Solar Panels Going Up in Salisbury-Rowan

This article by Juanita Teschner appeared in the Catawba College Center for the Environment website

Solar Panels Going Up in Salisbury-Rowan

Solar panels are sprouting up in Salisbury and Rowan County, thanks to a community initiative that started in October.


Image credit Catawba College Center for the Environment

Solarize Salisbury-Rowan informs residents of the advantages of solar power and helps them reduce costs through competitive bids by installers who have already been professionally vetted. It is a cooperative venture of SmartPower, a national non-profit organization that focuses on clean energy, and the Center for the Environment at Catawba College.

Lane Wallace, Solarize Salisbury-Rowan coordinator, notes that 2015 is potentially the last year to take advantage of the North Carolina state tax credits , which are due to expire December 31, 2015. The Solarize project assistance, initially offered the last three months of 2014, will be extended until January 14.

“It has been heartening to see how many people are interested in solar energy,” Wallace says. “Solar is actually very competitive as an investment and as an energy source. Studies show that investing in solar right now can show returns 20 to 30 percent higher than investing in taxable mutual funds for homeowners. And it is a relatively risk-free investment.”

Wallace refers to a statement by Jim Warren, executive director of NC WARN: “Solar photovoltaic power is now cheaper than kilowatt hours from newly constructed dirty power plants when all costs are considered.”

Paul Bardinas, CEO and president of Freirich Foods Inc. in Salisbury, had already installed solar panels on his business so he knew about the advantages of solar power. “It’s working as promised,” he says, “and on track to pay for itself within 10 years.”

tl_files/cfte/images/news_images_2015/2015.1.5-solar_bardinas.JPGReNu Energy Solutions installed solar panels on his family’s home December 19 through the Solarize program. The installation will provide 75 percent of their electricity, including providing power for his and his wife Carrie’s Nissan Leafs, which are all-electric vehicles.

Bardinas calculates that his home installation will be totally paid for in 8-9 years, assuming no rate increases from Duke Power. “Then it will produce power potentially for another 20 years after that,” he says. “That’s essentially free money.”

Bardinas notes that this installation has been easier than the one on his business because of Solarize Salisbury-Rowan. “It has brought regional installers that I didn’t know about to this market,” he says. “Bringing those two groups together – folks who are interested in solar and qualified technicians and installers that can do the work – has helped a lot. Beforehand, I had to go to South Carolina to find somebody to do our commercial project. It took a lot of time and effort to vet those people.”

John Wear, executive director of the Center for the Environment, is pleased with the interest Salisbury-Rowan residents and business owners have shown in solar power. “It’s not only cost-effective,” he says. “It’s also good for the environment. Solar energy users automatically lower their ecological footprint by using this renewable source.”

Renu becomes partner on Hawaii solar project

Charlotte-based company expands its reach with 110 kiloWatt Nonprofit Solar project

Charlotte, NC (November 2, 2015) –Renu Energy Solutions, a Charlotte-based residential and commercial solar installation company, begins a nonprofit retrofit for a Hawaii-based Christian academy in collaboration with Foursquare church. This project promises to be the first of many solar projects to convert churches and Christian schools to renewable energy in the coming year in partnership with Foursquare church.

The main incentive for solar in most states is tax credits, and consequently there has been a vacuum of solar investment for religious organizations that are tax exempt. Renu Energy Solutions has found a path forward by partnering with Foursquare as an investment into the churches future across the nation.

By investing in solar, the church will reduce the money it spends on lighting the church, and be able to invest more into its primary mission.

About Renu Energy Solutions

Based in Charlotte, NC, Renu Energy Solutions serves both residential and commercial customers in the Carolinas, offering solar electric, solar hot water and energy efficiency products like tankless water heaters to permanently reduce utility bills. Renu Energy Solutions plans, installs and services homes and businesses in North and South Carolina. Unlike many of the national companies, our installation teams are full time employees so that we can ensure the highest quality and professional installation.

Renu Energy Solution is a member of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, the US Green Building Council and the Better Business Bureau. For more information, please visit