Have you seen them? The new solar panels on the roof of the MWSBF building beckoning the sun like a moth to the flame. Before you think your favorite stop to 504 shop has suddenly become a little too “crunchy” I assure you, the office space is still pretty free of Birkenstocks and Vegan cuisine.
So what was the idea behind the panels?
Robert Edminster, Senior Vice President for MWSBF explained, that first and foremost “it had to make business sense.” The company could take advantage of the 30% Federal Income Tax Credit as a business, and the price of solar has dropped about 75% — making the decision more economical than ever.
“But it was also a conscious decision to do something that was better for the planet,” Steve Suite, Mountain West’s Chief Administrative Officer explained. “Fortunately in this case, you didn’t have to compromise one for the other.”
Nate Bendall, owner and Director of New Business Development for Limelight Solar, (http://www.limelightsolar.com/) the company who installed the panels, explained that “the biggest reason solar is better for the environment is because it offsets the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity. As a solar customer, you are harnessing the nearly unlimited power of the sun! The sun generates over 86,000 terawatts of energy per day for free.”
And just how much is a terawatt? To put it in perspective just 15 terawatts equals the earth’s power needs for a year.
The other interesting piece of the panels is how Limelight’s product is Grid-Tied, meaning the power is online. Where someone living “off the grid” is storing the power to use themselves at a later time, grid-tied means any power that is generated, that isn’t used by the building, can be put back into the grid for the utility company to reimburse for additional power generated. Ultimately saving Mountain West long term on utility bills.
And like any business transaction Mountain West is involved in, Mountain West did their best to make the partnership work. Bendall added: “Working with MWSBF was great! They were enthusiastic about the process and wanted to be educated on everything solar and how it works. They made our installation a process a breeze.“