Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

Solar is Patriotic for Retired Army Captain

Friday, July 4th, 2014
Marcus Therrien - US Army Capt Goes Solar

Retired US Army Capt Marcus Therrien, who served as combat medic and Army Nurse, outside his home in Southern Maine

Retired Army Capt. Marcus Therrien served in Iraq as a US Army Nurse and combat medic, but those days seem long behind him now on a warm sunny day at his suburban home in Southern Maine. Marcus now works full-time for his own building company, Wood Cove Builders (“The first time I’ve worked one job in my life,” he jokes) and enjoys spending his free time with family and friends. While he misses his Army brothers and sisters, he feels that having served as an Army Nurse, he has already worked the best job anyone can work.  Now, Marcus feels he’s made the best investment anyone can make: solar.

The Therrien’s home boasts a solar hot water system that on a good sunny day will have his domestic hot water supply at 150 degrees Fahrenheit before lunchtime. His 5.6 kw photovoltaic array generates most of the electricity consumed in his home, and allows him to enjoy guilt-free creature comforts, such as his Jacuzzi, knowing his power does not come from fossil fuel sources.

Preventing Another “War for Oil”

“I saved up the money from my deployment checks and put them into solar,” Therrien says, “It’s my part to do what’s right for our country and the planet, and it’s a lot easier to do than most people think. We’ve all got to do our part so we don’t get into another war for oil.”

Marcus also takes pride in the sense of independence that solar gives him. He heats his home mainly with wood, so with domestic hot water and electric loads taken care of, his home’s utility bills are next to nothing. This gives him a powerful peace of mind as he approaches retirement. “When electricity gets 3x what it is now, I won’t have to work extra or go out of retirement,” Marcus says. “The solar is as good as money in the bank.”

“Really, it’s a dream come true,” Marcus added. “I don’t want to live in a McMansion or anything crazy like that. We all need to smarten up, and conserve what we’ve got. I’ve seen what it takes to protect our oil interests and don’t want to be any part of that anymore. The government – and all of us – should be pushing as hard as possible to get this technology adopted on as large a scale as possible. We know we can do it, I’ve seen Fort Dix which has solar panels all over it. We just need to stop thinking it’s so hard and make it happen.”

Proudly Helping Veterans Go Solar

ReVision Energy is proud to count Marcus and many other veterans in our clientele, and we would like to express our deepest thanks for their service to the United States.  For the month of July, we are offering a special incentive – veterans of all conflicts are eligible for a $300-$500 discount on solar photovoltaic systems (depending on system size), $300 on solar hot water, and $200 on heat pump systems. The discount applies to both financed and cash purchased systems. The veterans discount overrides any other discounts available.  Contact us to learn more.

NH Homeowner: Solar is “The Best Thing I’ve ever Done”

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Solar home in Dover New Hampshire

A proud “Conservative card carrying member of the Sierra Club,” Mark Boren has a passion for protecting the environment that derives from a College Civics class. “The professor told me, ‘If you take one thing away from this class, it’s this – if you care about something, do something about it,’ and for me that was that something was the environment,” Mark says. “But it took a lot of years and buying my own home before I could do something big.”

Something big, in this case, was a triumverate of systems: solar hot water, solar electricity, and air source heat pumps, which combine to evict oil from the Borens’ home and nearly eliminate their electric bill.

“I think a lot of people want to do the right thing, but they always have an excuse – it’s too hard, it’s too expensive, what different will it make?” Mark says. “I guess I was sort of that way – I thought solar, how can I ever afford that? – until I came across one of your lawn signs in front of a neighbor of mine who was going with one of your systems. I called you guys up and I found out that the system was a lot more affordable than I thought it would be and would save me a lot of money.”

Renewable Energy Trio

Mark’s home in suburban Dover, New Hampshire had ample south-facing roofspace to handle two flat plate solar hot water collectors and seventeen photovoltaic (PV) collectors. The solar hot water will provide 80% or more of his family’s domestic hot water from the sun alone, while the PV collectors will provide roughly 5,779 kWhs of electricity annually. The heat pump, a ductless Fujitsu unit, is capable of producing 15,000 BTU per hour and can operate in temperatures as low as -20°F. It can run in one mode for heating, or in the reverse to provide cooling.

The new generation of high-efficiency heat pumps has lead to a beautiful synergy with solar electric technology, which has declined in cost by more that 50% in the last five years. In many homes, it may not be practical to completely remove an oil boiler, but the heat pump can providing comfort-level heat in most of the home, allowing the oil system’s thermostat to be set to a much lower temperature. Even a single heat pump can save hundreds of gallons of oil, and 2-3 units can comfortably heat many homes. Solar panels combined with heat pumps provide heat for a home for the equivalent price of under $1/gallon for oil.

Solar Changed My Life

For Mark’s part, the system has a lot of fringe benefits besides saving money. “It may sound corny,” he says, “But solar has changed my life. Anytime it’s a sunny day, I have an extra smile on my face. It’s maybe the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Next on his horizon? An electric car. “We pay almost $400 a month on gasoline,” he says, “I’d like to see that bill disappear too.”

Turning to solar power in case of an emergency

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Solar Emergency Shelter CommitteeYork Middle School could be the pilot site in Maine for a series of solar-powered emergency shelters, under plans being devised by the York Energy Efficiency Committee.

Bill Young of the Florida Solar Energy Center, which received federal funding to install solar electric emergency power systems on 100-plus schools, came to York on Thursday to see if a similar program could be established in Maine. And YMS would be the first.

Renewable energy is really important, but it has just so much appeal,” he said. “When you can tie it in to public safety, it starts taking on more importance. And when you can provide emergency power in disaster situations, you’ve really caught people’s attention

Full article available here:

NHSPCA enjoys solar breakthrough

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

NHSPCA - Solar Hot WaterWhen it comes to going green and saving money, thoughtful planning and research can lead to significant change.

Consider the case for the New Hampshire SPCA, the state’s oldest animal protection and care facility, which decided in 2008 that it was time to deal seriously with rising costs of energy. And, according to SPCA director Lisa Dennison, it helped immensely when the organization found a strong partner in ReVision Energy.

In 2012, ReVision Energy designed and installed a solar hot water system alongside Froling wood pellet boilers. Dan Clapp, ReVision Energy’s New Hampshire branch manager, said the installations have cut heating costs at the SPCA and slashed their costly year-round domestic hot water bill with the solar thermal system.

“We are significantly ahead because of the solar collectors and the wood pellet boilers,” Dennison said. “Any day we are not using oil makes me happy. It’s so exciting for me to go online and check our progress. We have this fun visual about reducing our carbon footprint. Every day we imagine that our energy efficiency is the equivalent of taking all the cars of our employees off the road.”

Full article is available here:

Town of Durham, NH Invests in Solar with No Upfront Cost from ReVision Energy

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Durham, NH Solar Ice Skating Facility

The 300 solar panels on the Town of Durham, NH’s Churchill ice rink will provide roughly 10% of all the electricity used in the facility

Durham, NH now boasts three new solar arrays on town buildings: a 99kw solar electric system on the town’s ice rink, 16kw on the library, and 6kw on the police department. The three systems, designed, installed, and financed by ReVision Energy, were installed at no up-front cost to the town. Instead, the town will buy power from ReVision Energy at below-utility rates for 7-8 years, then have the option to buy out the three systems.

The project is the product of a strong working relationship between the town’s administrator Todd Selig, his department staff, and the Energy Committee. Durham’s 10-year master plan includes a chapter on energy, in which the town pledges to ‘reduce the environmental and societal burdens of energy consumption by purposefully minimizing its energy requirements and promoting the use of clean, renewable sources of energy.’

“We [the town] identified three areas where we could reduce our vulnerability to fossil fuel scarcity and price volatility – transportation (by converting the town fleet to fuel-efficient vehicles), housing (by encouraging growth in core downtown areas that are walkable and bikable), and through renewable energy,” says Charles Forcey, a member of the Durham Energy Committee and a ReVision Energy Customer. “Several of us on the energy committee had solar installed on our own homes, so we knew it could work on the individual level, but we wanted to see what was possible for the town.”

Getting the Process Started

Durham’s Energy Committee put out a RFQ asking companies to come up with creative, economically sound renewable energy proposals for the town. “ReVision Energy’s power purchase agreement (PPA) proposal was the most sound proposal to be sent to us, relying on no exotic grants or credits to work and providing a benefit while being tax-neutral,” Charles said.

After Durham expressed interest in the general PPA offer, ReVision Energy started work on the process of identifying viable PPA sites in the town. ReVision Energy reviewed over a dozen town properties, and ultimately identified the Churchill ice rink, police station, and library as the best sites due to their excellent south-facing rooftops and on-site power demand.

“It was a real pleasure to work with the town of Durham,” said Steve Condon, sales manager of ReVision’s Exeter branch. “There is a lot of work required behind the scenes in a project like this, and from day one the town was very much on-board with the concepts we presented and genuinely excited about taking advantage of their solar opportunities. It was refreshing to see a clear commitment to sustainability from the town manager, who is in turn supported by the town’s energy committee.”

Solar Goes Up

Durham Public Library Solar

A 15kw solar electric array sits on Durham, NH’s public library

After months of planning, the details were finalized and the three solar projects were installed at the end of 2013, with all three systems online and producing power by Christmas!

Forcey hopes the projects will help to illustrate to people with the town that solar is a viable option for meeting the town’s energy needs in the next few decades and beyond.

“There still seems to be a lot of contention when you talk about climate change,” Forcey says, “But people in the town can unite around the idea of sustainability and resiliency. Fossil fuels are a huge economic burden on the town and their price volatility leaves us vulnerable to politics in distant parts of the globe. We are trying to show that locally-produced energy sources are viable now and that the investments are needed today to give us a more secure future.”