News & Events


Law students visit local renewable energy company.


08-13-2013 Grundy, VA.  Law students get up close with solar power projects.

On August 13, 2013, students from the Appalachian School of Law took a short field trip from Grundy, VA to Bristol, TN to visit EcoLogical Energy Systems.  EcoLogical Energy Systems provides renewable energy services such as solar energy design and installation to private residences, businesses and communities.

The field trip was part of Professor Mark "Buzz" Belleville's Law of Renewables class, recently offered in a summer session at ASL.  The class primarily focused on different types of renewable energy resources and the legal issues that surround those sources.  The Renewables course is part of a wide array of natural resources law related courses offered at ASL.

Vice President of Ecological, Nick Safay, greeted the students and gave a short presentation outlining the company's services.  Mr. Safay also answered questions for students regarding the possible tax credits and increase in efficiency that EcoLogical products can offer. Mr. Safay demonstrated with detailed balance sheets for various renewable energy projects, so the students could see for themselves how the various tax incentives they had been studying actually affected the affordability of a project.  Mr. Safay and the students also discussed the various corporate structures and contractual arrangements that can be utilized to benefit both the company and their customers.               

Mr. Safay then gave the group from ASL tours of two solar projects the company recently completed.  The first project was a 200kW solar photovoltaic project of 819 solar panel modules atop a former Bristol landfill.  Utilizing the otherwise wasted space of a capped landfill to generate renewable power is a growing trend, especially in the east where open space is less prevalent than the western US.  The electricity generated from the project is sold to TVA to service its local customers. 

The second project the class visited was a 50kW solar pavilion at the Holston View Elementary School, also in Bristol.  Here, EcoLogical and the school plan to partner on educational programs so students and the surrounding community can learn about solar power. 

At the end of 12 years, EcoLogical will donate the pavilion to the school.  You can learn more about EcoLogical Energy Systems, and view pictures of its various projects, by visiting