June 2024 Newsletter

June 5, 2024

June 2024 Newsletter

Empowering Sustainable Communities

Local News

Lukan’s Officially Unveils Solar Project with
US Representative Matt Cartwright 

On Tuesday, May 28, Lukan’s Farm Resort officially celebrated the completion of their new solar panel array and hosted a press conference with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for Rural Development State Director Bob Morgan and US Representative Matt Cartwright. Also present were Wayne County Commissioners Brian Smith, Jocelyn Cramer, and James Shook. Lukan’s received a $123,000 grant from the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which they secured with help from SEEDS, that allowed them to install the solar panel rooftop array, using Buselli Solutions, that will generate enough energy to power 15 homes.  This project is part of a $695,505 investment in nine organizations, all of which aim to reduce rising energy costs and promote green energy. At the press conference Congressman Cartwright, along with Morgan, highlighted the initiative’s role in increasing income, addressing climate change, and lowering energy costs for rural community members.

Other projects funded through the REAP grant include solar systems, energy-efficient lighting, and HVAC upgrades across various businesses, collectively saving significant energy and costs. The USDA has invested $40.7 million in 349 projects in Pennsylvania since 2021, enhancing rural living by making it more affordable and sustainable.

Read more about Tuesday’s event, Lukan’s recently completed project, and the other projects in Pennsylvania at the USDA’s Rural Development website, and check out the local coverage from WVIA.

Action Opportunity

Help Pennsylvania Get Community Solar–Finally! 

SEEDS asks all of our readers and community members to help get the bipartisan Community Solar legislation, HB1842, finally passed in the state Senate (the House has already passed it).

  • Community Solar makes solar energy accessible and affordable for all — that includes renters who don’t own their roofs, people who can’t afford the upfront costs of solar panels, and homeowners whose properties don’t get much sun.
  • 24 other states, including New York and New Jersey, already have Community Solar. It is time for all the people in Pennsylvania to reap the benefits, too.
  • New construction of Community Solar facilities would generate $1.8 billion in economic benefits, and support 12,000 well-paying jobs for PA residents. For more, see this report: Potential Economic Impact of Community Solar in Pennsylvania from Penn State.
  • Pennsylvania can use federal funds to tap into Community Solar and bring cost savings, jobs, and economic development state-wide.
  • Pennsylvanians with lower incomes spend a larger percentage of their income on utility bills — 3X more. This is an unfair energy burden. Community Solar is a solution that will expand equity in the clean energy economy.


#1. Please contact your state Senator now, encouraging her (or him) to vote YES on HB1842. You can find your senator here.

#2. Ask your own personal networks to do the same! Call, text, email, or use social media to tell your friends and associates about HB 1842, the bill that will allow Pennsylvania to finally get Community Solar, and ask them to also contact their State Senator to tell them to vote yes!

#3. Register for this Pennsylvania Community Solar 101 Webinar! Hosted by Solar United Neighbors to spread the word about the basics of community solar, related legislation, and ways you can get involved, this online event is Tuesday June 11 at 6pm.  Register here.


  SEEDS 2024 Solar Workshop Series

It started in February with a Solar 101 webinar presented by SEEDS’ own solar guru Jack Barnett, followed by a webinar on off-grid solar by SEEDS volunteers Adam Freedgood and Dan Quilty. This was followed in March by a webinar on Agrovoltaics with Chelsea Hill of Penn State Extension discussing the joint development of the same land area for solar PV and agriculture. All three webinars can be seen by going to this page on the SEEDS website.

In April and May, Jack Barnett and Blair Buselli presented a two-night class for about 20 students on how to install your own solar array, followed by a hands-on installation at a home in Equinunk. Blair is a solar installer from Buselli Solutions who was initially trained by SEEDS in 2009 and who went on to be NABCEP certified, adding solar services to his family business.  As of this writing, the Do-it-Yourself installation is in its final stages, thanks to a very dedicated group of SEEDS volunteers.

The ever-popular Solar DIY workshop has been presented every year since 2011 except for one year during the height of the Covid pandemic.

Upcoming Event

NEPA Gives Annual Event Begins Thursday, June 6

This year, if you are in a position to do so, please consider donating to SEEDS during the annual NEPA Gives event, 7:00pm Thursday June 6 through 7:00pm Friday June 7.

SEEDS maintains a vision of a future where our northeast Pennsylvania community is a model for a sustainable and healthy future, using efficiency, conservation, renewable energy, and local food production for the good of all.

SEEDS’ mission is to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable living in our communities.  We offer a variety of opportunities for our members and neighbors to learn more about sustainable living on scales ranging from individual to community; information about legislation that impacts our collective sustainable future; community events that promote and or contribute to our mission.

We forward this mission with events like the Annual Book Share, Solar DIY Workshops, our annual scholarship award, plus the free energy assessments we offer to all our members.  Our newsletter reaches over a thousand readers each month to share important information about upcoming events, learning opportunities, local, national and global environmental news, civic engagement opportunities, and our social media platforms are able to reach more readers, expanding our community further.

With donations we can expand our programming to serve a growing membership as well as the friends and neighbors for whom we care.  Building a more sustainable future starts on the grassroot level, and we are dedicated to growing that through education, development and support.

Thank you for thinking of us during this year’s NEPA Gives event.  And if a monetary donation is not possible at this time, consider donating your expertise, time, and passion as a volunteer.  Learn more about volunteer opportunities here.

Thank You!

  Eclipse Glasses Upcycling Collection Huge Success

Between April 9th and May 17th SEEDS collected 356 eclipse glasses from our community to send to Eclipse Glasses USA. Eclipse Glasses USA runs a donation program to distribute eclipse glasses, promoting safe viewing of solar eclipses, especially among school children in resource-limited areas. Donors are urged to provide undamaged glasses, meeting safety standards, for global redistribution. This initiative fosters a passion for science and astronomy while ensuring safe viewing experiences worldwide. They’ve garnered national attention, having collected over 500,000 glasses in 2024 for upcoming eclipse events in Hawaii, South America, and Africa.  Despite the program’s success, they’ve halted new donations due to space constraints.

Considering the overwhelming response from our local community collecting the glasses, SEEDS sought other organizations who would accept more glasses.  Astronomers Without Borders asked SEEDS to wait to send them until they have more space available, but they have our contact information for when they are ready to receive them.

SEEDS sends out the warmest and most grateful appreciation to our incredibly generous community who responded to our call to collect the glasses with such enthusiasm.  It is exciting to be part of a network of sustainable community science supporters.  Thank you!

SEEDS Recommends

  Mindscape Podcast on Climate Change Science

Knowing that climate change is real and appreciating the scope of its potential consequences, immediate and longer term, is a matter of educated awareness at this point.  It is, after all, science.  However, how much do we as individuals understand about the actual science of climate change? The causes, the effects, the evidence, what we know, how we know it, and what it means to us as individuals making decisions as well as a society?  Getting into and then really comprehending the sciencey stuff of climate change can be a tall order.  Thankfully, a recent episode of Sean Carroll’s Mindscape Podcast broke it down into manageable and digestible information for a wide audience of the curious and interested.

Hosted by theoretical physicist and philosopher Sean M. Carroll, currently the Homewood Professor of Natural Philosophy at John Hopkins University and author of popular science books like The Biggest Ideas in the UniverseQuanta and Fieldsand The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning and the Universe Itself, the Mindscape podcast features, as Dr. Carroll describes himself, “me conversing with smart people about interesting ideas in science, philosophy, culture, and the arts.”  You can check out all 277 episodes at his website PreposterousUniverse.com or wherever you access podcasts.

In episode 276, “Measuring, Predicting and Protecting Our Climate,” he interviews Gavin Schmidt, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and an affiliate of the Center for Climate Systems Research at Columbia University.  The hour and twenty minute episode is an engaging and tremendously informative conversation about the history and future of climate research, and while it never shies from the very troubling picture science has uncovered, it also contextualizes the information in ways that underscore our agency in the biggest planetary problem facing humanity.  SEEDS enthusiastically recommends a listen to feed your mind and encourage your heart.

Hear or see anything educational, informative, and exciting you want to share with the SEEDS community? Let us know at info@seedsgroup.net, we’d love to learn about it!

Good News

The End of Coal?

According to this Washington Post article from May 16, The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has decided to halt future coal leasing in the Powder River Basin, a significant move that amplifies the stated climate goals of the Biden Administration. This decision follows a comprehensive environmental review that highlighted the detrimental impacts of continued coal leasing on climate, human health, and the environment. Existing coal mines will still operate, but no new leases will be granted.

The Powder River Basin, spanning Wyoming and Montana, is the largest source of coal in the U.S., and as such its leasing contributes significantly to carbon dioxide emissions. The decision to end leasing is a response to declining coal markets, driven by cheaper and cleaner energy alternatives, and aims to support a transition towards renewable energy sources.

This marked change in direction for meeting energy needs follows a global trend away from coal as an energy source.  As we learned from the Mindscape Podcast episode on climate change science discussed previously, the UK has reached the lowest coal usage and resulting emissions since before the Industrial Revolution.  While the world still has a way to go to achieve net zero emissions necessary to fully stop and reverse climate change, achievements like ending reliance on coal as an energy source in favor of renewable sources of energy are examples of good news worth celebrating!

Save the Dates

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