Five Star Retreat Goes Solar
With 300 acres of Tennessee’s beautiful rolling hills, a large lake, two scenic creeks, an 8,500 sq. ft. lodge, private cabins, and available catering, Five Star Retreat in Nunnelly, TN, hosts top-notch corporate and church retreats, family reunions and weddings.
Until this year, one of the few things the property lacked was a solar energy system to reduce operating costs and make the facility more eco-friendly. Even before opening Five Star Retreat in 2011, owner Greg Gough set his sights on adding solar to his business.
“I was interested in being off-the-grid or owning a large solar farm,” says Gough. “Then I realized the most cost effective first step would be a rooftop system that generated electricity I sell back to the utility,” he says.
Last month Gough received his first electric bill showing solar energy revenue. After just 16 days he earned $324! His 30 kilowatt system, which consists of 113 solar panels, generates about $3,800 annually.
“The solar system makes sense as a financial investment, especially given that the tax credit is still available,” he says. “Also, we thought our guests would appreciate our effort to make the property greener,” he adds.
He says most guests do not notice the panels until he points them out.
“Once people see it, they think it’s awesome,” Gough says. “It kind of sets us apart from other venues,” he adds.
Gough is not done with solar yet. In the future, he would like to add a large ground-mounted solar field as well as a battery backup system when battery technology improves.
“This project was an easy process and not disruptive at all since we scheduled the installation in between events,” he says.
LightWave Solar and Dickson Electric System commissioned the system on May 19, 2017, just in time for wedding season. To learn more about the kind of system we installed at Five Start Retreat and request your custom estimate, please Contact Us.