In our eBook, “Solar Projects Shaping the Industry,” you can read about mega-projects worldwide. But solar is hard at work in All Energy Solar’s homeland, the upper Midwest, too. We’re proud to have made these close-to-home installations.
Trees and Snow? No Problem: The Carlson Home
Bill and Char Carlson, of Northfield, Minnesota, take energy seriously. Having already made investments in wind energy, they decided to go solar at home. But there were a couple of issues: the big trees that loomed over the house—and Minnesota’s snowy winters. All Energy Solar worked with the Carlsons to tilt the panels to maximize sun exposure, and did some basic tree-trimming. The Carlsons were careful with their energy use, too.
The result? They generated 150 percent of their previous energy usage, despite snow and ice on the panels during the winter. “Our favorite part of using our own solar energy,” says Bill, “is being able to drive our plug-in hybrid Prius around town on energy we generated on our roof.”
Lake Superior Solar: Lake County Veterinary Clinic
For motorists heading for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the other attractions on the North Shore of Lake Superior, Michael Overend and Lucy Grina’s Lake County Veterinary Clinic in Two Harbors, Minnesota is more than a place to take a pet in need of care—it’s a symbol of the veterinarians’ commitment to clean energy. Both are volunteers with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and their decision to go solar included both their business and home addresses. The Saint Paul (MN) Port Authority’s PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program helped with low-cost long-term financing.
“We look forward to seeing these investments…pay for themselves in reduced electric bills over the next decade and eventually generate income for us or the future owners of these properties,” says Michael. “At the same time, they will substantially reduce our carbon footprint, benefit our environment, and create jobs.”
Keeping Tabs: Escali Digital Scales
This tech firm in the Minneapolis suburb of Burnsville, Minnesota produces Bluetooth-enabled bathroom and kitchen scales. It makes sense that a company devoted to precise measurements of how the body takes in and uses energy would want to know as much as possible about its own energy use; when Escali converted its warehouse to solar, it got that capability. The array will supply all the energy used at the warehouse and an attached office in the company’s first solar year.
“I am always interested in the next thing when it comes to electronics—it’s part of what we do as a company,” says Theo Prins, Escali’s president. “We’d actually wanted to go solar for a few years now, and at a certain point, the cost of the panels and installation dropped enough for it to make sense. Plus if it pays for itself over time, it’s a no-brainer.”
Kirkwood Court and Campus View Apartments
Brent Haverkamp of Cedar Rapids, Iowa scaled up with solar—way up. Energy-conscious, he converted his house to solar, and was so impressed with the results that he worked with the company to install solar arrays on the apartment buildings he owns, Kirkwood Court and Campus View apartments, near Kirkwood Community College.
The result was the largest multi-tenant solar system in the Midwest: 1,895 panels, 247 separate systems, producing more than 630,000 kilowatt hours yearly.
Haverkamp’s tenants, many of them cash-strapped students, benefit at the bottom line: they pay one flat rate for rent, which includes all utilities. And solar is expected to keep that rate low while other forms of energy grow more costly.
For more examples of how we work with clients in our own backyard, check out our case studies.
Consider solar power
If you’d like to know more about solar power for your home, contact your local solar installer for a free quote and to learn more about which type of solar installation is right for you.
Download our eBook, Solar Projects Shaping the Industry, to learn more about the groundbreaking solar projects happening at home and abroad!