— with Battery Storage
By Tammy Reiss
Coming from a long line of self-reliant country flock in Upstate New York, it was a no-brainer for me to embrace renewable energy when the opportunity presented itself to become energy independent in 2014. My husband and I have always been good stewards of the land and live a sustainable lifestyle. We wanted to remain so while strategizing for our retirement, as well as being prepared for any manmade or natural disasters that may bring down the power grid.
As long as I can remember my family was happy owning energy-efficient homes while using firewood harvested from our properties to meet some of our energy needs. No thought was put into where the rest of the energy we consumed came from or how the extraction of those fossil fuels affected our planet and its inhabitants. We just took it for granted that because we live responsibly on our land, so other generations could benefit from its clean soil, air and water. We assumed others, including our government, used the land and what nature offers with the same respect. Many of us don’t agree that using more fossil fuels is an acceptable answer to our growing population’s energy needs. Some have further decided to lead by example, while making absolutely sure that any new source of clean energy was economically beneficial to our family and property values.
The family-owned business of Iron Edison in Colorado stood out as the company that would guide us through the purchase and installation of a 2200 watt, 24 volt American-made solar system with 300 amp-hours of battery backup storage. To make the purchase of our eight solar panels more sustainable, Iron Edison guided us to SolarWorld because they use renewable energy to manufacture the solar panels.
Iron Edison’s nickel iron batteries, made in the USA by Encell Technology, work great with every major inverter and charge controller. They also have an integrated watering system and are completely freeze- resistant. They are rated for 11,000 cycles (good for an estimated 30 years) at 80% depth of charge.
Because our family is so self-reliant we applied for no state tax credits, built the solar rack and battery house, wired and installed the entire solar powered battery system and carport ourselves. Iron Edison’s Brandon Williams talked us through the installation.
I can now say confidently, after taking the steps to secure my family’s present and future energy needs with renewables, that there is no excuse for our country to keep building out the infrastructure for the oil and natural gas industry. On a local, state and federal level the answers to breaking America’s dependence on dirty foreign and domestic energy, while cutting methane and carbon emissions and creating jobs, are right in front of us! Every one of us needs take part in being energy-efficient and take responsibility for the energy we consume daily. As American consumers we all need to ask ourselves whether the choices we make today promoting fracking, climate change or a war — or are we helping our country secure a clean and energy-independent future?
Tammy Reiss, who has been a Green Energy Times reader for years, is from the town of Butternuts, N.Y. Her strong advocacy against the dangers of fracking throughout New York State led, among other things, to her hometown banning hydrofracking in December of 2013.