Community Solar with Hands-on Innovation - ScienceWorks Museum in Ashland
Ashland’s ScienceWorks Hands-on museum is now home to the city’s first significant Community Solar installation consisting of three STracker Model 1Bs.
This installation is the result of collaboration between STracker Inc and Abbott’s Cottages LLC, both of Ashland, and utilizes the City’s progressive Virtual Meter ordinance. The City of Ashland allows commercial solar projects to pump solar power into the Ashland Electric grid and will then allocate the power to electric customers of the project owner’s choosing.
Each of the three 11.2kW STrackers sports (28) 400kW LG modules that send 600V DC power to a Fronius inverter 300’ away at the new electric service.
ScienceWorks has leased the site to the project owner and is excited for the educational opportunities it offers the museum. The project was spearheaded by Ashland Community Solar (ACS), a group of local citizens encouraging the development of additional Community Solar projects in Ashland. This group is currently developing the Ashland Solar Coop which will allow citizens to purchase the clean, local power generated by newly-developed ACS projects.
Best cost per kWh - Jacksonville residence
The astute owner of the heavily-treed family property on Forrest Creek Road near Jacksonville saw the Federal Tax credit opportunities and decided the time was right to install solar to offset his property’s power bills. He wisely procured bids from several local Solar firms to explore the options and costs.
STracker’s Model S1A proved the lowest cost per kWh, and provided even greater value by maintaining use of the valuable ground that might have otherwise been lost to proposed ground-mount systems.
With the help of Generations Credit Union, the customer was able to finance the project at a low interest rate with no payments due until after he’d receive the tax credits.
The installed 9.5kW Model S1A includes (28) 340W LG modules with a 10kW Solar Edge Inverter and Optimizers. Real-time and historical energy production is provided for the owner on his phone and computer. At the owner’s bidding the STracker was painted oak brown that blends beautifully with the surrounding trees and workshop.
Tracker in the nick of time - Ashland residence
The resident at 950 Glendower Street in Ashland had a strong desire to utilize the sun to supply all of her power needs, along with the security of a battery storage system.
When she inquired with the city and local installers she was disappointed to learn that shading from surrounding trees would prevent the city’s $.50/W solar incentive (while not fully meeting her power goals), and that time was almost up for the state's residential tax incentives.
Then, she happened on an article about the innovative product below, she contacted Sharpe Energy for a rapid STracker S1 tracker install that rose above the shade of the trees to qualify for full city incentives in time for the sun-setting Oregon $7,500 tax credit.
Start to finish construction for the project was performed in under a week and completed in December 2017. It has been in continuous operation since.
STracker Inc has developed a customized Model S1 for this install that has an increased pivot-height to avoid roof conflicts, a manual stow button for parties, and a fail-safe stow battery-backup. The array flat stow direction was rotated 90 degrees after the customer reported that the original position caused rain runoff and produced load noise as it hit the roof rain-gutter system.
This 8.4kW STracker system included (24) 350W Silfab modules with Enphase IQ6+ microinverters and supports a 7.2kW Outback residential battery-backup system to round out the residential nano-grid.
The customer is delighted with the great energy production, easy Envoy monitoring and comfortable deck shading.
This Project made it to the final round for Solar Builder Magazine’s Project of the Year.