Solar Family in Midcoast Maine Uses Technology for Cleaner Future, More Comfortable Today
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On your way to Friendship, Maine, along a quiet stretch of country road that follows the meandering Medomak River, sit a pair of houses, one old, one new; it’s there you’ll find Wendy Ford, one of midcoast Maine’s brightest solar stars.
When Wendy and her late husband Tom moved to their 1830s farmhouse in Waldoboro 18 years ago, science and technology had long been part of their lives. Both long-time teachers in Franconia, NH and then Gould Academy in Bethel, ME, Tom especially held a strong interest in technology, manufacturing and passive solar design.
“Tom always looked for alternatives,” says Wendy. “Back in the day, batteries were the only way to go with solar, and that was unattractive.” Soon after moving to Waldoboro, Tom and Wendy built a barn on their property, turned toward the sun at a near-perfect southern orientation.
In 2007, Wendy’s daughter Amy built her home right next door with efficiency and comfort in mind. Amy worked with ReVision to install a high-efficiency propane boiler and a 40 tube solar hot water system which produces almost all of her domestic hot water needs.
Wendy had her first solar site evaluation in 2011. “I think I must have had four visits before I decided what to do,” she said. She had long known her solar advisor, Hans Albee, who she met in 1998 when he worked as a deckhand aboard Angelique, a windjammer out of Camden. “Hans represented the best of ReVision: honesty, caring, value, no pressure – his concern was, solar has to fit your life and your needs.”
Though Wendy’s first interest was in solar hot water, after learning about grid-tied solar electric systems she saw a better solution. “There was a crystal moment where solar became accessible, something I could do; I could see that there was a better, more responsible way.”
Even after pairing a 4.68 kilowatt solar array with a 15,000 BTU heat pump, Wendy is still banking kilowatt hours with the utility. In the two years since her array was installed, Wendy’s solar has produced more than 13,400 kilowatt hours of electricity. “The only downside is that I can’t see the solar panels from my house!” says Wendy. “But anyone driving by can – many folks have stopped in and talked with me about solar. When asked about payback, I tell people, each day I turn on the lights and don’t worry. I’ve loved every solar minute.”
Thank you, Wendy and Amy, for being part of Maine’s solar future!
Solar at Copper Cannon Camp
Read about Copper Cannon Camp, founded by Wendy’s father-in-law, Hamilton Ford, located in Bethlehem, NH. Founded in 1963, the mission of Copper Cannon Camp is to enrich the lives of under-served youth of New Hampshire by providing a quality, tuition-free camp experience.