Archive for the ‘Solar Power Projects’ Category

Durham solar project generating regional buzz

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Durham Public Library

As of this week, Durham’s 120 kW solar energy project is fully up and running. ReVision Energy flipped the switch on solar panels atop Churchill Rink and the Durham Police Station Dec. 23, and both have begun generating power. The solar array on the Durham Public Library has been online for several weeks.

The $410,000 project, which was nearly three years in the making, was possible through a partnership with Maine-based ReVision that required no up-front costs.

Now, several other communities have taken note of that partnership, which is relatively unique in Granite State. Durham Town Administrator Todd Selig has discussed its project with Barrington’s town administrator and met recently with a Hampton School District delegation. He also sent a copy of its agreement with ReVision to Plymouth State University.

Full article is available here:

Winnacunnet High explores installing solar array

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

winnacunnet-hsThe Winnacunnet School Board is studying the possibility of placing a large solar array on its property to reduce utility bills and reliance on fossil fuels. Following a presentation by ReVision Energy Sales Manager Steve Condon, School Board member Wayne Skoglund said he’s going to do some independent research on behalf of the board to see if the move might make sense for the school.

Condon, who emphasized that the project he presented could be adapted in numerous ways, outlined a power purchase agreement that he said would allow ReVision to build, own and maintain a $390,000, 100-kilowatt array on Winnacunnet High School property at no initial cost to the town.

The basis behind the power purchase agreement, he said, is a mutually beneficial relationship between a for profit and a nonprofit, like the school.

“The concept is, there are incentives available to level the playing field with fossil fuel energy sources, and as a for-profit organization, we can take advantage of those incentives. So we can monetize tax credits and pass off the benefit to the nonprofit organization that we’ve partnered with,” he said.

Full article available here:

Aikido of Maine Balances Economics, Environment with Solar Array

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
Aikido of Maine Solar - Portland, ME

Aikido of Maine business owner Gary Small stands next to his solar panels, which overlook Back Bay, Portland, Maine

When Gary Small and his wife Ania moved to Maine in 2000, they came looking for the right place to live the right life and to build a dojo to train the art of Aikido. The right place was Portland, Maine and the right dojo was a space on Anderson Street that would become Aikido of Maine.

“Aikido has been part of my life since I was a teenager. It is a unique practice among the martial arts because it is based on using non violent solutions to addresss aggression,” says Gary. “When founding Aikido of Maine, Ania and I took elements that resonated with us from the many dojos we had trained in over the years and incorporated them into a design that was uniquely our own. Building a dojo is an ongoing process, it never ends and we are always looking for ways to make it a better place.”

Aikido is often referred to as ‘The Art of Peace’ and is a non-competitive Japanese martial-art. It is unique in that it is founded on creating harmony out of conflict and order out of chaos with the aim at refining the individual and making the world a better place. It offers students the ability to learn self defense skills while simultaneously instilling character traits of cooperation, responsibility, respect, discipline and responsible decision making.

“Founder Morhei Ueshiba believed that this practice would help make a better world,” says Gary. “The name Aikido itself represents Ueshiba’s belief that the true meaning of the martial arts is to protect rather than harm.”

A Matter of Balance

Aikido of Maine training seminar

Training during a Fall 2012 seminar with William Gleason Sensei. Photo courtesy Aikido of Maine.

The principle to protect rather than harm applies as strongly to the environment as it does to interpersonal conflict. “We are concerned with all of the issues related to greenhouse gas emissions and warming trends on the earth,” Gary says. “As a business, the financial piece needed to balance the environmental benefits. It was when I met with Fortunat [co-founder of ReVision] that I learned that system costs had decreased by more than half in the last few years and that a strong suite of incentives was available for businesses like mine.”

ReVision Energy worked with Gary to design an 8kw solar electric array to be mounted on the flat rubber roof of his building. The solar electric panels are predicted to offset 98% of his facility’s electric usage, offering a savings of over $1,500 annually. The savings should pay for the system cost in roughly 7-9 years, while simultaneously offsetting 10,000 lbs of CO2 emissions each year.

While the financial side of the project needed to work, it’s the intangibles that excite Gary the most about the dojo’s new solar array. “Looking at the sun and knowing we are harvesting our own energy is a wonderful feeling,” Gary says. “We are doing our part to restore balance to the ecosystem, while also enjoying the benefits of making a sound financial decision.”

Aikido of Maine offers introductory classes to children and adult on a rolling basis, with a flexible schedule to fit the goals of busy lifestyle and training available six days a week. Learn more

State and Federal Credits Make Solar a No-Brainer Investment for Salisbury, MA Household

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Salisbury, Massachusetts - Solar Electric

Joe and Terry Buttaro have had solar on their roof since the 1980s when they had the opportunity to participate in a solar hot water heating experiment conducted by their local power company. By the 2000s, their old collectors were showing signs of wear and tear, and they were itching for the moment when more modern collectors would make sense for them.

“For many years the cost of the upfront investment on a solar electric (PV) system was very high,” says Joe, “When we learned that the costs of solar panels had dropped dramatically, and were eligible for state and federal tax credits, rebates, and renewable energy credits, we knew we needed to learn more.”

A powerful suite of incentives makes Massachusetts the sixth biggest solar market in the United States, with over 200MW of solar installed across the state, 129MW of which was installed in 2012 ( The 235 solar companies in the state employ over 4,500 workers. Massachusetts is on track to meet or exceed its goal of 400MW of installed solar by 2017.

Homeowners like the Buttaros are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit, an additional $1,000 state tax credit, a state rebate of up to $4,250, and participation in the state’s Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) program. SRECs are a market based program where homeowners are paid for the carbon-savings of their system (in addition to their actual kWh savings by offsetting grid electricity). Utilities in Massachusetts are required to purchase a minimum amount of solar power as part of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the SREC program allows individual homeowners to sell their solar credits to utilities.

When all added up, the combination of strong incentives and excellent pricing on equipment means that homeowners like the Buttaros can realize as little as a 5 year ‘simple’ return on investment for their solar array.

To Lease or Not To Lease

The availability of strong incentives for solar has caused lenders to catch the solar bug as well. By purchasing the equipment and then leasing it to homeowners for no money down, solar lease companies can benefit from all the state and federal solar incentives while also charging the homeowner for the power produced by the solar panels. For homeowners that want solar and do not have the upfront capital, this may be a fine arrangement, but when you look at the numbers critically it is a far better financial deal long-term to own your equipment. Solar PV arrays are long-lived systems that will have positive financial effects for 40-50 years, paying for themselves many times over in their useful life. When a homeowner leases a solar array, they receive none of these benefits.

The Buttaros realized this financial paradox quickly when they started looking into solar again. “We contacted many solar energy installers looking for a system that would be right for us. It wasn’t until we met [ReVision’s NH Sales Manager] Steve Condon that we were sure we would get what we were looking for. As we proceeded with the process, Heather Fournier became the ‘go to girl’ helping us with all the necessary paper work. When installation day came, we got quite a show! The guys were great.”

Salisbury, Massachusetts - Solar Electric

To date, the Buttaro’s system has generated nearly 100% of the electric needs for their home. But solar power is more than just energy savings, according to Joe. “The solar installation does everything it was supposed to do and even makes our home look better. I wish we could’ve done this 30 years ago.”

Join the Buttaros and ReVision Energy on June 1st for a solar open house at their home, 8 Souther Lane, Salisbury, Massachusetts from 10am to 12pm.

ReVision Staffers Walk the Walk

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Durham NH Solar Power

When Kimry Corrette invited ReVision Energy to her home for a site evaluation in August of 2012, she hardly thought it would lead to not just a solar energy installation in her home, but a new career in the solar industry.

Kimry and her husband, Corey, have lived in their passive solar house on the outskirts of Durham for six years. Over that time, they worked on reducing their home’s energy use to the lowest reasonable level, while building an expanding menagerie along the way (3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 goats, and a motley bunch of chickens). However, the time had come to push their home to the next level. An article of Mother Earth News informed them that solar had become a lot more affordable, and so the young couple looked into what solar energy could do for their New England home.

“When [Exeter branch manager] Dan Clapp came to my house, I was moved by how far the solar industry has come and I wanted to be part of it,” Kimry says, “Sometime after our visit, Corey was looking at ReVision’s website and noticed they were hiring – it just seemed like a perfect fit.”

Kimry joined us as an office assistant to help manage the vast amount of paperwork needed to keep jobs moving efficiently in New Hampshire and Massachusett’s regulatory environment. Meanwhile, ReVision Energy got to work planning the installation on Kimry’s home.

Solar in the Snow

“We were swamped with a huge snow storm right before the installation,” Kimry says, “The day after, the crew was out there, shoveling a trench to where they needed to install the wire and cleaning snow off the roof. Once they got the snow out of the way, I was amazed at how efficiently the crew got to work.”

Coming from previous employment for a more conventional contractor, Kimry was impressed at our crew’s professionalism and team spirit. “I had heard all sorts of great things about our crew from customers I talked to, but seeing it is another thing entirely. I came from a world where the installers were a bit rough around the edges, and ReVision’s crew was a stark contrast. The guys always had a smile on their face, were extra courteous when working in our home, and were very articulate when I asked them all sorts of questions about the particulars of the system installation.”

Kimry Corrette - ReVision Energy team

The Joy of Solar

The Correttes had us install 16 American-made all black Suniva solar modules with Enphase inverters, for a production capacity of 4.2kw, plenty enough to provide for their home’s electricity needs.

Now that it’s installed, Kimry finds all sorts of intangible benefits besides a negated electric bill. “It’s just great to look out and see the sun shine and be happy about it,” Kimry says. “I find myself looking at the production each day, eager to see how one day compares to the next, and getting excited as the days get longer. It’s surprising how much sunshine there is, even in February!”

Of course, living with solar is also the best way to understand the systems, and Kimry’s been able to apply her own experience as she helps out customers. “While there’s a lot to learn at first, when you get down to it, it’s a simple system. When the sun is out, our home is making power, we’re saving fossil fuel and saving money. I love what it does!”

Kimry is not alone among ReVision Energy staffers – in fact, just about every ReVision Energy employee who owns their home has a renewable energy system installed on top. Get some ideas on how to make your home more sustainable by reading through our employee bios.