Online Demonstration and Measurement of Renewable Energy

This project will create a real-time energy monitoring tool to measure and report the impacts of renewable energy projects throughout Pennsylvania. Monitoring equipment will be installed at selected sites, resulting in measurements of petroleum savings, energy use, cost savings, and CO2 emissions avoided. This information will be provided to the public on an intuitive and informational web site that is designed to grow over time to include information from a large number of projects in the region. The system will be a valuable teaching tool for extension educators, providing a platform for renewable energy education to farmers, institutional managers, homeowners, and K-12 students, among others. Educational program material will be developed to utilize this resource and maximize its usefulness. It will also serve to showcase the region's efforts towards improving the energy sustainability of the northeast. The measured data will also be stored and made available for investigations into the implementation-scale performance of renewable energy systems. Alternative and renewable energy has become an area of great interest and importance in the northeast, largely as a result of increasing energy prices and concerns for the energy security of the nation. Many new and established renewable energy technologies have the potential to play an important part in the state's energy economy. However, there is a general lack of knowledge about actual performance of such systems, and people are naturally cautious about committing to new technologies that are unproven or unconventional. A great need exists to provide clear, unbiased, real-world measurements of renewable energy systems in such a way that allows people to understand the actual benefits and drawbacks of these systems.