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Is North Dakota Warming to

Solar Energy?

For decades, solar energy has captured our imagination as an inexpensive, environmentally friendly energy source. And as Americans look for alternative ways to power their lifestyles, they’re taking a fresh look at solar energy. Unfortunately, solar heat is also among the most difficult to harness in this neck of the woods. While wind turbines continue to dot more of our rural areas, solar panels have yet to catch on in the Red River Valley,

even as they become more "It is only a matter of time before we will see popular nationwide. In places like California more solar panels locally. North Dakota has and New Mexico, good solar energy potential. It is a huge where energy costs are resource and it is free." significantly greater, solar — Jeremy Mahowald panels are quite common Cass County Electric Cooperative’s Energy as a way to minimize an Management and Conservation department ecological footprint and reduce energy costs. Jeremy Mahowald and Paul Matthys climate and the cost of the system. “The of Cass County days are shorter in the winter. There is snow Electric load on roofs,” Matthys said. “To get what If you want the perfect lawn, Cooperative’s you would need to power a home, you need Get the perfect lawn mower... Energy so many panels that it gets really expensive Management and per kilowatt-hour.” Conservation Cass County Electric Cooperative is department believe currently charging approximately 7 cents that it is only a per kilowatt-hour. In areas where solar matter of time panels are more popular, consumers are before we will paying 16 or 17 cents per kilowatt-hour. see more solar “If our electricity rates would climb up to panels locally. California or the East Coast’s rates, you “North Dakota would see a lot more attention put on solar has good solar panels,” Matthys said. energy potential. It To encourage more people to use solar Save up to $2,000 is a huge resource panels, alternative energy systems are being on select models! and it is free,” heavily subsidized by the government. Stop in for details. Mahowald said. There are energy tax credits available Some and local programs to help offset the cost consumers are of the systems. According to Mahowald 701-365-0707 3241 Main Avenue, Suite A • Fargo, ND skeptical about and Matthys, there is an incentive in Quality Products, Quality Service solar power place for solar water heating systems and Pick up & Delivery Available • We service all makes and models Financing Available On All Products because of the photovoltaic systems where, if at least half North Dakota the energy is generated from the sun, the

Premier Lawn & Power, Inc.

16  Outdoor Design  

 Living guide

Outdoor Design & Living Guide - Summer 2009  

Issue 1 - Summer 2009 issue of Outdoor Design & Living Guide of Fargo-Moorhead