LightWave Solar on News Channel 2 featuring Apollo Middle School’s Solar PV

Published January 12, 2011

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WKRN, Nashville, Tennessee News, Weather and Sports |Sun shines bright on local solar company

Sun shines bright on local solar company

Posted: Jun 29, 2009 4:16 PM CDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A local solar panel company is growing, despite a tough economy in which many businesses are cutting budgets and laying off employees.

In June of 2008, Steve Johnson, owner of Lightwave Solar Electric, LLC, was taking about one order a month from homeowners wanting to install solar panels in their homes.

This year, his company is doing about an order each week.

Johnson said the company has gone from having two part-time employees to 10 fulltime workers in less than a year.

Workers are installing the solar panels onto the roofs of residences, businesses and schools.

The company has installed solar systems on homes in Green Hills and West Meade, and a Starbucks in Franklin went online just last week.

A solar panel system is going up on Apollo Middle School that is expected to cover the costs of heating and cooling for the school.

“There’s no maintenance.  There’s no moving parts, so sit just sits up here, makes money for the school system,” said Johnson.

The Antioch school is believed to be the first school in the country with a complete solar system.

“This time last year, there was nothing like this,” said Johnson. “There were two systems half this big, and now we have this one.”

The cost of a solar system in a home is still expensive.

A three-kilowatt system, which would cut energy bills roughly in half, costs around $24,000 for the system and installation, but there are some incentives.

Johnson said, “There’s a 30% tax credit for residential, so a $20,000 system you get a $6,000 tax credit.”

Participants in the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Generation Partners program get a $1,000 sign up bonus.

The TVA will also offer them roughly 21-cents per kilowatt hour of energy not used.

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