Sunergy Systems Featured Projects
Patti Kashiwa is a local resident to Northwest Seattle. The idea of solar was in the future. The Kashiwa residence joined 52 families who went solar as a part of the Go Solar Seattle Northwest program. “I had been thinking about putting solar panels up for some time but I was not sure how to make the installation. When I received a flyer from Go Solar Northwest I thought that this was my opportunity. The community seminars were great, they sharpened my interest and provided a lot of information.”
At her residence in Seattle, Sunergy Systems installed a 9.2kW SunPower System. With the SunPower 327W module they will be able to generate 1/3 more power than with any other system between her house and detached garage, allowing them to power their electric car in the near future.
“The effect of the solar system has been great. Our electricity bill was cut by more than half and that was in March. I can't wait to see what happens this summer. It is impressive to see the system producing power even on a relatively cloudy day. I have started to think about the next phase of Going Solar and I am looking in to using the solar panels to charge an electric car. And thanks to Sunergy and a little planning, our system is big enough to meet the needs of the household and power an electric vehicle. I am also considering installing solar water heating and I look forward to working with Sunergy on that project.”
The Kashiwa household is now ready for their first solar production-harvesting season! This is a feel good investment they will never forget.
A local family chooses to go solar for three households. Judy Willingham recognizes the importance of reducing her carbon footprint by going solar and she has passed that idea on to her son Dodd. Dodd and his wife Joana also had solar installed at their own home and at their rental property too.
“We are going to be moving backward in comfort rather than forward in comfort if we don’t make some serious changes.” Judy truly believes that we need to make changes to reduce our footprint, she may just be “a drop in the bucket” but she is inspiring those around her in her family, her community and her church.
Judy Willingham is a retired Pharmacist settled in Redmond, Washington, and is a true pioneer woman. She has always pushed the limits and roles that society has placed on women; she received her college degree in pharmacy and launched her career in the early 60’s during an era of gender barrier for her profession. Judy’s scientific learning resulted in solar energy; captivating her attention as she began following it in the late 60’s while living in Southern California, where there is sunshine for solar year round. Judy has followed the advancements of solar since then, which she assumed would be a cloudy idea when she moved to the rain forest of Puget Sound from sunny central WA. It wasn’t until she met Howard Lamb, the founder of Sunergy Systems, a local employee-owned solar installation company, that the idea of solar in the Northwest was reborn again.
To Judy going solar is something “We have to do.” In December of 2012, Judy went solar! Sunergy Systems installed a 3.1kW Silicon Energy system on her south facing roof in Redmond Washington. Being part of a Homeowner’s Association, her install did not go without getting approval. Two neighbors signed off on the solar install, both of which were excited to be a part of Judy’s process. They were a bit disappointed when the install was complete that they were unable to see it from the street, as the system is on the back south-facing roof. Through her install, Judy has inspired solar in her community!
From the community to her church, Unity of Bellevue, Judy is seen as a leader with a “Pioneer Spirit”, as Reverend Nancy puts it. Judy is a licensed Unity teacher and Prayer Chaplain Coordinator at Unity of Bellevue, where she has also served as a significant leader in their Going Green Team. The Church just received an award for “Most Improved” in the Eastside Green Business Challenge. “The importance of being green is part of who they are at Unity of Bellevue!” says Reverend Nancy.
Reverend Nancy looks forward to the day that they will be able to do solar on the church, but she notes that the congregation looks to role models such as Judy. “The idea of solar can be overwhelming, if Judy who is retired can do it, then I can too!”
It was on Unity of Bellevue’s Going Green Team when Judy met Howard of Sunergy Systems. She didn’t know that the idea of solar would become her reality so quickly. There was a great confidence in going with Sunergy Systems, to do the project she has been waiting years for. A 3.1kilowatt Silicon Energy system is what Judy decided on because it made dollars and sense.
Judy selected Silicon Energy for two main reasons. The first reason was the paypack, with the current State’s incentive program Judy’s system will pay for itself in her lifetime. Silicon Energy, being an in State manufacturer, receives $0.54 per kilowatt-hour it produces through the State’s production incentive until 2020. The production incentive was established to create local green jobs in our State, which is exactly what it has done and supporting local jobs was Judy’s second reason to go with Silicon Energy.
Judy wasn’t the only one in her family who went solar with Silicon Energy in December 2012. Her son Dodd and wife Joanna Willingham went solar on not one, but two of their properties! Dodd has been exposed to the idea of solar and renewable energy for many years, with his father working for NASA and Judy a Pharmacist; science was the topic of conversation at the dinner table.
Dodd’s interest in solar took off shortly after high school, but living in Seattle around all the beautiful trees, he thought maybe it was wind instead of solar he should look into because of shading. He thought about buying land in Ellensburg for wind power and invested in the stock market for solar, although he lost money in the stock market, the idea of solar wasn’t gone. It was always an option for Dodd, as long as he could minimize his global footprint and that it was economically viable as well.
With the values gained from his mother Judy of thinking globally and acting locally, along with the values of his wife Joana of acting sustainably, going solar for Dodd was a sound investment. So sound, that they went solar at both their home and rental property. Joana says, “It makes good business sense too. Our tenants are able to participate in Green Renewable Energy and through Net Metering it is sustainable for us, a win/win for both side.”
Sunergy Systems installed a 5.6kW SolarWorld system at their home in Bothell. The SolarWorld modules paired with the EnPhase mirco inverter allows them to keep their trees in the back yard without worrying about shading and losing efficiency of their panels. Another reason Dodd and Joana choose SolarWorld was the fact that SolarWorld has been in business for over 30 years. Knowing that their system is a legacy they will pass on to their twins, a reputable solar module manufacturer was important. Their twins will grow up with solar as the norm, understanding the underlying principles. They even got a Solar Powered Logo car for Christmas too.
The made-in-Washington 3.1kW Silicon Energy system that Sunergy Systems installed on Dodd and Joana’s rental house will be paid off in 7-8 years with the State’s production incentive. “7-8 year payback, can’t beat that by any other investment!” stated Dodd ecstatically.
The State’s incentive programs and the “family discount” from Sunergy Systems made solar a very appealing investment to all of the Willingham’s. Dodd actually had bids from two other solar installers, but choose Sunergy Systems based off reviews with the BBB, along with the product selection and durability.
The Willingham family is excited for the day that solar on a roof is the norm and seenas attractive. Three more homes now have solar on them and as Judy would say, “That is more drops in the bucket!”
"Coal Sucks, and Oil Burns. No sense waiting for Kyoto and Copenhagen, we’ve got to do this ourselves. Thanks to the Go Solar Seattle NW Campaign for doing the leg-work and research to make ‘going solar’ easy!" Dwight Beckmeyer.Dwight Beckmeyer is not just sitting back watching the effects of climate change, he is stepping up to take action!
His 5.2 KW DC SunPower system consisting of sixteen SP 327 Watt, 20% efficient modules, will produce 5,878 KWh’s AC annually due to the exceptionally great South facing roof with 99% Annual Solar Access. This system should offset over 100% of his current annual KWh consumption of electricity.The Beckmeyer’s decided to oversize their system installation to be ready for the addition of an Electric Vehicle a few years ahead and take full advantage of the sizeable system discount from the Go Solar Seattle Northwest program.
Our project of the month is the first family to go solar as part of the Go Solar Seattle Northwest program.
The Kahles decided to go with a 5.5kW Silicon Energy System. They’ve have been following the solar market for several yearsand recently bought an electric vehicle. For Paul and Vanessa, the timing just seemed perfect to go solar now. As Paul proudly says, “I’m putting as many watts on my roof as it will hold. It’s green, it’s cool and the price is right”. They couldn’t be happier with their decision to Go Solar.
The Kalhe's 5.5kW Silicon Energy System will offset 69% of their power usage and will produce 164,605kWh over the next 30 years; which offsets 334 barrels of oil needed for the average American home to generate the same amount of electricity over the same amount of time!
A truly cooperative enterprise between Sustainable Edmonds, City of Edmonds, Tangerine Power, Sunergy Systems. The co-op model was chosen for this community solar project to benefit people whose roofs face the wrong way, live in the forest, or apartments, condos, don’t have the money for an entire system, or simply don’t want solar on their home.
The 90 members bought SunSlices in increments of $1,000 each and will receive about $100 back each year over the 8 year contract. Plus surplus, by whatever the members decide to do with the system at the end of contract with the City of Edmonds. And with the co-op structure, it is 1 member, 1 vote. Our original 34 members built a 4.2 kW Silicon Energy system in the summer of 2011. With 56 new members, and existing members buying more Slices, we raised enough to build an additional 18.9 kW in late summer 2012.
The Edmonds City Council was concerned about us penetrating the flat roofs and the Historic Preservation Commission was looking at the impact on a registered historic building, during the planning stage 3 years ago. We chose Silicon Energy, partly because of their ability to hold up to the harsh marine climate that the panels are exposed to on the roof of the Frances Anderson Community Center, with salt air & exposure C wind classification. The Cooper B-Line Arista racks needed no anchoring, with proper ballasting, according to the engineers (mfr. & City). The Silicon Energy panels, though barely visible from the street, are a beautiful addition to the flat gray roof. And boy, do they have a nice view!
The 18.9 kW Phase 2 system consists of Silicon Energy (L) and Itek (R) solar modules. The racks are from Sunmodo, in Vancouver, WA. The extra layer of roofing under the ballasted racks is the kind of conscientious installation that got Sunergy Systems the encore job of installing Phase 2. The City of Edmonds, as a US DOE Sunshot partner, is working to streamline the permitting process for solar installations and they exempted the costs of the panels and inverters before determining valuation for permit fee calculation. This saved the Co-op thousands. The City is buying all the power from both systems at a 40% discount, as well as getting a yearly roof lease fee. The Co-op maintains insurance on the system and the building.
This project represents 90 people who put their money where their values are. The cooperative efforts of a multitude of kindred souls made this (as far as we know) the first truly community owned solar cooperative project in America.
Our project of the month comes from Seattle, Wa; a 6.4kW SolarWorld system. Mark Dexter of Seattle couldn't be happier about the production of his new SolarWorld system as it is producing more than half of his home's energy consumption.
In August 2012 the City of Bainbridge Island will shine as the 71.28 kW Community Solar Project on the City Hall roof goes live. The idea of Community Solar was first germinated at City Hall during a community gathering there in 2005. It took several years and the tenacious leadership of Senator Phil Rockefeller in Olympia to turn it from good idea, to Washington State law. Following the unanimous approval from the Bainbridge Island City Council, the City selected Community Energy Solutions (CES) to make the Bainbridge City Hall Community Solar Project a reality.
Community Solar is an emerging field, based on the simple proposition that more people will go solar provided that it is easy, affordable, and free of site barriers. Ron and Ann Morford, one of the Project’s participants said:"We decided to invest in the Bainbridge City Hall Community Solar Project after finding out we could not put solar cells on our home due to excessive shading from tall trees. This project was a great way for us to make an investment in sustainable energy, partner with others from our community, provide much needed savings for our local government, and get a future return on our investment. What a win-win-win-win project! We need to do more of this."
It is also important to recognize the positive impacts Community Solar brings to the local economy and the greater environment. As another project participant, Kathleen O'Brien, put it:"My husband, John Cunningham, and I invested in the Bainbridge Island City Hall Community Solar Project primarily because it combines an opportunity to support our community using a sustainable technology and an innovative local investment model. We need more and more examples of this kind of leadership and thinking in our region. It's just plain smart."
In all, twenty-five Islanders actively participated in the Project. Sunergy Systems was the selected solar contractor for design and installation. They were also the chosen contractor for Go Solar Bainbridge, a recent CES-led community-based campaign that more than doubled the amount of installed solar capacity on the Island.
All two hundred ninety seven panels and thirty inverters are from the Bellingham manufacturer Itek Energy, becoming their largest single project. The Bainbridge City Hall Community Solar Project is truly community-base; created and financed locally while benefiting the local economy and global environment. Not only will the system provide the City of Bainbridge Island with clean energy for many years to come, it will showcase for other communities what can be accomplished in this economy.
Components: 297 Itek Energy IT240 (240W) photovoltaic modules and 30 Exceltech XLGT inverters
This project was featured in Home Power Magazine. Read full article here
North Pacific Mini Storage of Bainbridge Island goes solar with a 9.6kW Itek Energy system. The owner of North Pacific Mini Storage is ecstatic about the new addition to his business and can't wait to see what the summer will produce.
Owner Jim Llewellyn decided to go solar to take advantage of our state's incentive program, "I chose to go solar because of the state and federal incentives which were so clearly explained by Sunergy's Greg Williams. The incentives made being green a "no-brainer" and with the great folks at Umpqua Bank the financing proved to be an added bonus by reducing my previous rate from 6.5% to 3.95%. The installation looks good and will more than pay for itself by 2020 and I'll enjoy the "free" power for many, many years after that. Sunergy Systems was great to work with and I only wish that I could repeat the program three more times for the other three meters on the property."
With Washington State's production incentive, North Pacific Mini Storage's 9.6kW Itek Energy system will be getting paid $0.54 per kilowatt-hour produced until July 2020, because both the inverter and the solar module are manufactured in Washington State.
Now that we have installed North Pacific Mini Storage's system, he is telling his friends! "I love telling my friends about my positive experience becoming part of the solar program. I tell them, we all have heard the adage which admonishes, "If it sounds to good to be true it probably is" but this opportunity was one of the rare instances where something this beneficial is true. All the people I have dealt with at Sunergy Systems from the office staff to the electricians, and of course my solar design consultant, Greg Williams, have been great to work with. The the extent that opportunities have arisen I've recommended Sunergy Systems to anyone interested in this perpetual power."
With Mt. Rainier to the south and the entrance to the new 21 Acres Center for Local Food and Sustainable Living to the north, one cannot help but be awed by the roof-to-roof coverage of the 25.6kW solar energy system! 21 Acres is a non-profit organization committed to supporting sustainable, local food systems through its school, commercial kitchen and farm market with an eye on changing the conventional food system landscape.The innovative facility is designed to LEED standards targeting a platinum rating. The design incorporates numerous energy and water conservation features to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and our natural environment.From the facility’s initial conceptualization over six years ago, the incorporation of renewable energy was never a question for 21 Acres, but rather, how large would the array need to be to offset 10% of their consumption. The initial design included both photovoltaic and solar hot water. After assessing the needs of the facility it was determined that the water usage was small, not justifiable for a solar hot water system. Instead, more PV panels were added to reach their production goal. To meet this goal, 21 Acres partnered with Sunergy Systems back in 2007 for the system design and all the way through the building’s completion last fall. The 25.6kW solar electric system consists of 140 Day4 Energy 48MC photovoltaic modules and 4 SMA Inverters. The system incorporates sophisticated monitoring and reporting of real time data. Through funding received from a PSE Renewable Energy Education grant, students from Cascadia Community College used this data to create a digital display of both solar electricity generation and building power consumption (see live real time data). These monitoring devices make the system a great educational tool for interpreting how environmental conditions affect the system’s efficiency and performance. Day4 Energy is headquartered and manufactured just across the border in Burnaby Canada and presented a good match for 21 Acres’ goals of:
- Regional solar manufacturer and sustainability
- Showcase the latest cutting edge photovoltaic technology with Day4’s patented Electrode cells
- Refined aesthetics with Day4’s uniform appearance
- Best real world performance compared to traditional specification ratings, and
Highest quality product available for reliable performance with minimal lifespan degradation.
The Day4 Electrode is the heart of the MC48 solar module, which incorporates a fundamentally new method of contacting to and interconnecting photovoltaic cells for a more homogeneous and efficient collection of electrical power within a module. This is done by replacing the traditional tab and stringing process, resulting in no solder stress along with 20-times more contact points. This, combined with their advanced encapsulation system and an additional moisture barrier protection, make for one of the most durable solar modules available.One of the great byproducts of the Electrode technology is its refined appearance that matches 21 Acres goals of clean energyand the aesthetic appearance of their surroundings. Not only is 21 Acres’ solar energy system consistent with their mission for a sustainable future, it is projected to offset 16% of their consumption in the first year of operation. Partnering with an experienced solar contractor has been very beneficial for 21 Acres, as evidenced by a system that exceeds expectation. The decision to partner with Sunergy Systems was made, according to Gretchen Garth, 21 Acres Board President, because of the company’s “ . . . solid reputation and when we began to look for a conscientious partner, Sunergy Systems was and continues to be a knowledgeable, enthusiastic and committed company that could service our capacity needs.” For more information about the 21 Acres, their innovative facility, and school offerings visit their website at www.21acres.org.
Al & Meg from Mercer Island placed one of the first orders for a Nissan LEAF. Wanting to make sure the all-electric vehicle was powered by truly greenenergy, they went solar at the same time. Their 16 ITEK 240 module (3.8kW) system is to produce over 3500kWhs its first year and over 100,000 over its 30-year or more life-span. Their LEAF averages around 3.6 miles per kilowatt hour. That's over 12,000 miles per year powered from the modules on their roof!
They'll also save the state of Washington the need to waste over 9000 gallons of water per year. An NREL study of water use for electricity production shows Washington loses 2.7 gallons per kWh from evaporation at hydro power reservoirs and thermal power plants.
The Lippert's system is a great example of clean electricity use and production; a model for world energy that has finally come of age.