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Solar System Powers Up

The Gale River Motel has completed the installation of a photo-voltaic roof-top array which will provide energy to satisfy the year-round electrical demand of the property. The fifty-two panel system designed to generate 13.5 kW of electricity per hour is expected to produce a yearly total of  15,220 kW.

The system will be directly wired into the power grid by means of an AC inverter that will allow electricity to flow to and from the power grid as necessary. During periods when the energy produced exceeds the demand of the motel, power will flow into the grid causing the motel’s electric meter to run in reverse effectively crediting kilowatts to the motel’s.  As demand at the motel surpasses production, during cloudy days, or evening hours the electric meter will once again measure the kilowatts being drawn from the grid using up any electrical credits that have been accrued.  The generation and consumption of electricity has been designed to produce a “net-zero” effect, where over the course of the year, the electricity produced will be equal to the electricity consumed.

The system, costing approximately $40,000, is financed in part through Federal Tax Credits and a New Hampshire C & I rebate funded through the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission Sustainable Energy Division.

“The Gale River Motel has been a leader in the introduction of environmentally thoughtful technology and practices in New Hampshire’s lodging industry for several years.” states Kevin Johnson, owner of the motel. “Several years ago, we installed a solar hot water system that paid for itself in less than two years.  An aggressive campaign of installing energy efficient doors and windows have helped reduce our bottom-line heating and cooling costs throughout the year.  The installation of a photo-voltaic system, while taking a bit longer to pay off still made lots of sense from a business perspective.” adds Johnson.

The system was installed by Renewable Energy Development Associates (REDA) of Portland, Maine.

Presently, tax incentives scheduled to expire at the end of 2016 and recent threats by the New Hampshire legislature to re-direct PUC funding targeted towards solar-powered thermal and electrical projects prompted Johnson to act sooner rather than wait any longer to move forward on the installation of the system.

The system is designed to provide real-time information regarding the production and consumption of electricity through a computer monitoring interface. Johnson will be able to track electrical consumption and production on minute-by-minute basis.

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