Lake Johnson Solar PV / Solar H2O / Edible Estate (for sale)
25% to 49%
- Gwendolyn Anderson
- Single-Family Residence
- 4408 MacCheever Court, Raleigh, NC 27606
- 2,125 sq ft
- Energy need met:
- 25% to 49% of electricity
- Event Participation:
- ASES National Solar Tour 2015 Host
- Solar PV
- December 2010
- Size of System:
- 3.29 kW
- To generate electricity
- Gross Cost of System:
- Net Cost of System:
- Additional Financial Notes:
- I received about half back immediately in tax credits, which I had charged on my credit card; and most of the purchase price was returned in five years. And it still has decades left to its life. Note than when I bought this 14-panel system it could not power an HVAC, but now there are high efficiency HVAC's that will allow the entire home to be powered on 4 kW. Four years before my purchase, a 1.5 kW system cost about $20,000. Investing in the technology surely improves it.
Professionals & Suppliers
- Sharp Solar
What You Need to Know
14 panel Sharp 3.29 kW photo voltaic array on the south most face; plus solar hot water to the west equivalent to 1.5 kW.
It is up for net metering in 2016.
Once a squirrel chewed the thermometer off to the solar hot water, so now the wire is inside of a metal "noose," thanks to the clever work of Tom Wills. The main trouble was at the beginning when the installers had trouble getting the systems working (N.B. Choose your installer carefully). The systems did not sustain any damages from the heavy hail that shredded my grill cover.
Efficiency or Sustainability Improvements:
Trex deck, bamboo floor with inlay, recycled PET carpet, natural wool carpet pad, low VOC paint, edible estate (peaches, plum, fig, pears, blueberries), organic, fragrant gardens and butterfly gardens, nesting site for Eastern bluebirds, Cardinals, Finches, Hummingbirds, and bunnies.
I can say that solar energy is one thing my whole family agrees upon (if nothing else)! I grew up in an early passive solar home that overheated in summers; it has since been converted to photo voltaic. After walking out of 9/11 in NYC, I decided not to return to toxic dust but instead to improve air quality by renovating green, and to promote local clean sources of energy. After 9/11 I was a bit down, and then I volunteered as a driver for Van Jones, who later brought solar energy to President Obama's White House. Five minutes listening to that man will surely lift anyone's spirits! There was a lot of press about the destruction at Ground Zero but less about the people were renewed with passions much greater than the terrorists' passion for a god that leaves them empty.
Choose your installer carefully, and check the background of the individuals within the company who are assigned to you. Be aware that more incentives may exist early in the year when energy companies are fulfilling requirements, than towards the end. However the end of the year is closer to receipt of the first tax credit, to help minimize debt. Incentives typically require a contract, so make sure that is in your hand and the deal is sealed before you agree to purchase the system, and don't take anyone's word that you are "locked in" - get a written agreement at the time of contract. Progress and advancement requires some risk and investment in emerging technologies. If you're ready to go, don't be afraid to GO FIRST!
Experience with Installer:
The solar hot water installer was recommended by the manufacturer, and had a lot of trumped up credentials. The system at first sent hot water to the roof to cool, and then returned cooled water to the tank to be heated by the electrical backup. Ouch! That was a problem with the thermometers being installed backwards, I think. When I reported a problem to the manufacturer he told me my expectations were too high. Double Ouch! The solar photo voltaic installer did not know how to turn on the solar panels. They were installed at the end of December but did not run until some time in February. I had not set aside that much time and had to travel so it was not so smoothly resolved. Choose the company carefully but also the people within the company, who are experienced, or have the proper oversight.
An alligator had lived in the house so needless to say it needed some renovating. I loved the setting at Lake Johnson and decided it was the right house to recycle. I put up a decorative bird house by the front drive, and an Eastern Bluebird family moved in. I found after planting an edible estate that the birds like the fruit trees because they attract different types of bugs. The roof of this house is not exactly south facing but it still is about 95% solar effective. There is new green technology available now, wish list: Lennox high efficiency HVAC's - which are eligible for the solar tax credit when purchased with panels - and spray foam insulation to create a temperate storage space in the attic while further improving air quality. And there is still room for kiwis. The garage is even deep enough to accommodate a biofuel tank.
Open House Info:
For Sale: Showing by appointment. See Zillow.
View Other Case Studies
Farm|Solar Hot Water
Single-Family Residence|Solar PV
The EnergySage Marketplace