The Larry Stegemann family recently saw completion of the first ground-mount solar array in the City of Wabasha.
The 662 square foot array is erected in the corner or what is usually a corn field at the Stegemann residence at 1712 Hiawatha Drive East, by the Aquilla Solar Corporation. The array will generate an average of 11,682 kWh annually, covering 100% of the Stegemann family’s usage, and, under the Minnesota “Net Metering” law, allow them to sell the remainder back to the utility at the full retail electric rate.
According to Aquilla analysis, investment in this system should result in 11.4% return annually. The investment will be paid off in seven years from 1) the proceeds from the Made in Minnesota Lottery, 2) the avoided electric costs, and 3) proceeds from the sale of excess energy to Xcel. After this period, the family will enjoy cost-free electric power, and a monthly income from the sale of power, for the remainder of the 25-year warrantied life of the system.
“This is not only a good return on our investment,” noted Larry, but it is also good for our environment, “putting up this array was the equivalent to planting 5,569 trees to reduce our carbon footprint – that is 239 tons of carbon dioxide that won’t be polluting our environment.”
Blaine Marcou of Aquilla noted that the “Where space is available, Ground mount arrays are a good alternative to roof mounts to get perfect solar orientation, which will increase the production of the array. This also facilitates snow removal, if the homeowner desires to do this to maximize production” Blaine did note, however, that snow removal is not necessary. “All of our calculations for production and return on investment are based on no snow removal in the Minnesota environment – they can truly be maintenance free systems.”