Committed to clean sustainable energy technology, Steen Engineering, Inc. recently installed a pollution-free photovoltaic system to power its building. The company provides engineering services for commercial buildings and has incorporated similar systems on numerous projects. The roof-mounted system consists of 112 solar panels, generating 280 watts of power each, strategically placed to capture the sun’s rays on Steen’s 26,172 sq. ft. (2,431.46 sq. m.) building.
The solar power system, installed by Energy Concepts, Inc., headquartered in Hudson, Wis., will generate over 30,000 watts of power. Unused energy will be purchased back by the utility company. Steen Engineering qualifies for Xcel Energy’s solar rewards program as well as Minnesota’s solar incentive, which offers 0.13 cents per kilowatt hour in rebates. The system will pay for itself in seven years.
“Installing a solar power system on our building reinforces Steen’s commitment to clean sustainable energy technology,” says Steven Youngs, principal/vice president at Steen Engineering. “We have engineered photovoltaic systems in many buildings and liked the benefit of leaving a smaller ecological footprint.”
According to Solar Energy Industries Association data, in the last decade the solar energy industry has grown at a compound annual rate of nearly 60 percent. As of the first quarter 2016, installations of solar photovoltaic systems have reached 29.3 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, enough to power 5.7 million American homes. The cost for installing a solar power system has dropped 12 percent year over year.