Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Brian Gastle is one of NC GreenPower’s solar PV generators, and one of only a handful in Jackson County on our program. His system is a 5.4 kW array, and the solar panels put just under 8,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean, green, renewable energy back on the grid for Haywood EMC.
Gastle’s was the first grid-tied system connected to Western Carolina University Electric, which provides service to the area surrounding the university. He is a faculty member at the university and personally interested in being ecologically responsible for the environment, one of the reasons he installed his solar PV array. He is also committed to and in support of the university’s green initiatives. Gastle hopes that he will serve as a pioneer for others who are looking into sustainable alternatives for their energy needs.
“Many of my neighbors assumed it would be cost prohibitive, but with tax credits and NC GreenPower I expect 100% payback of expenses in about 10 years, during which time roughly half the power I use is being generated from a renewable resource. The cost benefits of a sell-all system and contracting with NC GreenPower clearly suggested a more fiscally beneficial option and allowed me to install a larger (and therefore more significantly “green”) system.”
He also made some other small changes at home to increase energy efficiency. All light bulbs are compact fluorescents. His windows were replaced with double pane energy efficient units. Faucets and shower heads are all low-flow. They are sure to set their AC and heat to reasonable levels and have seen a huge savings on their electric bill from their efforts.
His advice if you are thinking about an installation? “Do it. It is affordable and cost effective. Do the research on an installer up front – that’s the key. Sundance Power helped us with everything and maintain a follow-up relationship that is truly exceptional. The more systems we can get online, the less we rely upon foreign oil and fossil fuels. Donations to NC GreenPower allow a broader base of the population affordable access renewable energy production.”