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Solar Energy part of Renewable Energy Sources

Over the past four years, Brian Bates, Bear Creek Organic Farm’s owner, has had many conversations with visitors at his farm on Atkins Road. Bates said that the 30-panel array solar system atop one of his buildings was one of the things that were most talked about. He said, “We thought having that as a talking piece and an ambassador for Solar Energy would be a really strong opportunity.”

In the Spring of 2017, Bates said he installed the 30-panel array at his farm, which at the time could not generate enough electricity to power 50% of his farming operations. Bates said that he adopted solar energy for three reasons. He said, “No. 1, we believe in renewable energy and we like trying to put money where our mouth is. No. 2, is the maximum federal tax credit for renewable energy incentives was going to start decreasing after that year, and there was a great advantage where Great Lakes Energy had a big incentive program and the federal government had a pretty big credit program, so those two financial aspects starting to align.”

The third reason Bates felt was most personal to him. People always want to know the math behind solar panels and how they pay off. Devon O’Shea, engineering and design representative for CBS Solar, said that the cost of installing a solar array for business varies on the need and size of the company.

CBS SSolar has worked with Manthei Landscape Supply, a division of the MDC Contracting, in 2017 to install panels in Charlevoix.

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