New Solar Array at Yakima Valley CC

We just finished this 15kW solar array on the roof of the new Palmer Martin Building at Yakima Valley Community College. We used SolarWorld 280 watt mono solar panels, Unirac UL-A racking system and Enphase M250 Micro Inverters. YVCC 15kW Solar YVCC Electrical Gear YVCC I Beams


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USDA REAP Grant Workshops in Washington

FREE Workshops

November 20, 2014, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

USDA Service Center
1606 Perry Street
Yakima, WA 98902

509-454-5743, ext. 134

December 4, 2014, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Grant County Public Works
Building 124 Enterprise Street SE
Ephrata, WA 98823


Renewable Energy and Efficiency Grant Proposals Workshops about Financial Incentives for Farms, Ranches, and Rural Small Businesses.

USDA Rural Development is sponsoring two Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency workshops The workshops are FREE and include information about the funding available to farms, ranchers and small businesses through USDA’s Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP). Eligibility requirements and sample project proposals will be discussed.

The 9007 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program can pro-
vide guaranteed loans, grants, and a combination loan and grant to eligible applicants for eligible projects and costs. Eligible projects for renewable energy systems include such things as wind, solar, biomass, or geothermal systems. Energy Efficiency projects, for example, can be for such things as upgrading electrical motors, insulation, or heating, cooling and lighting upgrades.

These workshops will provide information for prospective applicants on the USDA Rural Development Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency program, including:

• Eligible Loan/Grant Purpose

• Financial Information

• Application Tips

• Eligible Applicants

• Maximum Loan and Grant Amounts

• Funding Availability

For additional information, please contact the specialist serving an area closest to you:

Eastern Washington

Roni Baer

(509) 454-5743, Ext. 134

For information about Oregon’s REAP program contact:

John Holman

Business Programs

Rural Development – Oregon

United States Department of Agriculture

1201 Northeast Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 801 |Portland, OR 97232

Phone: 503.414.3369 |E-mail:  | “Committed to the future of rural communities”

Hire Electric can provide evaluations, technical assistance, and installation for on farm energy systems of all types.

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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.

Visit the GeoSpring site for more information. Find out more at

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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:

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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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