Sustain NC http://sustainnc.com Sustainability Innovation for North Carolina Sat, 24 Jun 2017 21:11:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 A solution for Asheville: 100 Megawatts of Change http://sustainnc.com/solution-asheville-100-megawatts-change/ Sun, 02 Apr 2017 01:21:48 +0000 http://sustainnc.com/?p=952 Originally published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on January 2, 2015 I believe 100 megawatts of various distributed energy resources (including solar) and demand management (i.e. Smart Grid, general energy efficiency) can replace Asheville’s two coal power units … and eventually both combustion turbine natural gas units. Starting when? Starting with the Asheville Community Energy Plan […]

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Originally published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on January 2, 2015

I believe 100 megawatts of various distributed energy resources (including solar) and demand management (i.e. Smart Grid, general energy efficiency) can replace Asheville’s two coal power units … and eventually both combustion turbine natural gas units. Starting when? Starting with the Asheville Community Energy Plan … and an organization that helps make energy innovation real.

The City of Asheville (COA) is developing a community energy plan. COA’s carbon reduction efforts have been focused on its own municipal assets. Modern energy strategy offers a great many choices and our use of terms like “distributed energy” and “Smart Grid” — versus just citing solar technology and efficiency as a total energy innovation solution — will help us deploy a practical, modern strategy.

Whether it’s the Department of Energy (DOE) Eastern Renewable Generation Integration Study (ERGIS) or EPA’s Clean Power Plan website, there is no credible energy innovation transformation research or strategy entirely based on solar and efficiency. Among other things, we’ll need gaseous fuel to efficiently move energy, versus mostly pumping it across inefficient transmission lines. For now, that’s going to be natural gas and what biogas that can be generated. But we can cut the amount of natural gas needed for our new energy system, and make mass fracking (hydraulic fracturing for natural gas) unnecessary.

It terms of gaseous fuels, hydrogen did not go away. It’s still part of the energy innovation solution.

The Asheville Community Energy Plan is about, or needs to be about, pulling in the whole community to add our solution to climate change and capture the benefits of energy innovation … because it’s not all about costs and no benefit. The city commitment to cut its asset carbon emissions 80 percent by 2030 is great. Asheville moving as one movement toward a smart, responsible CleanTech future faster won’t be easy, but there’s enough pioneers and subject matter expertise ready to take the next steps required.

There are solutions from within the United States, and from other parts of the world, as we form strategy for each challenge. When it comes to cutting natural gas use while decommissioning more large coal plants and preventing construction of nuclear plants, along with demand management Japan is installing micro-CHP (combined heat and power) fuel cells in 5.3 million homes. While it’s great to build green homes and install more solar power systems, civilization can’t be rebuilt entirely in the next few years and solar can’t solve every angle of sustainably. There are multitude elements.

We are set for change, despite the obstacles. The Energy Information Agency shows a 30 percent drop in coal electricity wattage hours delivered to North Carolina between 2010 and 2013. The chart shown reveals similar reductions at Asheville’s coal plant. But North Carolina still used 4.4 terawatt hours of coal-fired electricity in 2012.

Some extrapolation means a 30 percent cut in 2014 puts us at 3.1 terawatt hours. Are 30 percent cuts possible every year or two? If so, we’ll be off coal soon with some effort. Energy innovation needs to occur responsibly, yet there’s little reason to not accelerate the social, economic and environmental benefits. We are well into America’s sustainability revolution.

Duke Progress Energy has mentioned that natural gas pipelines to WNC are not adequate for additional natural gas-fired electrical power. The answer is using less by moving power systems closer to energy users with stationary fuel cells and other distributed energy resources, including more solar. Apple uses fuel cell power at its Maiden, NC datacenter. Comparing DOE’s Better Building program and other cutting-edge demand management strategies to Duke’s efficiency programs only helps.

It’s time to move beyond coal and generate 100 megawatts of change through energy innovation. We’ve only got one chance and limited time to get this done right.

The International Energy Agency believes a $44 trillion global investment will secure a clean energy future by 2050. The benefit is $115 trillion of energy savings. Obviously on economic development terms North Carolina benefits by taking the next energy innovation and sustainability revolution steps.

Grant Millin is an innovation strategist and was the North Carolina project manager for the historic Hydrogen Road Tour. He lives in Asheville, NC and attends St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.

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Asheville and Buncombe County’s Agenda for People with Disabilities http://sustainnc.com/abpwdagenda/ Mon, 13 Mar 2017 19:38:02 +0000 http://sustainnc.com/?p=941 Asheville team forms community process to help define and promote concerns and ideals of Buncombe County’s persons with disabilities… with the disabled at the center. ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville City Council is expected to soon vote on changes to city hall’s 1995 Americans with Disability’s Act (ADA) performance policy. These changes will improve ADA issue […]

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Asheville team forms community process to help define and promote concerns and ideals of Buncombe County’s persons with disabilities… with the disabled at the center.

ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville City Council is expected to soon vote on changes to city hall’s 1995 Americans with Disability’s Act (ADA) performance policy. These changes will improve ADA issue responses. People with disabilities (PwDs) and PwD stakeholders—including parents, caregivers, medical professionals, and policy evaluators—should understand these changes.

To increase visibility of the local PwD population and their needs, a small team of Asheville residents have formed Asheville and Buncombe County’s Agenda for People with Disabilities (A-B PwD Agenda).

The Agenda exists to increase stakeholder involvement influencing local PwD improvements. Identifying inclusive policy opportunities, beginning with COA, is one step.

  • ADA performance changes are coming to City of Asheville (COA) affecting roadways, COA Department of Parks and Recreation, etc.
  • Asheville’s disabled are 14 percent of the population. That’s 12,000 men, women, and children. 40 percent live in poverty. – US Census
  • The COA Strategic Operating Plan and related activities emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion. The disabled are rarely referenced.

“This Agenda is needed to support the voice of a group that is historically highly disadvantaged,” said Sustain NC developer and A-B PwD Agenda project manager Grant Millin. “The work includes capturing new PwD-oriented insights and relaying findings to the community. The excitement is about doing more, better and faster, for our disabled neighbors, friends, and family. A range of new, just outcomes are available… with new action.”

Millin will speak on the city’s proposed Strategic Operating Plan at a future city council meeting. Several PwD-oriented additions to city strategy have been identified already. Millin has also made recommendations for PwD inclusion in the COA Comprehensive Plan.

The A-B PwD Agenda teams finds this is a prime moment. COA recently announced a new Equity Manager position. This position should also be responsive to PwD needs. The Agenda will form a key document and body of input the Equity Manager and other leaders can use.

Agenda team member Ariel Harris says, “Navigating Asheville in my wheelchair is a daily risk. I am so grateful for the kindness of strangers who move obstacles or physically carry me to overcome obstacles on our uneven sidewalks that are often outside ADA formula. So many times I have come frighteningly close to becoming a statistic just crossing our streets!”

To better communicate with and include this large yet often disadvantaged Asheville minority, an A-B PwD Agenda workshop will be held Saturday May 6, 2017. Contact the A-B PwD Agenda team for more details: unitedpwdagenda@gmail.com. This guided discussion will include casual ‘cafe’ breakouts as well as education modules, while providing a safe space to discuss public healthcare and other PwD relevant topics. This is an opportunity to openly share challenges PwDs face living in this area.

“We need to better collect and publicize wellbeing data on Asheville and Buncombe’s disabled,” adds Harris. “Along with ADA issues there are other agenda items impacting our people with disabilities that are now ready to come to light.”

The Agenda team recommends PwDs and other community stakeholders log ADA issues into the Asheville-Buncombe, NC Community Issues SeeClickFix.com watch area.

Non-disabled leaders from government, medical, business, education, and nonprofit organizations are welcome to attend the workshop. PwDs willing to identify as having a disability will be given priority seating. Note: Publicly identifying a PwD is never mandatory.

“As a parent, I want to make sure this city recognizes my son’s equal worth as a disabled person,” says Agenda team member Catherine Campbell. “This is a really vulnerable minority in Buncombe County. I don’t pretend to know every PwD’s daily challenges and opportunities. That’s why we need a way to openly collaborate. That’s why the Agenda exists.”

Follow and learn more on Facebook: http://fb.me/UnitedPwDAgenda

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About the Asheville-Buncombe Agenda for People with Disabilities Team

 Catherine Campbell is the founder and director of strategy at Bright Planning, a strategic marketing consultancy based in Asheville, North Carolina and serving a national clientele of social enterprise and triple bottom line companies.

Ariel Harris is a local Asheville artist, writer, teacher and believer in the positive. She has made significant personal investments in understanding local ADA compliance.

Grant Millin is the Sustain NC Developer. Grant Millin is a strategic innovation consultant and owner of InnovoGraph. He is a military veteran. He has a BA in Sustainability and Security Studies, and Master of Entrepreneurship and Master of Project Management degrees, with MBA coursework. Grant was the NC project manager for the historic Hydrogen Road Tour.

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The Trillionth Ton of airborne carbon is too expensive http://sustainnc.com/trillionth-ton-of-carbon-too-expensive/ Tue, 14 Feb 2017 01:04:39 +0000 http://sustainnc.com/?p=936 Originally published in the Asheville Citizen-Times December 19, 2014. A local religious leader recently asked me, “What happened to the whole ‘green thing?’” It’s a good time to review since media messages about ‘green’ issues and the threat of climate change were more prevalent around 2006. The 2008 recession has cast a long shadow and […]

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Originally published in the Asheville Citizen-Times December 19, 2014.

A local religious leader recently asked me, “What happened to the whole ‘green thing?’” It’s a good time to review since media messages about ‘green’ issues and the threat of climate change were more prevalent around 2006. The 2008 recession has cast a long shadow and government uncertainty abounds.

If we look at the top 2014 voter issues, there are connections to those issues and conventional energy costs, conventional energy sector strategies, and the consequences of unabated human-caused climate change. These factors wrap around most of those American voter issues. I have been observing the dialogue on sustainability and climate change here in Asheville and around the world for more than a decade now. When you look at climate change science reports and the difference between a world with 2-6… or more… degrees average temperature fluctuation above today’s world, the word “uninhabitable” comes up. In terms of a transformed climate beyond 2100, a National Academy of Sciences research paper titled “An adaptability limit to climate change due to heat stress (2010)” literally describes heat then as “uninhabitable”.

Whether the term is “uninhabitable” or other risk management flags are used, the Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) sent into crisis by conventional human activity forms a harsher world many children today will face as they age. ECVs are the temperature, sea level, and ice level changes that feed together to form either homeostasis (stable system)… or a planetary system increasingly adverse to the kind of life we saw in the past… factors driven at an exponential ‘hockey stick’ rate on a graph without greater intervention; with the outcome setting up in these next decades versus a distant eon. Children today, and especially their children’s offspring, will face a world where much of the heavily populated land now is underwater and air temperatures in more regions are too hot for most people to adapt.

Imagine millions of people rushing to Western North Carolina within a decade from now to take advantage of our comparatively mild climate and rich water resources. Our state population projections are based on traditional factors, not climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2014 Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report states, “The global mean peak surface temperature change per trillion tonnes (tonne is the metric equivalent of a U.S. ton) of carbon emitted as CO2 is likely in the range of 0.8°C to 2.5°C.” 20 degrees Celsius equals 68 degrees Fahrenheit. One degree change in Celsius (what most scientists use) is closer to two degrees Fahrenheit (how U.S. citizens measure temperature).

The reason small temperature upticks are easy to hold in our minds is this: A few degrees forms the difference between ice and liquid water. A few degrees either way at a certain point is all that matters when it comes to a region’s ice mass becoming sea level change. These ECVs forming larger magnitude system alterations within the limits of our planet are the reason this challenge depends on earth scientists to a greater degree than we depended on entrepreneurs, politicians, and generals in the past.

Some may recall the National Debt Clock sign turning on in 1989. Now University of Oxford’s TrillionthTonne.org web calculator lets us know 585 billion tons of our historical global carbon budget of one trillion tons is spent. We need to have deployed a global ‘‘best system for emission reduction’’ quite soon to avoid burning the Trillionth Ton, without first having the replacement solution in place. By 2040 civilization needs to have been well into the phase of effectively cutting and reversing current carbon emission trends.

If the risk of unchecked human-caused climate change is real, then obviously real risk management is necessary, Mr. and Mrs. Member of Congress. Just like homeland security. Just like staying healthy to avoid catastrophic disease as individuals. Adding just a few more billions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions to our thin atmosphere as a global community is as real a risk as any other high level human-generated risk… but this one is different from risks like thermonuclear war. Thankfully at least there have been relatively few human generated nuclear events. Unfortunately every second there’s another human impact on climate change and the scope is out of the bottle.

We’ve got to contain the crisis; and the crisis of climate change is factually all-encompassing. Catastrophic climate change is not something we can evade without responsible strategic innovation.

Grant Millin is an innovation strategist and was the North Carolina project manager for the historic Hydrogen Road Tour. He lives in Asheville.

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How does North Carolina include Americans with disabilities? http://sustainnc.com/nc-inclusion-of-americans-disabilities/ Wed, 25 Jan 2017 20:00:04 +0000 http://sustainnc.com/?p=930 Originally published October 14, 2016 in the Asheville Citizen-Times   The disabled agenda includes preventing abuse, scams, other crime victimization, and in general dying prematurely, due to one’s disability. Many disabled people want work, which may sound dichotomous for some. As to employment inclusion, being disabled is partly about how the non-disabled include/exclude folks who […]

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Originally published October 14, 2016 in the Asheville Citizen-Times

 

The disabled agenda includes preventing abuse, scams, other crime victimization, and in general dying prematurely, due to one’s disability. Many disabled people want work, which may sound dichotomous for some. As to employment inclusion, being disabled is partly about how the non-disabled include/exclude folks who are different than themselves. “Disability” is often forced eligibility category for public goods versus an opening for opportunity in the economy.

According to the U.S. Census, 42 percent of Asheville’s disabled live in poverty. The Asheville disabled population is as large or possibly larger than the African-Americans here. But the point should be attaining a more sustainable community, state, and nation. U.S. household wealth hit $88 trillion this year according to the Federal Reserve, so whose agenda goes first among those in the greatest need should not be a question. I do say Americans with disabilities should not be thrown away any more than other constituencies.

The Buncombe Court Complex processed more than 1,000 evictions each year since the N.C. courts began publishing eviction statistics. Most likely there are a large number of Americans with disabilities among these evictions. Also amongst the range of justice and equity issues on the disabled agenda is one I believe gets little or no attention is how the disabled are or are not utilizing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in courtroom settings… and if not, why not. The ADA can’t be used to stop the administration of justice, but ADA-based court access matters and should be understood.

When it comes to politics and the nonprofit space, find out if your favorite leader is interested in people with disabilities (PwDs) and how that interest demonstrates, specifically. Hillary Clinton has submitted a questionnaire response to the disabled agenda organization RespectAbility USA. Donald Trump has not. I helped get the responses from former N.C. Rep. Deborah Ross and Sen. Richard Burr. But what about Buncombe politicians, civic and business leaders? How can Asheville be inclusive and progressive when Americans with disabilities seem to be treated like our internal hidden, undesirable cultural and economic refugees?

I suggest our politicians and other folks get as interested in what’s happening with Americans with disabilities living in Asheville and Buncombe as they are in foreign refugees. Of course PwDs are composed of all races, genders, sexual orientations and creeds. Yes, refugees include the disabled, but the answer to the refugee crisis is about making home nations more sustainable.

There were 1,704 reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation of disabled adults to Buncombe County Health and Human Services in 2015. Then there’s abuse of disabled children? I would bet that a large portion of the early preventable deaths in Buncombe pertain to PwDs… with ‘‘preventable’’ meaning a disability can be remedied to one degree or another versus being a cause of compound ailment via a range of environmental stressors — including cultural, political and economic alienation, and the outcome of destitution, poor health, regular suffering and death.

About 1.3 million North Carolina citizens have a disability, and many of the rest know an American with a disability. Burr and Gov. Pat McCrory have co-authored or enacted legislation like the ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act that provide tax havens for PwDs. Of course the ABLE Act is only relevant if there is some disposable income to save involved.

The 2016 Democratic National Convention had a large number of PwDs on the stage. In contrast I have no clue how the NCLEG (ABLE Act excluded) and local politicians like the Buncombe commissioners, Mayor Esther Manheimer, the rest of Asheville City Council and public officials like City Manager Gary Jackson and County Manager Wanda Greene include PwDs. City of Asheville (COA) advertises a Mayor’s Committee for Citizens with Disabilities and an ADA compliance committee on their website. Gary points to the mayor’s committee as an example of engagement with PwDs. Those committees have not been active since at least 2013.

COA is developing an Office of Equity and Diversity. Apparently the benefits of this $433,000 program will be delivered exclusively based on race criteria. City Hall, that’s not good for our disabled citizens… of any color.

Grant Millin is the owner of InnovoGraph LLC, an Asheville management consulting firm, and is the developer of the nonprofit behind Sustain NC and North Carolina’s Smart Grid, Distributed Energy, and Efficiency Program (Smart Grid DEEP). This nonprofit features an initiative that helps develop, include and monitor progress on the PwD agenda. Grant’s biographical sketch: http://sustainnc.com/about. Email: grant@innovograph.com

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Smart Grid DEEP for systemic medium and long-range energy innovation + Tuesday 6.14.15 2:00 PM Smart Grid DEEP webinar http://sustainnc.com/sgdeep-systemic-energy-innovation-6-14-15-webinar/ Thu, 09 Jun 2016 20:13:45 +0000 http://sustainnc.com/?p=873 June 9, 2016   To Asheville-Buncombe Energy Innovation Task Force members and stakeholders:   Subject: Smart Grid DEEP for systemic medium and long-range energy innovation out of Asheville and Buncombe + Tuesday 2:00 PM 6.14.15 Smart Grid DEEP webinar   Smart Grid DEEP, being North Carolina’s evolving Smart Grid, Distributed Energy, and Efficiency Program, was […]

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June 9, 2016

 

To Asheville-Buncombe Energy Innovation Task Force members and stakeholders:

 

Subject: Smart Grid DEEP for systemic medium and long-range energy innovation out of Asheville and Buncombe + Tuesday 2:00 PM 6.14.15 Smart Grid DEEP webinar

 

Smart Grid DEEP, being North Carolina’s evolving Smart Grid, Distributed Energy, and Efficiency Program, was initiated by Grant Millin, InnovoGraph LLC owner and Innovation Strategist, in 2006. There are lessons to be learned from the 2007 era Community Energy Advisory Council and other municipal energy activities across the nation. To learn more about me visit:

http://sustainnc.com/about/

City of Asheville (COA) at least has researched Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programming. But was has not come up with the resolutions leading to formation of the Asheville-Buncombe Energy Innovation Task Force (EITF) is that the 2009 COA Downtown Master Plan includes the following long-term action item:

 

Lead the effort to make Downtown Asheville completely powered by clean energy, to become a national model in this area, to use clean energy to leverage sustainable development, and to become a municipal utility.”

 

This would be the right time to review these matters. It is clear from a records request the city manager’s office is in a supportive yet more or less ‘wait and see’ mode as to more in-depth programming. COA and BCG have limited internal ability to work with grid modernization issues. Grid modernization is more of a concrete goal oriented deliverable than energy innovation as there has already been expansion into support the electrical vehicle space.

Smart Grid DEEP Muni Power logo-map

Smart Grid DEEP is launching with an information-sharing and analysis phase. There is no request for large capital expenditures at this time. But the scope of the EITF agenda is already very large. Averting 186 Megawatts (MW) of quick start ‘peaker’ electricity generation is a large, costly task. Instead of planning and proposals coming from several divergent nonprofits and businesses managed through informal meetings with no ground rules, a new nonprofit supporting Smart Grid DEEP’s Open Project Management Office standard at least rates a fully supported two-year pilot.

EITF-Smart Grid DEEP Metrics

In January 2015 I published the following article establishing a 100 MW of Change metric for Asheville and Buncombe County. This is partly based on the 33 MW load carried by the downtown substation.

 

 

A solution for Asheville: 100 Megawatts of Change

http://www.citizen-times.com/story/opinion/contributors/2015/01/02/solution-asheville-megawatts-change/21186705/

 

Note I am one of the only individuals in Asheville using the term energy innovation at the time.

 

I am able to produce educational events on high value energy innovation matters like this customize webinar I produced with Dr. Johan Enslin, Director of UNC Charlotte’s Energy Production and Infrastructure Center:

 

I am presenting the EITF with some ground rule recommendations for setting up an energy innovation and opportunity ecosystem. The proposed WNC Clean Energy Economy does indeed rate support and definition. But sustainable economic development strategy is not on the exact same track as grid modernization. These two arenas simply link at several stages.

1) Not all opportunities around the EITF work can go to the EITF members. This is especially true with the nonprofits represented. There is a network of nonprofits involved that includes the NC Sustainable Energy Association.

2) No one else has Smart Grid DEEP. The Department of Energy would actually have to make several changes to offer something like Smart Grid DEEP.

3) I am actively seeking support for the nonprofit, which needs a board and NC Sectretary of State incorporation and the other 501c3 steps, behind Sustain NC and Smart Grid DEEP. Otherwise Smart Grid DEEP is ready.

 

EITF members and stakeholders are invited to join the following webinar. You will be sent a Google Drive link showing a valuable research bibliography for EITF purposes. This research is not to be reproduced as a public bibliography at this time. There are several reasons for this, but one is that sharing the valuable research I collected in ways I do not approve destroys the value of my work.

This research can be utilized in a Podio workspace I designed. Podio offers a free account which has no time limit. Podio may initially feel like a complex project management solution, but the EITF work indicates the associated mission complexity needs a fairly robust public project management solution.

The EITF-Smart Grid DEEP bibliography is for others to add to. However the two dozen documents, including the multistate effort at a kind of clean power planning called Carolinas Energy Future.

I am happy to go over why Podio is a major advantage and key element of the Smart Grid DEEP Open Project Management Office I propose in with Tuesday’s webinar.

Smart Grid DEEP webinar

  1. Please join this InnovoGraph webinar in support of the nonprofit needed to fully activate Smart Grid DEEP on Tuesday Jun 14, 2016 at 2:00 PM EDT with this link:

https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/566073557

  1. Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) – a headset is recommended. Or, call in using your telephone.

Dial +1 (646) 749-3122

Access Code: 566-073-557

Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting

Meeting ID: 566-073-557

 

Smart Grid DEEP Open Project Management Office

Project Management Institute defines a project management office (PMO) as:

  • “An organization structure that standardizes the project-related governance processes and facilitates the sharing of resources, methodologies, tools, and techniques.”
  • There are levels of control that can be phased: Supportive, Controlling, and Directive. Initially a community may wish to create a local Smart Grid DEEP PMO that is based on a hybrid agreement between, government, local CleanTech businesses and nonprofits, and local utilities. Contact Grant Millin, InnovoGraph.

Also for initial discussion are the market implications of the EITF goals. The activated Smart Grid DEEP Information Power Phase will be discussed as well.

Here is a nice Podio survey in a new product development context. The survey goes straight into one Podio workspace for evaluation. Podio in part is a relational database so a Survey app form can become basic for a Project app form where basic project issues including baseline and actual math is calculated. There’s a lot of drag and drop functions and a great Help database. I have been working on Podio since 2010. No problems worth mention with no security issues.

Here is a valuable Podio survey and overview video of what the Smart Grid DEEP on Podio experience is like:

 

North Carolina’s Public Interactive Carbon Mitigation Decision Wall in Raleigh

http://sustainnc.com/nc-public-carbon-mitigation-decision-wall-raleigh/

 

Sustain NC – Smart Grid DEEP Consortium on Podio Pt. 2 

https://youtu.be/EjsJuy-JUmk?t=16m5s

 

Please contact me with any questions before, during, or after Tuesday’s webinar.

 

 

Thank you,

Grant Millin, Innovation Strategist and Owner
InnovoGraph LLC – Strategic Innovation Services and Management Consulting
Smart Grid DEEP and Sustain NC Developer

Smart Grid DEEP logo

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Our Smart City and Towns Network is ready. Will leaders approve? Will you? http://sustainnc.com/smart-city-towns-network-ready-will-leaders-approve-will/ Sat, 14 May 2016 20:03:07 +0000 http://sustainnc.com/?p=840 A version of this article appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times.   The community ‘innovation engine’ that I developed, Open Strategic Innovation for Communities (OSIC), can assist in organizing further positive change in Asheville and Buncombe county. When it comes to solutions to our greatest challenges, there is less ‘low hanging fruit’. So what’s next? OSIC […]

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A version of this article appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times.

 

The community ‘innovation engine’ that I developed, Open Strategic Innovation for Communities (OSIC), can assist in organizing further positive change in Asheville and Buncombe county. When it comes to solutions to our greatest challenges, there is less ‘low hanging fruit’. So what’s next?

OSIC also serves as a unique, powerful backbone for our statewide Smart Cities and Towns Network… a network we need. It often seems like we are short on resources and solutions. With a great approach to leveraging what works and our talent, we can overcome challenges faster, more, and better.

Each municipality, i.e. the Asheville Smart City Network, gains a better overall public program management capability for comprehensive plans, grid modernization initiatives, and other agendas. Municipalities can compete at times, but there has never been a better time to openly unify too. Do not expect better without existing community systems interfacing with a more open, innovative process.

Along with Sustain NC, here is another smart sustainability reference point. A recent White House report, Technology and the Future of Cities, calls for a City Web solution. I have summarized that White House definition of a City Web in this press release: http://sustainnc.com/avl-answers-white-house-call-for-a-city-web/. The White House City Web definition and the OSIC outline I created over two years ago match closely enough. OSIC is a sufficient City Web platform. This White House report mentions the term Smart City fourteen times. I recommend this report for those ready to innovate.

There is a large value proposition with improving our municipal operating systems. Personally I see many rationales for this Asheville ‘smarter city’ toolkit. I would agree there are many other innovative voices in Asheville than my own. What is needed is a unifying communications and collaboration system not necessary managed by government only.

OSIC Six Points 2

The OSIC technology as well as foundational processes and principles are sound, and I am willing towork with a council to go further. We have the Asheville Smart City Network.

City of Asheville’s Open City Hall has its merits and use, but there are too many OSIC – Open City Hall differences where OSIC offers more. Altogether open government is one of the Smart City principles, so many are seeking the same thing now.

So let’s take a look at Smart City thinking, in part deployed using a social project management service called Podio, in the context of what is called the “Duke Energy Partnership”. The Asheville-Buncombe Energy Innovation Task Force (EITF) represents this new partnership.

I also developed the Smart Grid, Distributed Energy, and Efficiency Program (Smart Grid DEEP) in 2006 here in Asheville. Smart Grid DEEP is an important step to a more modern, open public strategy mode. [See full size version of EITF – Smart Grid DEEP infographic PDF]

This video shows an OSIC on Podio intranet workspace: https://youtu.be/EjsJuy-JUmk?t=16m5s. This online mode of OSIC is just one part of better, real time information sharing and mutual aid value creation. Another otherwise valuable public trust initiative without making deeper use of the Digital Economy—in this case processing all the issues around WNC grid modernization in an optimized, fair way—would be a critical missed opportunity. In part the EITF is about forming new market opportunity. The Smart Cities and Towns precedent I describe through Sustain NC and Smart Grid DEEP represents the modern transparency and public trust program management that responsible funding sources desire.

Why would I do all this without working for government or getting a research grant? Because I knew we would need these solutions one day. By the way, I love in-person events and can help produce mixed online and face-to-face OSIC experiences.

With OSIC and proper support, one to two hundred EITF stakeholders and subject matter experts focused around grid modernization can inject solutions and information important to the entire state. No way is the EITF just about Asheville and Buncombe.

But it takes government leaders, universities, and other community leadership centers to adopt OSIC or all that capability goes unused. Funding sources otherwise attracted by a more open, democratizing, innovative precedent cannot be accessed.

Will at least twenty-five of our leaders try a new direction for tackling our greatest challenges? I challenge those interested in the Asheville Smart City Network to demonstrate just how smart, open, and innovative they are as strategists. If they are dedicated enough to this work, they will at minimum learn new things from the grid modernization documents I collected.

 

Grant Millin is an Asheville citizen, management consultant, and the Sustain NC developer: grant@innovograph.com.

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Asheville sustainability leader answers White House call for a “City Web” http://sustainnc.com/avl-answers-white-house-call-for-a-city-web/ Tue, 19 Apr 2016 09:00:07 +0000 http://sustainnc.com/?p=803 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ASHEVILLE, NC – Sustain NC is a professional development initiative of InnovoGraph LLC nurturing sustainability innovation. The central initiating Sustain NC service project is completion of the North Carolina Clean Power Plan. Part of making that happen is deploying a Smart Grid, Distributed Energy, and Efficiency Program (Smart Grid DEEP). There is […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ASHEVILLE, NC – Sustain NC is a professional development initiative of InnovoGraph LLC nurturing sustainability innovation. The central initiating Sustain NC service project is completion of the North Carolina Clean Power Plan. Part of making that happen is deploying a Smart Grid, Distributed Energy, and Efficiency Program (Smart Grid DEEP).

There is need for a deeper innovation ecosystem across America and the globe using sustainability as a strategy lens. A future nonprofit is on the list of potential tasks.

InnovoGraph LLC owner and innovation strategist Grant Millin is the Sustain NC developer. There are a range of details behind the new President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology “City Web”, but before the Obama Administration launched the parent Technology and the Future of Cities initiative, InnovoGraph had Sustain NC and Open Strategic Innovation for Communities ready.

InnovoGraph looks forward to sharing Sustain NC with your municipality or organization. Sustain NC assists in fulfilling the White House need for a City Web solution. So now we have a North Carolina Smart Cities and Towns innovation and opportunity ecosystem (IOE).

Use of digital economy tools like Podio are not the only requirements for innovation and opportunity ecosystems like City Web, but such applications make a lot of sense. InnovoGraph has prepared a YouTube video showing such a platform for completing the NC Clean Power Plan. Sample Sustain NC consortia focus on climate science issues and a smart cities and towns strategy for North Carolina. The NC Digital Divide Leap consortium is another.

Sustain NC programming goes beyond Future of Work online solutions for enhanced sustainability innovation. A presidential transition symposium covering Obama Administration sustainability innovation is in development. And while the Sustain NC Koshland Earth Lab survey is online, the actual interactive digital Carbon Mitigation Decision Walls are located at the NC Nature Research Center and the Marian Koshland Science Museum in Washington, DC… and there’s a web app version.

A range of potential Sustain NC in-person activities is possible. Sustain NC partnerships are vital as Sustain NC also amplifies the solution to goals these partners are currently pursuing.

Along with covering sustainability issues in his Master of Entrepreneurship and Master of Project Management programs and MBA coursework, Grant developed his own bachelors in Sustainability and Security Studies. He was the North Carolina project manager of the historic Hydrogen Road Tour. He produced as well as presented for the “Forum on Smart Grid and Hydrogen Economies” at Duke University.

Grant said, “Merging sustainability innovation and classic economic development strategy makes strong sense today. Sustain NC disabuses any notions that sustainability and anthropogenic climate are “politicized” matters. It is not just about the majority of scientists and the Department of Defense establishing that sustainability strategy is real strategy. Mass public will is now calling for an excellent approach to sustainability innovation. This transformation is happening in North Carolina too.” There is a sample of slides from Grant’s master Sustain NC seminar presentation on SustainNC.com.

Sustain NC webinars are offered the first Thursday and fourth Monday of every month at 2:00 PM. The first of these will be held 5/5 and 5/23. Large organization webinars can be scheduled. RSVP: grant@innovograph.com.

 

“Sustain NC and The White House City Web” 5/5 webinar event

 

Join Sustain NC

Contact: Grant Millin, InnovoGraph – Sustain NC, URL: http://sustainnc.com

Ph: 828.423.2266
PCAST City Web Definition

“An information-sharing platform that would help to extend these innovative activities beyond their local confines, benefiting all cities, including those that lack the capacity to innovate on their own… Making the most of specific city-innovation experiences, the City Web would be a place for cities and their partners to make available descriptions and non-proprietary elements of solutions that have been implemented, tested, reviewed, rated, and used by other cities, thereby reducing the time and complexity needed for today’s procurement cycles…. The goal of the City Web is to allow the accumulation and replication of urban solutions and associated data, technologies, and strategies in ways that benefit cities with different sizes, different know-how, and different financial capabilities.” – President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, February 2016

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Duke Energy: the true Clean Power Plan ‘Go—No Go’ axis http://sustainnc.com/duke-energy-true-clean-power-plan-go-no-go-axis/ Tue, 29 Mar 2016 18:01:38 +0000 http://sustainnc.com/?p=822 A version of this article was published in the Asheville Citizen-Times. State of North Carolina adoption of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan is critical to our future economic development and national security. Otherwise the politics of anthropogenic climate confusion may expand. This means the half of the nation currently rejecting the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean […]

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A version of this article was published in the Asheville Citizen-Times.

State of North Carolina adoption of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan is critical to our future economic development and national security. Otherwise the politics of anthropogenic climate confusion may expand. This means the half of the nation currently rejecting the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan (CPP)—a central Federal sustainability strategy—will continue to avoid lowering airborne carbon from electrical grids at maximum.

This work goes beyond laggard states reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) a certain percentage by 2030. We want to innovate globally in a way fostering natural but speedy momentum for very low carbon economies.

As rest of the world sees shirker US approaches, the impact of the Paris climate accords might fade. Or things turn around here in North Carolina. Assets are here demonstrating strong statewide sustainability innovation leadership, yet without a cogent North Carolina energy plan we cannot fully participate.

One form of a Carolinas energy plan is imminent. The question is whether this plan will be best in contrast to other logical, responsible alternatives.

Everyone who knows anything about North Carolina policy should know that if Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good and her board of directors publicly embrace the NC CPP this month, one of the first things that happens when the NC Legislature reconvenes will be a slew of CleanTech bills. One of these bills is HB 571, “Implement Clean Power Plan”.

There are many reasons for seeing my state as a key target for climate and grid modernization action this year. We have many assets here to support this change. The Sierra Club (I’m a member), NC Sustainable Energy Association (member), and Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment are among these local assets. But if these organizations alone had everything covered, I would not have bothered to get the first steps of Sustain NC done.

I hope folks agree that North Carolina adoption of the CPP—certainly with unique, customized local innovations—means other states resistant to the CPP have less to rely on. As citizens, investors, and decision makers across the nation point out the role of Duke Energy as the CPP ‘Go—No Go’ axis, we grow closer to faster progress.

Many utilities have endorsed the CPP. Yet Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good seems to feel waiting for CPP case law to get sorted is best. I say Duke Energy optimizing its CleanTech chops (they’re trying) and declaring support for the NC CPP best serves Duke Energy and its stakeholders long-term. It would be great if my solo work were enough to make that day happen sooner rather than later. Instead I know elected officials as well as nonprofit, government, private sector, and retired executives willing to join Sustain NC will be part of moving forward.

I have been awarded an NC Utilities Commission Petition to Intervene concerning one of the first new Duke Energy combined cycle natural gas plants, in this case here in the Asheville, NC area. Duke Energy calls for solar, ‘other technologies’ like megawatt-scale energy storage, and deep energy efficiency measures. Yet the public side is severely underdeveloped. That is Western North Carolina municipalities are unprepared in terms of response capabilities in the face of this uniquely timed and critical grid modernization opportunity. Federal resources are severely underutilized and the support of other strategic national assets is not emphasized as possible partners. This will be the case in many US municipalities.

Sustain NC references valuable documents from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Association of Clean Air Agencies. These and the many other representations of our national intellectual and strategic capabilities need more visibility in North Carolina.

Charlotte multimillionaire Jay Faison and his wealthy ClearPath organization are marketing a ‘conservative clean energy agenda’. I would disagree energy and anthropogenic climate have ideologies. Energy means physics and responsible use of technology. At least ClearPath uses some of the better research and I give credit where credit is due. I hope to work with Faison.

I agree there has been a strong ideological factor as to anthropogenic climate and its solutions. There are misconceptions everywhere. I also agree there is room for improvement in the current EPA program. That doesn’t mean avoiding a better way is legitimate.
Please join me in combining sustainability innovation with classic economic development strategy: http://sustainnc.com. North Carolina residency is not mandatory.

 

Grant Millin lives in Asheville, NC and is a veteran, an innovation strategist, and owner of InnovoGraph LLC. Grant is the Sustain NC developer.

 

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North Carolina’s Public Interactive Carbon Mitigation Decision Wall in Raleigh http://sustainnc.com/nc-public-carbon-mitigation-decision-wall-raleigh/ Mon, 14 Mar 2016 16:53:45 +0000 http://sustainnc.com/?p=735 Have you been to the NC Nature Research Center? Know anyone who has? Whether you have or have not, North Carolina has one of the most sophisticated public interactive anthropogenic climate strategy tools in the world: the Koshland Earth Lab Airborne Carbon (CO2) Mitigation Decision Wall.     This powerful anthropogenic climate education and policy development tool was licensed by […]

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Have you been to the NC Nature Research Center? Know anyone who has? Whether you have or have not, North Carolina has one of the most sophisticated public interactive anthropogenic climate strategy tools in the world: the Koshland Earth Lab Airborne Carbon (CO2) Mitigation Decision Wall.

 

Koshland NRC Our Changing Climate

 

This powerful anthropogenic climate education and policy development tool was licensed by the Koshland Science Museum in Washington, DC—which is the museum of the National Academy of Sciences—to the NC Museum of Sciences and the NC Nature Research Center. Even if this tool is unfamiliar to you, take a look at the Earth Lab website and this Sustain NC video. Please fill out this Sustain NC survey and share your thoughts as to how to improve on the Earth Lab work to date:

 

Koshland Earth Lab Raleigh – Spring 2016 Survey

 

Next, please share this article and highlight the survey for friends, family, and those in your professional network.

In Washington, DC the Koshland Science Museum calls their version of this interactive digital exhibit “Earth Lab”. NC Nature Research Center calls its version the “Our Changing Climate” exhibit. If you have never seen this tool, the NC Nature Research Center version is at 121 W. Jones Street across from the NC Legislative Building.

This is a Sustain NC survey. Sustain NC is a professional development initiative of InnovoGraph LLC fostering sustainability innovation. Sustain NC has prepared a presentation with a few ideas on where Earth Lab fits into a new NC Climate Protection Program (NC Climate). The first Sustain NC service project is to complete the NC Clean Power Plan. NC Climate, and a Smart Cities & Towns initiative complement the Smart Grid, Distributed Energy, and Efficiency Program (Smart Grid DEEP) proposed by Sustain NC.

We should avoid thinking of these matters as political. The NC Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ) website refers to terms like sustainability and Smart Grid. UNC Charlotte, NC DEQ, and the State of North Carolina will soon be unveiling a multistate energy plan that has features of a clean power plan.

The challenge Sustain NC approaches is the demand for quality civic engagement strategy around these matters at the municipal level. Earth Lab is a great pivot to get communities engaged.

Since these older models are ready for upgrade, the original Earth Lab CO2 Mitigation Decision Walls could be designated Koshland Earth Lab I (KEL I). The NC Nature Research Center identifies its Koshland Science Museum licensed KEL I as part of its “Our Changing Climate” exhibit. The above Sustain NC video covers the location of the Raleigh KEL I exhibit in relation to the NC Legislative Building and provides a few visuals on KEL I Raleigh in use.

The final frame of the video shows the KEL I Raleigh CO2 Mitigation Decision Wall stopping with global greenhouse gases (GHGs) at 633 Parts Per Million and a global average temperature rise of 5.7 Fahrenheit (3.1 Celsius) from 2012 averages. There is a 2050 threshold, and then whatever is workshopped by 2050 determines the 2100 scenario. This is because the persistence of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main GHG, in the atmosphere once loaded by anthropogenic activity is very powerful lasting centuries.

There is not enough natural CO2 absorption capacity to cope with unmitigated anthropogenic GHGs. Immense human intervention on increasingly shortened timescales is paradoxically needed to manage our atmospheric discharges. So a lightweight intervention is displayed in the video to demonstrate how easy it is to blow past our global GHG budget of one trillion tons of CO2 and reach a new 3.6 F (2.0 C) average temperature above past averages. That new 3.6 F (2.0 C) average temperature rise will form exacerbated anthropogenic climate creating multitude risks to civilization.

 

The January 2016 global average temperature across land and ocean surfaces was increased by 1.04°C (1.87°F) above the twentieth century average of 12.0°C (53.6°F), the highest for any month of January in the 137-year period of record keeping…  breaking the previous record of 2007 by 0.16°C (0.29°F).” – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 

The Raleigh Earth Lab is located on the second floor of the NC Nature Research Center.
Questions about this survey or Sustain NC? Contact Grant Millin, Owner of InnovoGraph and Innovation Strategist – Sustain NC Developer:

Ph. 828.423.2266
Email: grant at innovograph.com

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Climate research agency located in Asheville, NC in fight with GOP-managed congress http://sustainnc.com/climate-research-agency-located-in-asheville-nc-in-fight-with-gop-managed-congress/ Wed, 28 Oct 2015 17:06:10 +0000 http://sustainnc.com/?p=498   While WCQS mentioned the work of Asheville’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) in a report this morning featuring NCEI director Thomas R. Karl, local journalism outlets are missing the news that Karl and US Rep. Lamar Smith (R) of Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, are in a battle […]

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While WCQS mentioned the work of Asheville’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) in a report this morning featuring NCEI director Thomas R. Karl, local journalism outlets are missing the news that Karl and US Rep. Lamar Smith (R) of Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, are in a battle over the essence of science. NCEI is part of the former National Center for Climatic Data, but also based in the Federal building here in Asheville.

Subpoenas are involved. Here’s how the Washington Post covered the story way back on October 23:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/10/23/congressional-skeptic-on-global-warming-demands-records-from-u-s-climate-scientists/

 

From Christian Science Monitor’s Why is NOAA withholding climate documents from Congress?:

 

“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has refused to answer an Oct. 13 subpoena from by Rep. Lamar Smith (R) of Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Rep. Smith, a prominent climate change denier, demanded that internal communications surrounding a recent climate change study by NOAA scientists be turned over to his committee for examination.

Thomas Karl, the director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, published the paper in question in a June issue of the peer-reviewed journal Science. By explaining relevant data trends, Karl and his colleagues dispute “the notion of a ‘slowdown’ in the increase of global surface temperature” and argue climate change is as prevalent as ever.

Smith, who regularly tries to disprove climate change, insists the NOAA scientists manipulated data to get the “results they needed to advance this administration’s extreme climate change agenda.””

Here’s the NOAA item that has folks like Rep. Smith concerned:

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2015/noaa-analysis-journal-science-no-slowdown-in-global-warming-in-recent-years.html

 

Asheville can be at the center of sustainability innovation, especially after this event shakes out and once and for all climate denial is turned into a national climate action strategy that includes appropriate oversight over firms like Duke Energy.

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