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Solar Case Study – Woosi Wildwood

Avatar for Ben Zientara
Written by
Published on 11/04/2014
Updated 11/05/2014

Thanks to a loan from her energy supplier, Woosi Wildwood was able to go solar. Instead of her roof, the perfect location in Woosi’s case was a shed with a metal roof, showing that you don’t have to only consider a roof installation or putting panels on the ground. Woosi is so happy with solar power that she’s investigating ways to increase her power generation.

When people think about solar power, the Pacific Northwest isn’t where their mind tends to wander. The hot summer sun of Arizona? Sure. Maybe even the breadbaskets of the Great Plains. But in the shadow of the Space Needle? No way!

Even Woosi, when she first investigated going solar, had her doubts. “I was worried we wouldn’t get enough sun,” she told us when we asked her about any concerns she had about making the decision to install her panels. To alleviate her fears, Woosi did research online and also spoke to companies that installed solar. Clearly any issues were resolved, as Woosi installed solar on her shed’s metal roof, and now they’re actually producing more electricity than was predicted.

Just because you want to go solar doesn’t mean you always can. The expense can often be a factor keeping many from taking the plunge. Tons of people feel that getting panels would be good for the environment, but having the financial ability to take that step isn’t easy. Fortunately for Woosi, her own energy provider, Snohomish PUD, had a low-interest loan program for any customers who wanted to install solar power. Once Woosi had enough money for the down payment, she was approved for the project by Snohomish PUD and was able to move forward. The process of choosing an installer took about a year. In a cautionary tale for those who believe in the “hard sell,” Woosi opted for A&R Solar, who followed up with her but wasn’t aggressive about it. “We went with the company that was the most helpful and the least pushy,” she told us when we asked about her selection process.

In order to increase the incentives she received from Washington, Woosi went with as many building materials from her home state as possible. Only the inverters came from out of state, due to the current level of technology. Taking the time to maximize her incentives, combined with the Federal tax credit, will allow Woosi to pay back her investment far sooner.

Like her father before her, who has solar on his home in California, Woosi is pleased with her experience adding solar panels, and is even considering expanding their array. “A year and a half later, I still enjoy checking my meter to see how much power I’ve produced.” With cleared land that could be used for solar power, Woosi may even move into having a small solar farm, all in a state known more for its coffee and rain than ability to create green energy. For a person very concerned about the environment and sustainability, taking solar to the next level could lead to a bright–and potentially profitable–future.

Last modified: November 5, 2014

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