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Would you participate in a forum about all things alternative energy?

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In the news
Written by Jeff Dawidowski
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 19:42
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Thank you everyone who views our site and for all the compliments on the story. We hope you keep following.

On Monday, July 26, 2010, our local NBC station, KY3, aired the story of building our off-grid home. I'm the goofy looking one. It was nice to see. I am more a behind-the-camera guy. That is why I take the pictures for this blog. I hope you like the story. Paul Adler and KY3 are planning to return when we have the solar panels up and running, probably in a month or two. I will alert you if that occurs.

Watch the story here.

I have been asked a few questions about our project.

Our home will employ a bank of 60 batteries; three racks of 20 batteries each. The batteries are made locally in Springfield, Missouri by NorthStar Battery Company. You can go to the materials section for more information on the batteries. When charged by the sun and wind, these 60 batteries will provide us three complete days of electrical power. For those rare periods when conditions aren't favorable for energy production, our backup diesel generator will recharge the batteries.

Several of you have commented on the time it will take for the Return on Investment (ROI) for our solar and wind powered system to occur. After we decided to take our home off-grid we knew we would be paying more for this home than the typical home. We realized our ROI would not be timely. We wanted to change our habits and begin reducing our reliance on the utility company. Neither of us like the idea of using coal which must be mined at a distant location, transported by train using fossil fuel, and then burned to produce energy. And just because not many people have done it doesn't mean we shouldn't. I don't even like to use gasoline for my truck. I use ethanol. One of Terri's sons drives a hybrid automobile. We've been chipping away at this "going green" idea for a long time.

We think a ROI would be between 15 to 20 years; quite a long time if that is your main concern. However, the federal government offers a 30% tax credit on the alternative energy portion of the project and the state of Missouri will give a renewable energy rebate beginning late this fall. The details on the rebate are unknown, but should be available sometime in November, and will be retroactive. With only those two factors, we change  a 15 - 20 year ROI to only 7 - 8 years. Much more appealing isn't it? Then free power from that point on. The resistance to using the energy the sun and wind provide will slowly erode. Solar is becoming more and more affordable. Even currently available products are very good and just keep getting better.

One of the main reasons I wanted to create this website, other than keeping my family in the loop, was in hopes that people begin thinking differently about solar and wind power. You don't have to go off-grid like we are, but maybe supplement your energy usage with clean, renewable resources, reduce your carbon footprint, thereby paying less for utilities produced in harmful ways. You can still be tied to the grid. If you produce more power than you need, most energy companies will buy back your energy: very appealing.

I will have more on this as we go along. If you have more questions, concerns or comments like, "Are you nuts?" go ahead and let me know. I will respond to them the best I can. Plus I will keep adding more photos for those who want to see more pics.

Thanks for following.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 August 2010 13:21