We’re excited to start our work week knowing that some of the energy we are using is coming from the sun. Twenty-eight solar panels were installed on our roof last week. The Leelanau Conservancy was accepted into the Consumers Energy EARP program (Experimental Advanced Renewable Program) after having applied to the program for many years. EARP provides incentives to customers like the Leelanau Conservancy to increase renewable energy production by installing solar panels.
Under the program, Consumers will pay the Leelanau Conservancy a slightly higher rate for the power we generate than they charge us for the power we use. That differential, over time, will offset the cost of our panels. “It’s a win-win, and makes good economic sense too,” says Finance Director Susan Price.” And besides, it’s the right thing to do.”
We’re grateful to Ian Olmsted of Peninsula Solar, who helped every step of the way, from applying for permits to helping with the application to designing our system. “It’s great to work with an organization where we have such a similar mindset,’ says Olmsted. “The goal is to have both a financial and an environmental benefit.”
“It has been a long-term goal of ours to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels,” adds Price. “As climate change talks begin in Paris this week, we’re happy to be doing our part.”
Tom Nelson, Executive Director adds, “The plans for installing solar panels were already underway when the August 2nd storm rocked Leelanau and other area communities. But it underscored the need to pay serious attention to climate volatility. This effort is a really significant step forward for the Conservancy.”
Fun fact: Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on earth – 173,000 terawatts of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously. That’s more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use. Source: energy.gov