Heat Pump Hot Water = Big Savings

Hire Electric is partnering with GE to offer the new GeoSpring Heat Pump Hot Water Tank. Heating water is the #2 energy consumer in most homes. New Heat Pump hot water technology is 50% more efficient than traditional hot water tanks at heating water – saving you lots of money every year.

For our solar customers who are looking to net zero their electric bill without converting load to fossil fuels, a heat pump hot water tank is one of the best ways to move in that direction.

Now through December 3, 2014 we are offering a $300 instant rebate on GeoSpring hot water heaters and most of our local utilities have a rebate that they offer as well. Visit the GeoSpring site for more information. Find out more at www.smartwaterheat.org

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ABB Solar Direct Drive in the USA!

ABB’s Variable Frequency Drive can run 3 phase motors directly off solar and Hire Electric has the 1st one in the US. I blogged about ABB’s Solar Drives in India back in February. After that blog post ABB’s USA Drive Group contacted Hire to see if we would be interested in installing one of their drives as part of a BETA test group. Last week the drive arrived and today our BETA customer, with the help of Schroder Well Drilling, changed out their single phase well pump with a 3 phase pump and we got the drive running on 240V, single phase AC power: 210′ deep well, 7.4A draw, 24gpm output. The next step will be finishing the solar array and running some tests on the 1.5hp, 3 phase motor running directly off sunbeams.

We’re extremely excited about the potential for this product for several reasons:

  • As net metering caps are met in more and more utility districts, having ways that customers can transfer load to solar power without interconnecting with the utility will be increasingly important.
  • Off grid customers have been forced to use extremely expensive and underperforming pumping options – or their diesel generator to access water.
  • Irrigators and stock waterers can open up land that is too far away from utility service.
  • Water security during power outages is high on most peoples preparedness plan.
  • Potential for micro-pumped-storage applications

You can read more about the product here: ABB Solar Drive Flier

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Endurance Wind Machine Installation

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10 Years of Bergey Wind Machines – Presentation

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To Lease or to Own – That is the Questions

Find out wether owning your solar array or leasing it is the best option for you with this handy calculator that our friends at the Institute for Local Self REliance put together. If you live in The Eastern Gorge or the Tri Cities put in Bend, OR as your city. In Oregon the state tax credit is $6,000 (none in WA). For Pacific Power in Oregon your utility rebate (Energy Trust) will be $3,750. And in WA your utility rebate (over six years) for a 5kW system will be about $6,075. If you go with WA made equipment your purchase price will go up to $5.50/watt and your state rebate will go up to $21,000 (over six years). If this is all just way too confusing then call Bob and he’ll work up a proposal for you: (541) 454-2220. And as always – be sure to consult your tax professional.

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Community Wind Workgroup @ Energy Trust

Registration is now open for the Northwest Distributed/Community Wind Workgroup meeting on October 8 in Portland, OR. Participants can join in person or via webinar. Please register here.

Event details: This workgroup meeting is for stakeholders involved in the distributed and community wind sector in the Pacific Northwest (WA, OR, MT, ID, WY). Participants will discuss the goals, vision, and action plan for the workgroup, and local experts will give presentations on relevant topics such as financing, incentives, and policy. The meeting is organized by the Northwest Wind Resource and Action Center with funding from the US Department of Energy’s WINDExchange program.

Location: Energy Trust of Oregon 421 SW Oak Street, Suite 300 Portland, OR 97204

Agenda: · 9:30am – Sign-in, light refreshments, mingle · 10:00am – Welcome and introductions · 10:15am – Introduction to Northwest Wind Resource & Action Center and Distributed/Community Wind Workgroup · 10:30am – Distributed wind topics · 11:15am – Community wind topics · Noon-12:30 – no-host lunch break · 12:30pm – Grants and incentives · 1:15pm – Financing options · 2:00-2:30pm – Wrap up discussion and next steps Please forward this invitation to other colleagues who may be interested.

Registration link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/distributedcommunity-wind-workgroup-meeting-tickets-13205398703

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Back Up For Critical Load

We often get asked about a “little back up system for our freezer and critical load.” So here’s what we came up with:

We can sell this system as a do-it-youself kit for about $6,200 or we can offer a full installation. The kit is not plug and play and requires some basic electrical knowledge of both AC & DC circuits. It’s typically much cheaper to use a little generator for this scale of backup but this system can run you fridge, freezer and small loads on solar almost all year round. It does qualify for the Washington state sales tax exemption and 30% federal tax credit.


Of course our back up systems can scale up in every direction – more solar capacity, more batteries, greater inverter capacity, etc.

Outback Radian with Battery Back Up

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B-E-F Solar Pavilion at The Discovery Center

We just finished a 2.7kW solar pavilion at the Discovery Center in The Dalle, OR. SolarWorld 270 Black mono modules with Enphase micro inverters AND Sorensen Construction’s amazing timber frame picnic structure.Solar Pavilion


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Tri Cities Parade of Homes

We’re in the Parade of Homes September 2014!

One of this year’s solar customers is having their home showcased in the Tri-Cities Home Builder’s Association’s Parade of Homes. It’s a lovely 7.02kW system using products manufactured in Washington State.

You can find out about the Parade of Homes schedule here: Parade of Homes Schedule and Ticket Info.

Stop by and talk to a Hire representative about how solar can make you money in the Tri Cities!

Youngquist Install

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Hamilton Cellars Goes Solar

Russ and Stacie Hamilton of Hamilton Cellars are building a beautiful new winery and tasting room out on Red Mountain with the goal of being the 1st net zero winery in Washington State. www.hamiltoncellars.com

To that end Hire Electric’s Solar Division just installed a 33kW solar array on the east facing barrel room roof that will generate approximately 44MWh per year – enough to fully power about four northwest homes. We used 121 – SolarWorld 275 watt solar panels and Enphase Micro Inverters for module level monitoring. The winery features extensive efficiency measures, an electric vehicle charging station, innovative cooling systems and solar thermal water and space heating.

Ribbon cutting and open house will be announced soon.

Solar Monitoring Kiosk: Enphase & Building/Solar Dashboard: eGauge

Hamilton Cellars 33kW


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