Tag 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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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 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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Why Do Hackers Want Your Website?

Keep Hackers Out!
Keep Hackers Out!

Site reputation – that’s what hackers want to steal from you for their own personal gain. Don’t think that you need to just be using WordPress to become a victim. I’ve seen regular HTML website fall prey to hack attacks too.

It typically all starts with your user name and password being stolen. Hackers create a phishing page that looks legit that they hope you will click and then enter in your user name and password into. The best defense is to never click links in an email and if you do click a link, never share login information no matter how valid a site or form looks.

Instead, go to your login address using your browser and access your account without clicking a link. You will typically find that there is not a problem with your account or access. But the email you had received had some dire notice that you were going to lose access or your account would be closed. Be suspicious of everything.

Troy Hunt has it right in his article on how and why hackers want to get into your site and steal your credentials. His article is worth the read to allow you to make sure to stay safe. You will be amazed at the extent hackers will use, to mask their presence in an effort to steal your credentials and then your website reputation.

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Working With Teams

Nancy McCord a Google Partner and Bing Partner
Nancy McCord a Google Partner and Bing Partner

My firm employs a number of staff to assist with Google Ads consulting, social media, and blog writing. Not all staff is located on-site.

Here are a few tips on how to communicate and keep staff on track and accountable as well as focused.

Use Technology to Communicate
Most of our staff is under the age of 30. I have found that assuring that they have mobile access to tasking is key. We use TeamUp for our online tasking and scheduling app. Each staff member has a smartphone with enough data monthly to access work. I require that when projects are completed that they mark the item done or drag that item to the day they will work on it.

Use Video to Show How
When I have complicated tasks, I do a video explanation followed up by an email. Some of my staff like to closely follow the steps in the email and others get the gist of what to do by watching the video. As a good boss I know which of my staff members needs what and I try to supply the information in the way that I know will be the easiest for them to get and understand. My videos are typically 4 to 10 minutes long and show as a hands on what to do. The emails are detailed so staff can print it out and follow step by step.

Teach Accountability
Although work gets done, assuring that they note that something has been completed in TeamUp or doing the required follow-up email or text can be a challenge. I use SMS Scheduler to send out reminder text messages on an automated schedule to keep staff on notice that they need to do the final step which is to let me know what they have done. I have found that text is the best way to get the attention of younger staff and email the best way to get the attention of older staff. The automation of the text messages allows me to set the reminders up once but to send out on a repeating schedule.

Working with remote staff does have its own special challenges. We do try to get together periodically face to face to celebrate and train on more intensive subjects, but I have found that these several tactics have really helped my business to be effective and grow.

 

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