Bear Creek Farm is a beautiful Civil war-era fully restored farmhouse located on 45 acres just outside historic Appomattox, Virginia. The owners wanted to install a system that would first build credit with the local energy company (Southside Electrical Co-op) while the property is only used as a second home. When moved into as their retirement home, they want to convert their solar system to a hybrid system with battery backup and avoid the need for an emergency generator.
The system was designed by Andres Gomez, a local independent solar implementer, who worked closely with Mike Leone from Greentech Renewables's Boston office. The team faced a few challenges with this project: 1. Do not spoil the look of the historic home. 2. Provide enough energy to power the home and 3. Do the whole project for less than $20K (after federal rebates). All three of these benchmark were achieved. The first by using a ground mounted array 200 feet from the main farmhouse on a south facing slope behind trees and shrubs. Even in winter the array cannot be seen from the house and the shrubs provide an excellent windbreak for the array. The second goal was achieved using 48 Canadian solar 260w panels on 24 IronRidge XR 1000 rails and an SMA Sunny Boy 11kW transformer-less inverter. The final goal of staying within a $20K budget was achieved by working with Greentech Renewables to evaluate which available options would get the best bang for the buck and reduce labor costs. The owner, utilizing equipment already available to him, dug the holes for the 3 inch pipes, poured the concrete and dug the trenches for the power lines. He also pulled the permits and provided additional labor as needed. The final result is everything the owner wanted: energy independence at a very reasonable cost.
Red House, VA 23962