Solar Energy in the Midwest

Posts tagged ‘clean energy’

101+ Ways to Save Energy in Your Home

Once there was a homeowner by the name of Jim. Jim worked hard for his paycheck, but had enough to cover the monthly expenses and have some left over to enjoy. Jim liked to take his wife Kris out to dinner and then to the latest movie. They traveled up north during the summer for a vacation and every other year they also took a trip to the sunny south during the cold winter to see Mickey Mouse and his crew. Jim was also able to put some dollars aside for retirement and the kid’s education. Each month the utility bills would come and they like most other bills seemed to be growing faster than Jim’s paycheck. Jim gathered the family together and said, “We need to find a way to reduce our monthly bills or we will need to eliminate college saving or retirement saving or our leisure activities such as dining out, movies and vacations.” Jim’s family did not want to lose any of those hard-earned choices. Jim and his family began shopping with coupons to save money. They drove the car less and replaced the gas guzzler with a car that got much better gas mileage. But they were frustrated on additional ways to save on their monthly bills. They began to look at the utility bills and decided it was time to attack the amount of energy and water they were using. But where do they look for a collection of energy-saving tips that an average family in Michigan can use? Where do they find a list they can review and determine what fits their lifestyle? Well they found the answer when they downloaded the MES 101+ Ways to Save Energy and it was FREE! Now they are reviewing the list and implementing many of those ideas and seeing the energy usage and the monthly utility bills going down. You too can find unique and helpful ways to save on your utilities each month. Just download our FREE e-book with 101+ ideas you can put into effect now to save. Many won’t cost you a dime to put into practice!

If you have questions, call us today!

It’s a good time of year to have our trained experienced air conditioning Technicians solve your cooling problems whether you live in Ann Arbor, in Canton, Novi, Northville, or Plymouth.

Contact us at www.mes1.com or call us @ (734) 453-6746

Solar in Michigan – Does it work?

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The most common phrase we hear on a daily basis is that solar is not a practical application in a wintery grey state. We disagree and so do thousands right here in SE Michigan.

We don’t get a lot of sunlight compared to other states here in Michigan but we get enough to cover all our needs, how much more do we need? In truth panels operate more efficiently in cool states than in hot states.

Some readers may immediately dismiss our perspective because we are a solar company and we survive by installing solar. Sounds simple but installing solar since 1985 has not been a walk in the park. We live and breathe solar not only because we believe in it but because we know it works. Decades of positive feedback and referrals from happy homeowners using clean, renewable solar energy is a positive place to be and we want to provide this opportunity to anyone who is interested in taking control of their energy generation.

Our first adapters were Michigan Engineers. They crunched the numbers (over and over in every possible scenario), put their money into solar and are happy with their return. All the non-Engineer homeowners have had the same experience.

In the last three years we have installed over 80 solar electric systems and collectively we have generated over 900 MWh of electricity. This is the equivalent of:

  • Planting 16,282 tree seedlings
  • Powering over 4 football stadiums for 1 year
  • Reducing 635 metric tons of CO2e from our atmosphere
  • The emissions from 71,188 gallons of gasoline
  • The emissions from 132 cars for a year

Many of these homeowners do not pay a monthly electric utility bill and some actually get a check back from the utility company at the end of the year. No one is unhappy with their system; in fact some are removing all gas appliances, installing geothermal and plugging new EV cars into their homes.

Imagine, these results have occurred in only in the last three years. If you could measure how many BTU’s we have generated with all our solar thermal systems; water heating, space heating and pool heating systems over the decades these numbers would be amazing.

It is only recently that we have been able to monitor and record all of our products true generation and most of them even have a mobile app to monitor remotely. Numbers like this are great because they provide measured metrics that can be compared to other fuel sources providing solid data that the skeptics have a much harder time arguing against.

Solar electric generation can now be monitored across the state, the country and the world demonstrating how solar functions in every climate in real time. Inverters that convert the DC electricity to AC, so it can be grid tied and provide a home with useable power, now send out wireless reporting of generation in real time from the home location to the manufacturers monitoring website.

Panel efficiencies are always improving as well as the wattage per panel. A 250W @18% efficiency panel of 2008 is now 335W @22% efficiency. Mind you, these are top of the line efficiency panels. There are still plenty of 14% and 15% efficient panels around, budget dictates the homeowners’ choices, but now there is choice. Some panel companies are aiming for 50% efficiency but we are not there yet.

With always rising utility bills, Michigan’s growing dependence on imported coal costing billions, asthma and other preventable illnesses, clean energy will become an application more and more will choose. It works in Michigan. How much was your electric bill five years ago? What do you think it will be in another five?

You don’t have to listen to us. Watch customers talk about their system on YouTube, unscripted and unrehearsed. Solar homeowners love talking about their systems, we like hearing it. My favorite are retire homeowners in Washington, MI and Livonia, MI. We recorded these for the National Solar Tour two years ago. The National Solar Tour is the first Saturday of October every year. 

The next time someone tells you solar does not work in Michigan, first ask them if they have a system… I’m betting NOT, and then ask them if they know someone who has one… ditto… and ask them where they got their information. I’m sure they have not crunched the numbers or talked to people using it daily. Most data the skeptics quote was from the 1970’s, which was accurate back then for PV (not solar thermal), but things have changed over almost four decades.

Even if our state does not adopt a higher renewable energy portfolio I am confident that there are enough people out there using solar today who talk and share their experiences, their utility bills and their mobile app details with their neighbors, friends and family, that solar will continue to grow right here in Michigan, because it does work. We don’t get much sun but we get enough.

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Carbon Emmisions avoided by our solar PV installations.

Carbon Emmisions avoided by our solar PV installations.

The emissions data here is from the EPA eGrid site that reflects true carbon waste for our particular coal burning grid.

Solar Seminar & Open House

 
Earth Day Seminars and solar building tour 2013Earth Day Warm-Up Saturday April 13, 2013
Seminar 
 
Attend our Solar Energy Investment Seminar at the Summit on the Park, 46000 Summit Pkwy Canton, MI 48188

Free! 10am -12noon Registration required Call: (734) 453-6746 to book a seat.  Map

Learn how solar can be the best investment you will make.
Solar works in Michigan and is a practical application for you and your family.

After the seminar join us for a tour of our solar powered building.
See, feel and touch solar in action!

Tour
Our solar powered building.
Doors open 11am – 2pm
Free, Open to all
Ask questions

On the Tour

  • 5.1 kW grid tied solar electric (PV) system
  • 2 styles of solar space heating
  • Solar hot water
  • Solatubes with new designer lenses
  • Solar attic fan
  • New this year! An Indoor Battery back-up generator. Never go down with the grid again – works anywhere there is a plug. Add solar power to it and qualify for 30% Federal Tax Credit on the solar system.
  • Watch videos of local solar homeowners share their experience of living with solar. Some of these will be on the tour. Find out how many are getting negative utility bills and actually receiving checks from the utility companies.
  • Bring your utility bills and see how solar works for you.
  • 563 MWh of electricity generated by our installations since Jan 2010. That’s enough to power the Michigan Stadium for 2.5 years.
 

Sign up today and reserve your seat. (734) 453-6746

 

Green Growth Still Setting the Pace | Renewable Energy World Magazine Article

Green Growth Still Setting the Pace | Renewable Energy World Magazine Article.

By Janet L. Sawin, Contributor
October 18, 2012

REN21’s Renewables Global Status Report — an overview of renewable energy market, industry, investment and policy developments worldwide, relying on an international network of more than 400 contributors — reveals that the sector continued to expand across all its various segments.

Renewable sources supplied an estimated 16.7 percent of global final energy consumption in 2010. Of this total, modern renewable energy (as opposed to traditional biomass) accounted for an estimated 8.2 percent, a share that has increased in recent years, while the share from traditional biomass has declined slightly to an estimated 8.5 percent. During 2011, modern renewables continued to grow strongly in all end-use sectors.

In the power sector, renewables accounted for almost half of the estimated 208 GW of electric capacity added globally during 2011. Wind and solar photovoltaics (PV) accounted for almost 40 percent and 30 percent of new renewable capacity respectively, followed by hydropower (nearly 25 percent). By end 2011, total renewable power capacity worldwide exceeded 1360 GW, up 8 percent over 2010; renewables comprised more than 25 percent of total global power-generating capacity (estimated at 5360 GW in 2011) and supplied an estimated 20.3 per cent of global electricity. Non-hydropower renewables exceeded 390 GW, a 24 percent capacity increase over 2010. For full article

Michigan Breweries Going Solar « CBS Detroit

Michigan Breweries Going Solar « CBS Detroit.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

mattroushReporting Matt Roush

YPSILANTI — Barley, hops and yeast are powered by the sun.

Increasingly, so are the breweries that turn those ingredients into beer.

Southeast Michigan brewery owners Matt and Rene Greff are breaking new ground for Michigan breweries as solar installations at their two breweries come on line this summer.

Arbor Brewing Co. became Michigan’s first solar brewery when it flipped the switch on a new system comprised of a 2.4-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array, 300 solar thermal collector tubes and a high-efficiency tankless water heater system to supplement the heat from the collector tubes when necessary.

These big ticket investments were combined with smaller improvements like switching to CFL and LED lighting and installing low-flow sprayers and occupancy sensors.

The project grew out of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority’s Energy Conservation Grant Program, which provided free energy audits and 50 percent project rebates up to $20,000 to downtown businesses that implemented audit recommendations to become more energy efficient.

ABC owner Matt Greff worked with Ann Arbor DDA Energy Programs Director David Konkle as well as a consulting team from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment, led by Jarett Diamond.

Together they were able to identify a number of financial resources and incentives to help offset the installation cost of the system including the $20,000 grant from the DDA, a $10,000 interest-free loan from the city, a 30 percent tax credit from the federal government, and various incentives from DTE Energy.

The couple’s Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti is also nearing completion on its own $250,000 Green Brewery Project which includes solar-thermal, photovoltaic, and geo-thermal technologies along with other improvements like new windows and awnings and energy-efficient chiller equipment.

Why We Pay Double for Solar in America (But Won’t Forever) | Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Why We Pay Double for Solar in America (But Won’t Forever) | Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

This is an excellent article that we agree with completely.  The beautifully easy to understand graph mirrors our experience in pricing systems. We found that regardless of the panel price the extraneous expenses attached such as permitting fees, permitting requirements, engineering stamps, roof load studies, fire studies, among a few, that may or may not be required from city to city and township to township are the real expenses that add to the cost of solar. Also slowing down a job to educate the inspector step by step, while important and beneficial in the long run, but adds to labor costs. – Val

Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies Will Save Taxpayers Billions Every Year : TreeHugger

Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies Will Save Taxpayers Billions Every Year : TreeHugger.

The only people in the world who actually benefit from the government subsidies doled out to fossil fuel companies—to the tune of over $775 billion annually, in total around the world—are the fossil fuel companies themselves.

It should be obvious, and not need repeating, or be a controversial statement, but it is and is why NRDC has just released a report detailing the myriad benefits of shutting off the corporate welfare tap flowing to oil, coal, and natural gas companies.

Beyond that financial savings to taxpayers around the world, each year, NRDC outlines the following benefits of ending fossil fuel subsidies:

  • Cut carbon dioxide emissions 6% by 2020.
  • Reduce overall energy demand 5% by 2020.
  • Importantly, they won’t hurt the poor, as the vast majority of fossil fuel subsidies are not at the consumer level, and instead benefit wealthy corporations directly and solely.

More from the NRDC on fossil fuel subsidies: NRDC Fossil Fuel Factsheet

A Solar Powered Dairy Farm in Michigan

Energy Videos from Around the Web – Moo…A Solar Powered Dairy Farm | The Michigan Energy Efficiency Network: Saving Money, Saving Time, Saving Energy.

In 2010, Jim Reid of Reid Dairy Farm in Jeddo, Michigan, installed 96 solar panels to help power the farm. The solar panels will supply approximately 30% of the farm’s electricity needs per year for the next 25 years.

Watch the video to hear his story and see the panels installed on the farm.

Go to link for full article and video.

Donna on Radio show last weekend – hear it here!

Listen to Donna as she sets straight the myths about solar in Michigan on The Inside Outside Guys Radio show last Saturday. Her segment starts around 30:08, in the third podcast.

The Inside Outside Guys Saturday April 21th, 2012 Part 3 http://blog.theinsideoutsideguys.com/?cat=5

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