Category Archives: “Just Nancy”

SPower’s Industrial Solar Plant in Spotsylvania, Virginia Reviewed

The Meadow Family is positioned to sell a 6,500 tract of land adjoining my subdivision to sPower where they hope to build the 5th largest solar industrial plant in the world and the largest east of the Mississippi.

This solar industrial complex will contain 1.8 million Cadmium Telluride photo voltaic panels. It will be positioned within 50 feet of some local property lines and will forever change the complexion of our semi-rural county of Spotsylvania, Virginia. And not for the better.

These are my concerns and my personal review on this project by sPower.

One

Based on research and an estimate of 4,500 acres to be used for solar generating and using Land Mark Dividend.com’s estimate of return per acre, sPower stands to generate $95,625,000 (over $96 million) to $191,250,000 (over $191 million) in profit yearly. Note this is profit not gross revenue before expenses.

Over the 30 year lifespan of the equipment this is a profit of $2,868,750,000 ($2.8 billion) to $5,737,500,000 ($5.7 billion) for sPower investors.

sPower offers (but not in writing at this time and not in the County paperwork details that were part of the County Staff review – so therefore only is a verbal declaration, $660,000 for 30 years which is $19,800,000 $19.8 million. This “proffer” is only .34% of potential profits from the highest number of $5.7 billion that sPower may be generating in profit for their investors.

If the suggested $660,000 proffer does not meet the new Virginia code in subsection C of the Act for “specifically attributable” as it is not paid for a need that was created, at least in part, by the rezoning. In other words the proffer must address a need that was created by the rezoning or it may be therefore considered illegal and then the county receives nothing.

With the extremely high profit of this project and very low investment back into the community which will be forever changed by this project, I do not personally feel that the special use permit for sPower to build this plant and change the zoning from agricultural to industrial should be approved. There is not enough financial benefit to county residents even with the perks sPower has dangled to residents in their printed and online materials. There is a lopsided positive benefit to sPower investors.

Two

Recycling of CdTe solar panels is a concern. Most documentation is about the recycling of silicone based panels and not the more hazardous and less expensive CdTe panels being used in this project.

Recycle PV appears at this time to be one of the very few US located solar panel recyclers.  Some solar panel manufacturers may offer recycling programs. For now, the industry consensus is that this is a new area and that the need for recycling cannot be met by the existing resources as panels age out.

As a result many panels are removed and stacked and some even put in landfills as the United States does not have the legislative regulation to control and mitigate environmental harm caused by the storage or disposal of aged out solar panels.

In fact, the problem is so significant that the State of Washington beginning in 2021 now requires all solar panel manufacturers selling in the state, to submit to a stewardship plan for approval to include recycling and also codifies the removal, disposal, and storage of solar panels. In Washington State, solar panels are now managed as dangerous waste. Spotsylvania County has none of these regulations.

Additionally, the decommissioning and recycling costs will likely far exceed what is expected or even estimated.

Recently, it cost the Department of Energy, $0.20/watt to encapsulate the Abound solar panel modules made by First Solar(the company which will be supplying the solar panels for the pending Spotsylvania project) in concrete due to the Cadmium. As many as 140,000 modules were encapsulated at a cost or $2.2 million.

The use of the cheaper CdTe solar panels is a health hazard that will be 30 years in the making. Although while the facility is in operation sPower says they will immediately address any broken panels, during decommissioning it is not unusual to stack panels; potentially breaking the glass seal leading to serious toxic leakage into the soil.

With recycling of solar panels not being widely done at this point, it seems shortsighted to not factor in the serious and dangerous consequences of where these panels go, how they are to be stored, and mistakes that are sure to happen in handling when being taken down.

The risk is too high and potential cleanup costs to the county unknowable predicating a NO to this Solar Power Industrial Complex.

Spotsylvania Count,y Virginia should not be a test site for sPower’s 125 LLC aggregate business eager to make a huge profit and destroy woodlands and wetlands of our beautiful rural and agriculture environment and damage our rural cultural heritage.

 

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Steer Clear of Outback Landscaping and Call Me Construction LLC

I have a sad tale to tell, but one of a cautionary note. If you are looking for a review on Charles N. Thomas of Outback Landscaping also doing business as Call Me Construction LLC, know that you should not do business with this individual for good reason.

Charles Thomas the owner of Outback Landscaping is a thief. He stole $10,000 from us and abandoned our hardscape project at 75% completion. We have had to hire a new contractor to finish the job.

This was a $50,000 project. It has now been over a year since he started. What we have to show is compacted gravel, garden walls and no pavers except under our hot tub. We don’t even have wall caps or column caps.

We cannot even finish our electrical inspection due to his inability to perform as he contracted to do so, causing a safety hazard.

We found out several months into the project that he let his contractor’s license expire, and that was just the start. Many customers are in trouble now due to this man.

One customer took him to court with a $300 per hour lawyer to get a judgement which they cannot collect as he has no money, assets, or has hidden his property as the lawyer suspects. He now has a $27,034 judgment against him from a similar situation as ours.

Virginia State Department of Regulation has revoked his contractor license on 9-11-18 and he had to pay a $4,500 fine for one problem with the project abandonment and $4,200 fine for failed project.

We are filing a complaint with the state too. We found out, however, from the AB Kearns Eagle Bay block distributor that he is continuing to buy materials and perform work for unsuspecting customers.

I have to say, based on the way he takes money from clients, promises endlessly in a believable manner, and is so very smooth in all he says and does; that he is believable until you have given him too much money and then he appears to walk the project. But only, after stringing you on with endless health and family issues that may or may not be legitimate. At this point, I trust nothing he says.

Acting in a state of fraud, is a pattern of behavior with this person. These two businesses I have mentioned by name are not the only ones he has done this with – stolen money, not completed jobs, closed down and started up under other names.

Charles Thomas needs to be in jail and we will be working with state authorities to get him there. BEWARE!

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What Happens to Sales and Traffic When Your Website is Not Mobile-Friendly?

McCordWeb.com Results
McCordWeb.com Results – Our Site is Fast, Speedy and Mobile-Friendly

In our new world where over 65% of all Google.com searches are done on smartphones, what happens to a website that is not mobile-friendly in regards to lead conversions, store sales, and organic placement?

The PPC Picture

Google has lots to say on this topic of mobile friendliness. For sites that are not mobile-friendly and the business owner is advertising in Google Ads, Google flags the account with messages such as this:

Avoid losing customers on mobile devices by improving your mobile site. Recommended because 98.57% of your mobile clicks go to non-mobile-friendly pages on your site. 68.97% of clicks from all devices come from mobile. 98.57% 138 of 140 clicks go to pages that are not mobile-friendly.

As Google Ads is incredibly focused on relevance and offering the best user experience, I expect in the future ads that are not showing mobile-friendly pages to start to receive very poor quality scores driving up the click cost and reducing exposure due to a low ad rank.

Google has been pretty forthcoming in regards to page speed as well. A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. For a store generating $60,000 in sales a month, that is a loss of $4,200 in monthly sales. In a year, that translates into $50,400. A non-mobile friendly site is not optimized for speedy download and may be virtually impossible to use on a smartphone driving away potential customers. Many will never come back to visit. This is a very serious impact for Google Ad activity.

For sites that do not have a mobile-friendly website, conversion numbers are dropping in Google Ads. Mobile activity is a very big part of the conversion path now for sales and leads.

WordStream has done a very nice visual on sales, conversions, and cost per conversion in mobile and it is clear that mobile is big business. Without a mobile website you are missing out on a huge sector of growing and converting traffic.

For some websites that are not mobile-friendly using Duda Mobile to do a scripted redirect to a Duda Mobile mini site worked – but no longer. Google Ads is aggressively disapproving ads for our clients that are using this approach and we are now having to remove the code from those websites effectively making them now not mobile-friendly for organic or for pay per click activity.

The Organic Picture

For organic traffic, know that Google now spiders the mobile version of a website and this is the content that now determines your site’s organic ranking on Google.com for all devices, not just mobile.

By not updating your website to be mobile-friendly Marketing and Growth Hacking says you can kiss your Google rankings good bye.

Additionally, Marketing and Growth Hacking states “Based on the blogs Google is putting out, we can confidently assume companies who don’t optimize for mobile will see their rankings disappear. At the same time, companies who adopt and take advantage of mobile-friendly sites early-on have and will continue to see higher rankings.”

I agree that if you mean to be in business, grow sales, and compete effectively, your website and store must be mobile-friendly.

For more information about our services please visit us at www.McCordWeb.com.

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Site Chat Apps Close Sales

Nancy C. McCord, Owner of McCord Web Services LLC
Nancy C. McCord, Owner of McCord Web Services LLC

Site chat apps do generate leads which do turn into sales.  I am a living testimony to that. Since I have installed the Drift app, which is an online chat app, I have had about 20 chats, some just about questions but four about services. One moved into contract and will spend about $2,500 for my services.

I’d say that having the chat function on my website has been good for business. What’s even better is that I am always on, but do not always enter a response immediately to a chat. Even with a live chat function, you can have weekends and a real life. Your business does not need to own you.

I do feel that my prospects do like the friendliness and immediacy of  live chat. The paid version of Drift, which I am using as a free version, does has an automated bot that fills in the gaps with responses which is nice and I may upgrade to it if I get more big sales.

I find that the really serious clients start out on the chat app but then move readily to email and then to phone calls. The client that found me via my online site chat closed in less than one week.

So, if you are looking for more sales, I do recommend installing on your website an online chat function. Drift is just one of them to consider, but there are others.

I invite you to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to get more tips and information that you can use for your own business.

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Domain Management Tips

What to Know About Domains
What to Know About Domains

Whether you have a new online business or an existing one you’ll want to review my tips on domain name management.

Review
Periodically review the domain names you own. If you don’t need one or are not pursuing that aspect of your business, save money and don’t renew a domain name you won’t need in the future.

Secure
When you start your business, secure domain name variations of your company name to protect your brand. Consider buying the .us variation in addition to the .com if you are a U.S. based business and other country extensions if you have a presence there.

Save Money
You don’t need to buy hosting for every domain name you own. You can use domain forwarding to point domains you own to your main desired domain where your website resides.

Select
New or old, periodically it makes sense to review the domain names you do own. For those you are using for your website and online presence, set your renewal in five year increments. For those you may let go in the future consider one year or two year renewals.

Need help with our domain name management? Contact www.McCordWeb.com today.

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Domain Don’ts

Should You Buy a Domain When Offered?
Should You Buy a Domain When Offered?

Thinking about buying a used domain name? Be careful, very careful, even if a domain is offered to you for a great price and it really looks like a great keyword match, take a deep breath and do your homework before you jump on buying that domain name.

Why should I be careful?

It today’s environment when great domains become available it is typically because they have been burned out by spammers. A domain will carry history, it is not just a name and when you take it over thinking you are getting a fresh start; it may be banned by spam registries, Internet Service Providers, and been used and abused by spamming or black hat SEO’s.

Even $200 is too much to pay for a domain that has been abused. You may never be able to use the domain name in an email address and the history may be so tainted that you will never be able to remediate it and place on any search engine with it.

My recommendation is – No Go.

My candid recommendation on buying a used domain, based on how things are, is that I would pass. A domain name does not assure SEO placement, and if you really love the domain you may be able to buy it fresh and clean and never used before as a .us or .biz.

If the price tag is even higher, hire an expert to do due diligence for you. I’ve seen domains go for $10,000. You’d hate to pay that kind of money and find out that the domain had been horribly abused making its value to you nearly nothing. Be careful and do some Google searches first before you consider buying any used domain names.

If you need savvy help reviewing statistics before you buy a domain, contact us at www.McCordWeb.com.

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