to function properly. That’s the other part of ERCOT’s job; if ERCOT fails and demand exceeds supply, the whole system’s infrastructure could be so badly damaged that it would take weeks to get it fully back online.

    That’s what nearly happened in February 2021, when people cranked up their heaters to ward off subfreezing temperatures as the unusually cold weather knocked power producers offline. Natural gas-fueled plants in particular had trouble getting enough gas from natural gas producers battling power outages, icy roads and frozen equipment.

    Even when ERCOT set the maximum price for electricity to encourage more production, power producers couldn’t generate enough, triggering mass outages across the state that lasted for days. Electricity providers ended up paying astronomical rates for what power was available.

    The Texas Legislature later voted to allow retail electric companies to seek state-approved bonds to cover those costs, a move that was expected to increase most Texans’ electricity bills by at least a few dollars a month for perhaps 20 years.

    The PUC and ERCOT adopted some immediate changes to prevent a repeat in the aftermath of that storm, including:

    • Price increases: Power generators get paid more for electricity when the grid is not in crisis, and ERCOT is paying higher rates to power generators that can come online quickly — mainly those that run on natural gas.
    • Industrial shutdowns: ERCOT can now pay industrial and commercial customers to shut down sooner ahead of an emergency to lower demand on the grid.
    • Fuel storage: Some gas-fired power plants are paid by ERCOT as needed to keep some fuel on site in case freezing weather knocks out natural gas infrastructure.

    Some experts say those changes are sufficient to keep the grid working properly.

    The performance credit mechanism

    The performance credit mechanism that the PUC approved in January would basically create an additional market on top of the existing energy-only market. Regulators would set a standard for what it means to have a reliable grid. For example, the PUC could decide how often it is acceptable for people to lose power because of grid problems.

    To hit that reliability target, power generators would sell so-called performance credits — which are essentially a promise that they will produce extra electricity when grid conditions are tightest. In theory, any power producer — whether they own a gas-fired power plant or a wind farm with battery storage — would be able to sell a credit.

    Power generators said the additional income would prompt them to build enough gas plants to add 4,500 megawatts to the grid. Another executive announced that his renewable energy company would be encouraged to increase its battery storage system development if the credits are adopted.

    “It sets up a market that says there’s a pool of money here that is intended for you to reliably perform if you’ve got an on/off switch and are willing to make the commitment to be there when we need you for reliability,” said Michele Richmond, executive director of the Texas Competitive Power Advocates, which represents companies that operate gas plants, during a February committee hearing.

    Meanwhile, the buyers for these credits would be the electricity providers such as co-ops, retail companies and municipal-owned utilities that sell power to residential customers and businesses. Under the PUC vision, the providers could purchase credits in advance if they believed they could save money or if they wanted to lock in a set price. But that’s optional.

    At the end of a yet-unspecified time period, all providers would have to buy or own enough credits to equal the energy they used during certain, to-be-defined tight times. Katie Coleman, energy counsel for the Texas Association of Manufacturers, which represents large industrial companies that use a lot of power and are worried about rising electricity costs, called the idea “an elaborate electricity tax” at the committee hearing.

    The price of the credits would be set through a separate market that ERCOT would operate.

    Some people call this a Texas version of a capacity market, a framework used in places such as Pennsylvania and nearby states that Texas has long resisted. In a capacity market, generators get paid years ahead for promising to supply power — and in Pennsylvania, they have to pay back money if they fail.

    But the performance credit mechanism is almost entirely untested — it’s been used in Mexico, according to the PUC — and there’s still a lot of details to be worked out.

    The optimistic view is that companies will build new power plants that can quickly be cranked up regardless of the weather and help make the grid more reliable.

    Critics of the PUC proposal worry that dirtier, dispatchable power generators will get an influx of cash in exchange for promising they’ll provide power — and then do nothing differently. There’s no requirement that the money made from the credits will go to building new power generation facilities.

    There will be a penalty for failing to provide power when it’s needed — but that penalty hasn’t been outlined yet.

    Quality journalism doesn’t come free

    Perhaps it goes without saying — but producing quality journalism isn’t cheap. At a time when newsroom resources and revenue across the country are declining, The Texas Tribune remains committed to sustaining our mission: creating a more engaged and informed Texas with every story we cover, every event we convene and every newsletter we send. As a nonprofit newsroom, we rely on members to help keep our stories free and our events open to the public. Do you value our journalism? Show us with your support.

    Zachary Fox

    Blue Rock Station LLC is an accredited provider with NABCEP, both for initial certification as well as for recertification. The Residential Solar Installation Design course (online, in person and hybrid format) has been approved for the following:

    PV Installation Professional Exam 40 Advanced, Accredited hours required, and 18 Advanced Accredited OR Non-Accredited hours Hours 32 JTA
    PV Design Specialist Exam 18 Advanced, Accredited Hours AND 6 NEC hours of training required 28 JTA 8 NEC
    PV Installation Specialist Exam 18 Advanced, Accredited Hours AND 6 NEC hours of training required 32 JTA 8 NEC
    PV Commissioning Maintenance Specialist Exam 18 Advanced, Accredited Hours AND 6 NEC hours of training required 32 JTA 8 NEC
    PV Technical Sales Professional Exam See Certification Handbook, Chapter 7 8 JTA

    Jay’s knowledge on solar and related topics, delivered effectively through anecdotal experience and his pragmatic approach, is inspirational. There are very few questions he is unable to answer or provide a reference for. His enthusiasm for our success never waned even when asked the same questions repeatedly. I look forward to attending more of Jay’s classes and know that I’ll come away with more than I paid for.

    Chris Kenney, Cincinnati, OH

    Chris Kenney, Cincinnati, OH

    Jay’s knowledge on solar and related topics, delivered effectively through anecdotal experience and his pragmatic approach, is inspirational. There are very few questions he is unable to answer or provide a reference for. His enthusiasm for our success never waned even when asked the same questions repeatedly. I look forward to attending more of Jay’s classes and know that I’ll come away with more than I paid for.

    I went into your course not knowing how to strip a wire or the difference between voltage and current. Now I’m wiring inverters, running strings of power optimizers, doing site audits, bending conduit to connect arrays, and of course annoyingly banging away on peoples’ roofs to find rafters to install the racking system.

    I went into your course not knowing how to strip a wire or the difference between voltage and current. Now I’m wiring inverters, running strings of power optimizers, doing site audits, bending conduit to connect arrays, and of course annoyingly banging away on peoples’ roofs to find rafters to install the racking system.

    Jay’s solar power course was a refreshing introduction into the world of photovoltaics. I couldn’t have asked for a better instructor. He provides real-word experience that is thorough and relevant. Jay is well spoken and a gifted communicator. His class provides a solid framework from which to build knowledge and experience.

    Dale Ramsey, Pickerington, OH

    Dale Ramsey, Pickerington, OH

    colleen, hargaden, hunter, shaw, fine

    Jay’s solar power course was a refreshing introduction into the world of photovoltaics. I couldn’t have asked for a better instructor. He provides real-word experience that is thorough and relevant. Jay is well spoken and a gifted communicator. His class provides a solid framework from which to build knowledge and experience.

    I am particularly impressed by the method of delivery of the course content by the instructor and the guest instructor. The methodology of delivery of the course content was captivating and even flawless as topics that appear new were broken down and made simple for better understanding.

    Okhaigbe Fatairu, Abuja, Nigeria

    Okhaigbe Fatairu, Abuja, Nigeria

    I am particularly impressed by the method of delivery of the course content by the instructor and the guest instructor. The methodology of delivery of the course content was captivating and even flawless as topics that appear new were broken down and made simple for better understanding.

    From the beginning, Jay measured each student’s background and technical understanding. Our class experience ranged from doctors and engineers to tradesmen and finally students. His material is well-organized and delivered in a way everyone can understand. He provides a mixture of lecture and hands-on instruction, building on each topic in a logical manner.

    Dale Ramsey, Pickerington, OH

    Dale Ramsey, Pickerington, OH

    From the beginning, Jay measured each student’s background and technical understanding. Our class experience ranged from doctors and engineers to tradesmen and finally students. His material is well-organized and delivered in a way everyone can understand. He provides a mixture of lecture and hands-on instruction, building on each topic in a logical manner.

    Thanks again for the course last summer. Looking back its hard to believe its been a year since Yellow Springs. The course really was like drinking out of a fire hose and at times I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I honestly didn’t think I had passed the test. Yet year later I here I am. Hell, I’ve only been in this new position for a few months and I’ve made lead site surveyor of the team.

    Thanks again for the course last summer. Looking back its hard to believe its been a year since Yellow Springs. The course really was like drinking out of a fire hose and at times I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I honestly didn’t think I had passed the test. Yet year later I here I am. Hell, I’ve only been in this new position for a few months and I’ve made lead site surveyor of the team.

    I’ve been a technical instructor for almost 20 years and Jay is at the top of the list of the best instructors I’ve witnessed. He engages the class from the beginning and answers the question: Where we are…how we got there…and where we are heading?” Most importantly, Jay provides the tools and direction for each of us to make it happen.

    Dale Ramsey, Pickerington, OH

    Dale Ramsey, Pickerington, OH

    I’ve been a technical instructor for almost 20 years and Jay is at the top of the list of the best instructors I’ve witnessed. He engages the class from the beginning and answers the question: Where we are…how we got there…and where we are heading?” Most importantly, Jay provides the tools and direction for each of us to make it happen.

    Having taken numerous classes, I consider myself an expert on taking numerous classes. Jay Warmke’s warm and thorough approach to the instruction of photovoltaic installation exceeded my expectations in every way. His patience and perseverance left the entire class feeling as if no question was a stupid question and he complimented the classroom setting with his extremely funny sense of humor. I wholeheartedly recommend taking any of his or his wonderful wife Annie’s classes you may be interested in, with no reservations.

    Having taken numerous classes, I consider myself an expert on taking numerous classes. Jay Warmke’s warm and thorough approach to the instruction of photovoltaic installation exceeded my expectations in every way. His patience and perseverance left the entire class feeling as if no question was a stupid question and he complimented the classroom setting with his extremely funny sense of humor. I wholeheartedly recommend taking any of his or his wonderful wife Annie’s classes you may be interested in, with no reservations.

    It really helped me to re-assess our plan. better determine our household system. Great instructor! Easy to understand, stops and explains whenever needed. Jay is extremely effective and makes learning easy. All I knew beforehand was that I wanted solar, now I know what I want, but more importantly, what I can afford.

    OEFFA Session, Columbus, OH

    OEFFA Session, Columbus, OH

    It really helped me to re-assess our plan. better determine our household system. Great instructor! Easy to understand, stops and explains whenever needed. Jay is extremely effective and makes learning easy. All I knew beforehand was that I wanted solar, now I know what I want, but more importantly, what I can afford.

    Jay. we have power! Thanks so much for your course. never would have tackled it without your teaching and encouragement. It was a challenge for me in several ways (including wet spring) but am now so happy to be through it! A 2-decade dream come true!

    Jay. we have power! Thanks so much for your course. never would have tackled it without your teaching and encouragement. It was a challenge for me in several ways (including wet spring) but am now so happy to be through it! A 2-decade dream come true!

    The day spent at the Akron Zoo workshop was outstanding! Like most adults 50 years old, I have endured too many soul draining seminars and workshops in search of knowledge and enlightenment. Your workshop was awesome! The combination of tech speak combined with man on the street explanation was a perfect fit for me. Thank you for an informative, entertaining and valuable workshop.

    The day spent at the Akron Zoo workshop was outstanding! Like most adults 50 years old, I have endured too many soul draining seminars and workshops in search of knowledge and enlightenment. Your workshop was awesome! The combination of tech speak combined with man on the street explanation was a perfect fit for me. Thank you for an informative, entertaining and valuable workshop.

    I had a wonderful time at your seminar. I was able to meet like minded people who are enthusiastic about the same issues and doing the same types of sustainable projects. The amount of the information that was given was tremendous. You kept the us entertained and engaged the entire day.

    Matthew Corbett, Cleveland, OH

    Matthew Corbett, Cleveland, OH

    I had a wonderful time at your seminar. I was able to meet like minded people who are enthusiastic about the same issues and doing the same types of sustainable projects. The amount of the information that was given was tremendous. You kept the us entertained and engaged the entire day.

    Stewart Brand wrote We are as gods and me might as well get good at it in the first Whole Earth Catalog. Well Jay is good at it. He has interpreted the technical, governmental and human nature involved in designing solar voltaic systems to be understandable. The first day really sucked me in with Jay’s views of the energy business and reinforced my thoughts on the topic. His teaching method was spot on with this complicated subject. Jay broke each section down so it could be understood. He would often digress into some humorous stories that often had me laughing. Solar technology is changing rapidly and Jay gave us many ways to keep up with it. The price of the class will be paid back many times over the next few years.

    Jon Branstrator, Clarksville, OH

    Jon Branstrator, Clarksville, OH

    Stewart Brand wrote We are as gods and me might as well get good at it in the first Whole Earth Catalog. Well Jay is good at it. He has interpreted the technical, governmental and human nature involved in designing solar voltaic systems to be understandable. The first day really sucked me in with Jay’s views of the energy business and reinforced my thoughts on the topic. His teaching method was spot on with this complicated subject. Jay broke each section down so it could be understood. He would often digress into some humorous stories that often had me laughing. Solar technology is changing rapidly and Jay gave us many ways to keep up with it. The price of the class will be paid back many times over the next few years.

    Thank you Jay. You were a GREAT instructor! I hope to someday have the opportunity to work with you again in the future.

    Scott Hackney, Bright Spot Wind and Solar

    Scott Hackney, Bright Spot Wind and Solar

    Thank you Jay. You were a GREAT instructor! I hope to someday have the opportunity to work with you again in the future.

    Just wanted to say you’re the best teacher I have ever had and that just the experience I had in your class and the things I learned from you will carry on in my life. Thanks a lot and I am so happy I got to meet you. Thanks again and I will keep in contact.

    Robert Anderson, Wooster, OH

    Robert Anderson, Wooster, OH

    Just wanted to say you’re the best teacher I have ever had and that just the experience I had in your class and the things I learned from you will carry on in my life. Thanks a lot and I am so happy I got to meet you. Thanks again and I will keep in contact.

    I definitely walked away empowered technically, but the additional benefit of having a deeper context around the why of solar power, and its significance in our energy evolution. Your passion and commitment to the cause comes through in your delivery of the class, and your willingness to engage each of us, despite a variety of technical levels, really lowered the barrier to effective learning.

    Vince Weseli, Cincinnati, OH

    Vince Weseli, Cincinnati, OH

    I definitely walked away empowered technically, but the additional benefit of having a deeper context around the why of solar power, and its significance in our energy evolution. Your passion and commitment to the cause comes through in your delivery of the class, and your willingness to engage each of us, despite a variety of technical levels, really lowered the barrier to effective learning.

    Thank-you very much for the wonderful workshop last week. It was well worth the time and money. You are a wonderful teacher and did a great job packing in a ton of content.

    Howard Plevyak Jr., Cincinnati, OH

    Howard Plevyak Jr., Cincinnati, OH

    Thank-you very much for the wonderful workshop last week. It was well worth the time and money. You are a wonderful teacher and did a great job packing in a ton of content.

    That was a very useful and informative class. Your teaching style was excellent. I haven’t sat in a class for this long in 35 years. You kept the class interesting and interactive.

    Sugu Suguness, Cincinnati, OH

    Sugu Suguness, Cincinnati, OH

    That was a very useful and informative class. Your teaching style was excellent. I haven’t sat in a class for this long in 35 years. You kept the class interesting and interactive.

    I appreciated you keeping us on track and working in the hands-on activities to solidify the book and classroom instruction. That was a perfectly designed learning lab for me!

    Howard Plevyak Jr., Cincinnati, OH

    Howard Plevyak Jr., Cincinnati, OH

    I appreciated you keeping us on track and working in the hands-on activities to solidify the book and classroom instruction. That was a perfectly designed learning lab for me!

    Thank you so much for putting all that knowledge on me. Regardless of test outcome I feel more certain about solarizing. and the message after yours was my AEP bill. I’ll take that as a sign to get moving on my plans.

    Thank you so much for putting all that knowledge on me. Regardless of test outcome I feel more certain about solarizing. and the message after yours was my AEP bill. I’ll take that as a sign to get moving on my plans.

    This training was one of the best theory and hands on training I have ever received an as a result I have built my second 10KW solar generator based on the instructions I received.

    James Mosley Jr, Ft. Campbell, KY

    James Mosley Jr, Ft. Campbell, KY

    This training was one of the best theory and hands on training I have ever received an as a result I have built my second 10KW solar generator based on the instructions I received.

    Russell Gabriel, Athens, OH

    Russell Gabriel, Athens, OH

    Christian Collett, Wilmington, OH

    Christian Collett, Wilmington, OH

    We are very happy that we had chosen your Photovoltaic course in Newark. We learned so much from your course regarding photovoltaic cells. electricity generation, the techniques of installation of panels etc in a very congenial, friendly and laid back atmosphere. Your great input in this field encouraged us to work on a small project at home on small solar cells.

    Satyanarayana Kadim and Rajeshkumar Kadim, Athens, OH

    Satyanarayana Kadim and Rajeshkumar Kadim, Athens, OH

    We are very happy that we had chosen your Photovoltaic course in Newark. We learned so much from your course regarding photovoltaic cells. electricity generation, the techniques of installation of panels etc in a very congenial, friendly and laid back atmosphere. Your great input in this field encouraged us to work on a small project at home on small solar cells.

    Again, I cannot say enough good things about the class! Great material, well taught, all around an experience I’ll never forget!

    Again, I cannot say enough good things about the class! Great material, well taught, all around an experience I’ll never forget!

    About Blue Rock Station:

    In 1993, Jay and Annie Warmke founded Blue Rock Station, a 40-acre sustainability center located in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains in southeastern Ohio.

    The center features the first earthship built east of the Mississippi River, and is a living laboratory to test and demonstrate sustainable living concepts and options.

    Since 2004 over 35,000 people have visited Blue Rock Station. You can find out more about it at www.bluerockstation.com

    Find Us:

    Address Blue Rock Station, LLC 1190 Virginia Ridge Road Philo, OH 43771

    Phone 740-674-4300

    When the BioMass Hits the Wind Turbine

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *