HABITAT FOR HUMANITY HOMES “GO SOLAR” IN 2018
By Michelle Knox, President, WindSolarUSA, Inc.
Read this and previous articles at http://www.ss-mag.com/online/solar-in-springfield/
Sangamon County Habitat for Humanity’s House #108, built via the 1000 Women Strong Program, is the first of four homes that will be “solarized” this year by a partnership forged between WindSolarUSA, Inc. (WSUSA) and Sangamon County Habitat for Humanity. Proud homeowner, Sharrell Johnson and her sons, Rashad and Christian, will be moving in to their new home located at 106 South Glenwood later this week.
Many partners came together to help make the vision of all four Habitat homes to “Go Solar” happen. Richard Henes, of Werner Electric, helped to organize donations from Unirac, an American-made racking company out of Albequerque, NM, and Fronius, an inverter manufacturer. Both companies donated racking and inverters for all four 2018 homes.
Prior to installation, and as a requirement for permitting, David Parker of MMLP, Ltd., prepared and submitted to the city a structural evaluation of the existing newly built roof advising of updates that are needed to be able to ensure that the roof is “beefed up” to support the additional weight load added for the solar system, free of charge. Installation services were donated by WSUSA’s partners, Lock Family Construction for the construction side of the project (structural updates, mounting of rails and modules) and Senergy Electric for the electrical side (installation of inverter, running of conduit from the roof to the inverter and commissioning of the inverter that converts the direct current power generated by the modules on the roof to alternating current that is used when we “plug in”).
Modules for this home were donated by WSUSA and SolarTech Universal (STU) employees. The (8) American- made SolarTech Univeral modules used are 285 watts each making total system size 2.28kW, which should offset over 25% of the Johnson’s consumption at their new home. These monocrystalline modules are manufactured at STU’s facility located in Riviera Beach, FL by local people that were hired and trained to be manufacturing technicians.
Total cost for all four projects planned for 2018, without donations, would have been around $29,000 installed, including structural engineering. However, due to the donations that were secured, all four houses will end up being installed for $3,600, which is still being raised to cover module costs for the next three houses on the schedule.
WindSolarUSA has launched a “GoFundMe” Campaign, on behalf of Sangamon County Habitat for Humanity, to raise the $3,600 needed to cover the wholesale cost of the modules for the next three homes. So far, $325 has been raised towards that goal, leaving a balance still needed of $3,275. If you are interested in helping to “solarize” the remaining three homes, please go to:
What’s up next? The Methodist Build! This house, sponsored by the Methodist congregations, is already underway in terms of fundraising and construction should start soon.
WindSolarUSA is proud to be able to offer, along with its partners, solar energy to the Habitat families. These solar systems are not only providing an offset of energy consumption and utility savings for the family that occupies the home, but also education to the homeowners, those that are involved with the builds, and the community at large thanks to opportunities to write/promote the projects via articles like this.
This is the last article in the series of six that I have written for Springfield Scene Magazine. Thank you to SSM’s Publisher, Bill Stokes, for affording me the opportunity to offer information about solar energy to the community via these informational offerings. Go Solar Springfield… Illinois…the United States…and the world…it’s just one way that each of us can do something to work towards a cleaner environment and planet!