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Hands On Residential Renewable Group

Meeting Notes

Wednesday July 22nd PV Installation Tour — Sam Perry's Mancos farm / ranch

We hope you didn't miss this very interesting tour. Sam gave us an overview of what it took for them to acquire enough grant money to make their large 10kW photo-voltaic installation possible. Sam used U.S. made materials with at least 20 year guarantees. He worked with the installer (SolarWorx, now Four Corners Solar) by providing his own support frame material and doing the digging and concrete work himself to reduce costs.

Sam points out inverter features

The 10kw grid-tied system is a little more than enough to balance out the ranch and home power usage. This leaves room for some future expansion. Two 5kW inverters were used, as shown. This was much cheaper than a single 10kW inverter. One of the primary loads cancelled by the pv power is Sam's very large walk-in freezer for the grass-fed beef he raises.

Second Meeting, January 28th, 2009


The meeting was attended by 35 of us.

The Program

1. A description of the GEO program, how to apply for it and what rebates to expect was jointly given by Chris Burkett of the City of Cortez and Doug Sparks of Empire Electric. You can obtain the application form (including a checklist of items to submit) at this link. Applications will be accepted by Chris Burkett starting Monday, February 2nd. His office is at City Hall, 210 E. Main Street, Cortez. See the City's website SDHW page for more information.

A walkthrough Energy Audit must be completed before applying. Contact Empire Electric for this audit. Here' a link to the application for the audit on the Empire site. The information you provide on the form about your residence is needed by the auditor. You should fill this out and present it to the auditor when he arrives. Contact Empire to find a certified auditor.

Empire will also rebate to you half the cost of the audit. The auditor will provide you a letter certifying your residence, which you include with the application to Chris Burkett. After you pay for the audit, submit the $175 bill to empire to get the 50% rebate.

2. Eric Walker of 3D Hydronic Contracting, LLC, gave a powerpoint presentation about Solar Domestic Hot Water system installation. Eric is certified by the GEO (actually COSEIA) to install systems that are qualified for the rebates. 3D Hydronic Contracting is based in Bayfield but works in Montezuma County. Click here for his presentation slides in pdf format. This is a 2.4Mbyte file. Here are his solar diagrams: one panel system, more complex system, two panel system, biggest system. .

Qualified SDHW Installers Working in Montezuma County

Here's a list of the certified installers working in Montezuma County for this GEO rebate program.

Meeting Notes

First meeting, December 10th, 2008

NEXT meeting: Wednesday, January 26, 2009, 4:30pm
Calvin Denton Room at Empire Electric, 801 N. Broadway, Cortez


Approximately fifty persons attended the first meeting of the Hands On! Renewable Energy Homeowners Group. Several attendees noting the lack of space did not enter the room. The M-CAN Steering Committee did not anticipate the response and had to make more copies of handouts.

M-CAN organization explained:

M-CAN Steering Committee Members present were: Jodi and Chris Foran, Susan Thomas and Sue Whitehead. They explained the M-CAN organization structure and discussed briefly the M-CAN organization fact sheet and various green teams for which each is a team liaison. The need for additional Steering Committee members was mentioned and those interested in helping to guide the organization were encouraged to join the SC. M-CAN does not have a membership fee.


Attendees introduced themselves and mentioned their interest in and experience with residential renewable energy systems. Given the number of attendees this took considerable time. An Information Form was distributed and attendees asked to complete the form at the meeting and leave it with Jodi. Click the link if you did not receive a copy of the Form and complete it online.

Meeting Times:

The group was vocal in wanting to meet often – twice a month on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday. Jodi Foran will arrange next meeting.

Hands On! Team Structure:

The purpose of the group is to facilitate networking and to leverage the knowledge and experience of members. Agendas, Meeting Notes and Action List will be accessed on the website by clicking the Hands on Renewable Group choice on the left of the home page.

Using the Internet to network Hands On! members:

Chris Foran, M-CAN’s webmaster, will update the website and create the appropriate links. It is expected that, when appropriate, members will document their experience with renewable energy to be put on the website and shared with all members. Members are asked to send Chris topics of interest which include links to suggested sites, relevant articles and videos, books, information about rebates and credits, and certified vendors and installers. We will put powerpoint presentations to the group on the website, www.m-can.org if allowed by the presenters.

What’s next for the Group?:

The attendees briefly discussed what kind of activities they expected from the group. Unfortunately there was not enough time for a thorough discussion…to be continued.

Information Form

Those present filled out an information form. Information on the form will help us keep track of how many of us are interested in what kind of renewable energy and who has experience to share. If you haven't filled out the form, click here to do so.