DDP Goes Green with Solar Power
Perhaps you have noticed the solar panels on our roof? The solar panels will be used to generate electricity and decrease the environmental impact of our practice.
There are 216 panels – which will generate on average about 52 kilowatt hrs per year of total electric power. This represents about 1/3 of our usage.
The solar system will be connected directly to our electric service; there are no batteries. If the solar were to generate more electric than we actually use at any given moment (perhaps a sunny Sunday when the office is closed) our electric meter will run backwards. The expectation is simply that our meter will run slower during the day.
Our greatest energy savings is related to the way commercial electric usage is billed. Electric rates vary based upon the hours of use and the peak energy demand levels during those hours. Our hours of peak demand are during the highest priced mid-day hours. By adding solar generation, during the daylight business hours, we are able to reduce our demand during peak hours, thereby moving to a lower pricing tier.
Financially, this system is made feasible through the use of NYSERTA grants, and federal tax credits. These assistance programs will cover nearly 1/2 of the total cost of the system. The system is calculated to pay for itself through energy savings in approximately 5 to 6 years, depending upon the cost of electricity going forward. If one includes depreciation, the system will pay for itself in approximately 2 years, making it a sound financial and environmental investment.
We wonder if solar might not be a viable option for community owned properties with large roof spaces such as the schools or hospital?
Our system is built by SunPower (www.SunPower.com) and is being installed by Rochester Solar Technologies.
We have been very pleased with Rochester Solar Technologies. Yes, they also offer residential installations and have done several residential installations in Rochester and the Southern Tier. Visit their web site at SolarRochester.com for more information. If you should happen to decide to purchase a system from Rochester Solar Technologies, please tell them we sent you, as they offer a referral rebate.
Solar Power is a safe, clean, efficient and environmentally friendly way of generating electricity, and its available now. A recent article in National Geographic Magazine on the subject stated that using existing technology, a 100 square mile installation of solar panels in the southwestern United States would generate enough electricity to power the entire country. Why are we still burning fossil fuels to generate electricity?