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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Making a difference at work - the wheels are in motion

Earlier this past week I wrote an email to my manager explaining the rationale for installing solar panels at our distribution centers. I reread it several times, unsure if he would think I was a "nut" as my wife cautioned me, and to be honest I was worried that some people at my company wouldn't look beyond the politics of alternative energy.

Well, I hit the send button. Soon after I went into my manager's office to see what he thought. He noticed the 30% federal tax credit and asked me to talk to the finance person in charge of our distribution centers. I had to write another email, so again, I wasn't sure what to expect but this individual said he would "love to talk more about this with me" and we set up a meeting to discuss the next steps. Now, I am not sure how far this will go but people are serious about working with me on this feasibility phase. Next week we'll start digging into two years of electricity bills to figure out the cost and the actual kilowatt hours. I've started looking at solar power manufacturers too. I am trying to find the most cost effective manufactuer, which means I want something that gives me the most bang for our dollar. SunPower is one I am leaning towards, their PV panels are close to 20% efficiency which is much higher than most commericial panels.

One last thing. One my way out of the office the other day I mentioned this to one of our VPs. He said "wow, thats interesting.....Going Green is the thing to do these days."

2 comments:

Pete said...

I would like to follow this through the selection process, as there are now so many panel manufacturers it is difficult to know which might be most cost effective. Have you heard of Rose street Labs, with a nearly 40% efficiency promised? Plus, the NREL's awards for near 40% efficiency established by 2 of their scientists? Will you be "posting as you go"? I would love to see the numbers.

Schultz said...

Pete we're still in the early stages of the whole process and we've just started looking at the options out there. There are several promising PV technologies in the developmental stages but our decision is going to come down to the best product that has been proven and is available for purchase when we are ready to take that step. I mentioned SunPower because they've been around a while and have PV panels with above average efficiency. There are several other manufacturers that I'm going to look at. Drop me an email at schultzchr at gmail if you have any suggestions but I'll periodically be updating this blog with my progress.

Chris

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