The Solar Holler Model

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We’ve developed the Solar Holler Model: an innovative model that allows any non-profit in West Virginia to go solar with no upfront cost and immediate savings on their electricity bill.

Working with the WVU College of Law for legal assistance, Solar Holler has developed the first solar leasing program to West Virginia.  Now, non-profits can rent their panels instead of taking out loans to pay for them.

We work with local investors to line up the funding for the installation.  Then, we pay off the system over time through two income streams:  a small monthly rental payment from the organization (which is more than offset by their savings on their electricity bill), and the income from an innovative crowdfunding program that puts local water tanks to work.


How does it work?

Solar Holler Model Infographic

WV SUN has partnered with Maryland-based clean tech company Mosaic Power to put supporters’ water tanks to work cleaning up the power grid.

Mosaic Power installs a small remote control on electric water tanks. The remote periodically tells the tank to briefly cycle off when there is a surge in demand on the electric grid. This has no impact on how well the tank heats water (you’ll still have hot water when you want it), but it does allow power companies to save electricity on the grid. This reduces bottlenecks and blackouts, helping shut down dirty diesel generators.

Mosaic pays for all the parts and installation for the controls. They also pay $100 per tank per year for the ability to turn your electric water tank into a virtual battery.   By installing enough Mosaic remote controls in a town, WV SUN helps pay off the solar systems in just 7 years. After that, the solar panels are donated to the organization.  The panels keep cranking out free electricity for decades after that.

In April 2014, we unveiled our pilot project using the Solar Holler model with Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church.  Through the project, the Church will produce half of their power on their own roof—while saving money from Day 1.  More than 100 families and businesses across Shepherdstown stepped up to install Mosaic controllers—earning the project over $10,000 per year to pay off the solar project.

Want to develop a Solar Holler project in your holler?  Contact Dan Conant to get started.


Current Solar Holler Projects

Check out our current Solar Holler projects!


Solar Holler FAQs

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More info coming soon!

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