Thursday, 2 June 2016

The Thompson’s Solar Story

Kathy and Greg Thompson stand proudly in front of the ground mounted PV Array, one of the 23 installations completed as a part of Solarize North Fork Valley in the Spring and Summer of 2015. The Thompsons were like many others curious of solar and how it might benefit them. They’ve been interested in photovoltaic (PV) technology since the 70s, first seeing it in homes since solar’s earliest iterations and then becoming increasingly common in recent years. Speaking of why they finally chose to install a solar array on their property, Greg said “the program last year drove us to finally pull the plug and go solar. We needed a kick in the pants and Solarize did it.”

The first round, Solarize North Fork Valley (Solarize Delta County in 2016), made the process of “going solar” more accessible and more affordable. Greg and Kathy heard about the program through coverage on KVNF, the community-owned radio station, and knew it was the time. They already knew they were good candidates for solar but the free Remote Site Assessment (upon program registration) and conversations with the Installer, Empowered Energy Systems, confirmed it.

The house is all electric and utilizes geothermal technology for temperature modulation. As the home was being constructed, the home’s builder even recommended considering solar. After their install was completed in 2015, their property is now a renewable energy power plant consisting of a 6.4 kW system comprised of a 24 panel array. According to Greg, sunny days have never felt better.

“Our electric bills are all but gone. It feels good. On a sunny day, you know you’re making power for you and your neighbors.” For Greg and Kathy, it was never a question of IF to go solar, but WHEN. Greg had watched the price of panels drop for years. “I felt in the little bit I knew regarding PV manufacturing, it seemed that the price [of panels] had hit a plateau” says Greg. “We captured the majority of the decrease in price and now we’re capturing the savings.”

Greg and Kathy are more than satisfied with the system and its performance.  The ground mounted system has added maintenance benefit of being easier to care for in the case of heavy winter snowfall. In most instances though for roof-mounted systems, a Spring rain is more than enough to clean off dirt and pollen. The system comes with a long handled scraper so in the winter Greg can squeegee them.

All in all, we have another Solarize success story. The Thompsons now join the over 320 DMEA net-metered customers and 10 City of Delta Utility customers producing their own energy with the local resource of Western Colorado sunshine.

Go Solar. Simply. Together. Solarize Delta County!

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