Companies Go Solar

See that big bright thing in the sky?  It’s the sun and it can provide free, clean energy even on days when you can’t see it because of clouds. Solar panels are slowly becoming more affordable and in some states they have tax credit that makes them nearly free.  Recently, I stopped by Timby’s Dipstrip to learn all about their solar panels sitting on their roof in Portland, Oregon.  Tim Wallace and his wife Debra own a paint stripping company that restores old wood doors, windows and other antiques to they’re original wood finish.  Most people wouldn’t think a paint stripping company would be green but, besides the solar panels, Timby’s Dipstrip works hard to use low odor paint strippers and filters out all chemicals above and beyond what is required by law. Their solar panels can produce 5.9 kilowatt of energy.  Which is more than enough to run three heated tanks for removing old paint and all his other electrical needs.

The cost to install the system was nearly free after the $11,OOO Federal Tax credit, the $19,5OO Oregon State Tax Credit and Energy Trust of Oregon gave $7,500 cash back.  These tax credits and rebates are dollar for dollar making the out of pocket expense less then a $1,OOO.  On a bright sunny day the solar panels can produce almost 6,OOO kilowatt of power.  The energy is then stored for cloudier days when the system doesn’t produce as much.  But, even in Oregon, with our fair share of clouds and rain these solar panels are producing electricity. Currently there are over 700 homes and businesses in the Portland area with solar panels.  Hopefully with improvement in technology and cost, more companies will begin to see the benifits of clean, natural and abundant solar energy.  I will explore residential solar in an upcoming story.

Timby's Dipstrip Photo by Sean Gettings

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