Business

Liberty Bay Auto Center goes solar

Liberty Bay Auto Center’s solar array is 700 square feet and will produce solar power “even on a non-sunny day,” Dean Church said. The cost was $60,000; it’s expected to pay for itself in four to five years.  - Liberty Bay Auto / Contributed
Liberty Bay Auto Center’s solar array is 700 square feet and will produce solar power “even on a non-sunny day,” Dean Church said. The cost was $60,000; it’s expected to pay for itself in four to five years.
— image credit: Liberty Bay Auto / Contributed

POULSBO — Installing a solar-energy system requires an upfront financial outlay. But according to Dean Church of Liberty Bay Auto Center, the system more than pays for itself relatively quickly.

In fact, after a while it pays you.

Liberty Bay Auto Center, 20201 Front St. in Poulsbo, has installed an 8.8 kW solar array on its roof. The project developer, Rick Lander of Washington Solar Incentives LLC, said a 30 percent tax credit, bonus depreciation, and up to $5,500 a year in state incentives and energy savings make the solar array an excellent long-term investment.

“Because of the dramatic drop in costs of locally manufactured solar equipment, the investment opportunity for 10kW arrays is the best it has ever been for commercial building owners,” Lander said. “Clean energy and financial success are no longer mutually exclusive.”

Owner/president Dean Church said Liberty Bay Auto, located at the head of Liberty Bay, strives for environmentally responsible practices. Economics made the decision to go solar an easy one.

“It’s a green thing to do,” Church said. “We’re on the water of Liberty Bay, and it’s a critical area for our whole environment. With the tax advantages we’re able to take, we can step up the quality of our green-business efforts. The solar array will produce enough energy to power an average house for a year and will eliminate [the equivalent of] greenhouse gases produced by three cars.”

The solar array is 700 square feet and will produce solar power “even on a non-sunny day,” Church said. The cost was $60,000; Lander said the system should pay for itself in four to five years.“

Energy savings and incentives mean that the solar array pays for itself quickly, leaving us with decades of reduced energy costs,” Church said. “I like that we can help the environment at the same time.”

The modules were manufactured by Silicon-Energy of Marysville; qualifying for the tax credit requires using only Washington-made systems. According to Silicon-Energy’s website, the modules are the longest lasting on the market, with a life expectancy of more than 40 years.

Lander has installed several commercial and public solar projects in Kitsap County, including a 75-kW array on the Poulsbo Middle School Gymnasium, the first full-size community solar project in the state. Landers also installed solar arrays on Hall & Company in Poulsbo, Rice Fergus Miller Architects in Bremerton, and Kingston High School. The Liberty Bay Auto installation was completed by Frederickson Electric of Port Townsend.

 

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