The 4JLP group considered a number of factors when deciding to evaluate a solar project. Among those were that the project: (i) made environmental sense; (ii) helps the company and ultimately the nation to become energy independent; (iii) helps the community in that new jobs will be created; and (iv) makes financial sense with the tax incentives now available for these type projects.
click dashboard for a live view
This grid-tied system is expected to generate approximately 259,000 Kilowatt hours of power in the first year of use and will continue to produce power at comparable levels for the next 25 to 30 years. A grant for the installation of this project was provided by the Tennessee Solar Institute. Combine this with monthly billing credits from Nashville Electric Service for feeding power back into their grid, and the entire project will become profitable in under seven years.
The icing on the cake is a live, cloud based monitoring system. This includes a dashboard that calculates and graphs the array’s output as well as the positive environmental impact that results. It is available 24/7 on the web and can also be viewed on a touchscreen kiosk located in the lobby of 4JLP’s largest tenant.
“Once we understood the business proposition, the decision for us to pursue the project was obvious. The more important question was how fast we could construct it.”
~ Owner, 4JLP
- At the time of this writing it is the largest solar array in middle TN.
- The solar array consists of 832 polycrystalline panels arranged in 32 parallel rows of 26 panels each.
- The entire grid is mounted on an east-to-west sloped roof oriented to the south at a 20 degree angle to the sky.
- The array will produce enough renewable energy for approximately 50 average sized homes.
- The investment is expected to pay for itself in less than seven years.
The solar energy industry continues to be one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. In the first quarter of 2011, the United States installed 252 megawatts (MW) of grid-connected photovoltaics (PV) or 66 percent year-over-year growth over Q1 2010 installations.
Several forces are driving this growth including falling solar energy equipment costs and various grants, tax incentives, and utility subsidies that make solar a viable solution. These factors continue to push solar from being environmentally sustainable to economically feasible.