When my husband and I first began to investigate solar power, I went online and found that there are several companies in the area selling solar. We decided to start with Go Solar because they were in our neighborhood and felt so comfortable with our sales person and the owner of the company that we ended up not looking any further. We couldn’t have made a better choice! From the very first day that they came to check out possible locations, we had no reservations about contracting our solar project with them. They took care of all the permits, meetings, sight surveys, inspections and final construction. The crew that prepared the sight and built the array was very professional and made every effort to preserve the existing vegetation for screening from our neighbors. The day the final inspection was done and the system was online, I must have gone outside a dozen times just to watch the meter spinning backwards with all the power we were generating! If you’re considering solar energy, do yourself a favor and ‘Go Solar’!
Tom’s home is powered by his 7.29 kW solar-electric system and natural gas for heating. His home has air conditioning, which contributed to a lot of electricity being used and high summer bills before he and his wife decided to install solar. Their system produces about 12,540 kWh per year- enough to zero out his electric bill. We also installed an EGauge monitoring system so they can see exactly what the system is producing, and exactly what they are consuming. The Van Kampens could not be happier with their decision to go solar, receiving more than 10% return on their investment!
To listen to Tom’s story in an interview with Alan Hutner of Transitions Radio Magazine, click play on the mp3 below.
“Dear Les and Crystal,
Thank you very much for your excellent work and tireless commitment to completing our solar project. Despite the blizzard today, the meter reads 35 kW-yay! We are thrilled!
Merry Christmas & have an excellent 2014!”
Margaret & Ford
We are consuming more power. We need to put more and more power into our grid and it seems like solar is a good way of doing it and decentralizing it.
In one year we save roughly 30 boxcars of carbon dioxide.
Solar is relatively free at the end of the day.
Michael’s home was powered by electricity and propane for the radiant floor heating system. In May 2012, he removed the propane boiler and replaced it with an efficient electric boiler, and installed a tankless, on demand electric water heater. We helped Michael design a PV system large enough to supply the energy he would need to heat his home during the winter months. We calculated that a 10 kW solar PV system consisting of 44 solar panels, would produce an estimated 18,756 kWh per year, and would supply all the energy needed for his home. We installed his PV system in May 2013. You can see from the graph below that his PV system produces more energy (kWh generated) than the he uses (kWh consumed) in the summer months. This allows him to build a cumulative credit on his PNM account, which he can use in the winter months when his usage exceeds his system’s production. This is the result of net metering. We all benefit from PV systems, as we use power from the electrical grid from the solar energy produced by systems like Michael’s.
To listen to Michael’s story as an interview with Alan Hutner of Transitions Radio Magazine, click play on the mp3 below.
Harnessing the Sun to Achieve Energy Independence
“Jim and I are very pleased with the installation of our solar panels. Your professional and friendly manner was appreciated as you answered our questions and explained the entire process of installation. Once we committed and signed the paperwork, the entire project was completed within six weeks. Crystal kept us informed every step of the way regarding the paperwork and Jeremy was a pleasure to have working on the project. You have a good crew.”
Roberta and Jim West
New Mexico has abundant solar resources with 320-340 sunny or partly sunny days a year. In fact, the state has been called a potential solar Saudi Arabia due to the amount of energy that could be generated in the state and used to power the rest of the country. New Mexico’s Renewable Portfolio Standard mandates that 20% of the state’s electricity must come from renewable resources by 2020. More and more households are embracing the benefits of solar energy.
Jim and Roberta West of Santa Fe first considered converting their home to solar energy eight years ago but decided that the costs were too high. When they reevaluated their options in the spring of 2013, they were pleasantly surprised to learn that the costs of solar installations had come down and that they could take advantage of federal and state tax credits as well as renewable energy certificates from PNM to lower the costs even further. “We have always felt that it is a great idea to be energy independent, and the tax breaks helped us make a decision,” said Jim.
The Wests were impressed with how easy it was to work with Go Solar, located in the El Dorado Agora. “They walked us through the entire process so there were no surprises. Then Go Solar handled all the state and county paperwork, permits, inspections, PNM connections, and other items, which took about six weeks. The actual installation of the solar panels took only three days,” said Roberta.
To find the best location for the 18-panel installation, Jim and Les Teterycz, the owner of Go Solar, looked for the least obtrusive location, considering sight lines from neighboring homes. The panels are installed 230 feet away from the house in a field and the sturdy panels, which can’t be harmed by lightening or hail, are only 8 feet high. Drivers on the road rarely notice the panels and none of the neighbors can see them from inside their house. According to Roberta, the neighbors consider the panels “thoughtfully placed.”
Since the panels were installed in July 2013, several neighbors have expressed interest in getting their own installation. “It is kind of fun to have neighbors come up and say that they were thinking of installing solar. We’ve given lots of tours,” exclaimed Roberta. “We especially like the fact that our electricity cost was cut in half in only a few months.” The Wests believe that their solar installation has increased the value of their property.
Because the Wests were on an electricity budget plan with PNM to even out their monthly costs, they have not received any checks as of October 2013 but they expect to start seeing checks as soon as they finish the budget plan year. Since New Mexico receives on average more than 3200 hours of sunshine each year, the Wests’ solar installation will generate electricity every day. They will receive credit for what they don’t use and can draw on that during energy heavy months.