June 2011 “Which Local Bank is Now Running on Solar?”

Published June 1, 2011

LightWave Solar Banner

The LightWave Insider
Commercial Spotlight
Residential Spotlight
USDA Grant Deadline
The LightWave Insider June 2011
Where We’ll Be…
2011 Tennessee Valley Solar Solutions Conference
August 9-10
Opryland Convention Center
Presented by the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee Solar Institute, which is affiliated with the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.
Conference registration is free, but space is limited. For more information or to register, contact Jennifer Brogdon at 423-751-8397 or [email protected]

Sustainable Living Guild’s Solar Energy & Energy Conservation Workshop

August 19-20
For more info, click here 

Solar 101 Workshop
Going Green Series

Green Hills Branch Library
August 30, 6 pm-7:30 pm
Presentation by Jason Campbell of LightWave Solar

Green Hills Branch Library
3701 Benham Avenue
Nashville, TN 37215

For details call 615-641-4050 x 21 

Commercial Spotlight
Commerce Union Bank Receives Solar Grant Money

Since last summer, the Tennessee Solar Institute has awarded $9 million in grants to 112 projects totaling $33 million worth of solar energy capacity. One of these projects took place at the Commerce Union Bank’s East Main branch in Gallatin.


Ron Deberry, owner of Commerce Union Bank, has CUB1always had an interest in sustainability. Several years ago he put this interest to action as he researched the qualifications necessary to make the Gallatin Commerce Bank at 1204 Nashville Pike the first LEED certified building in Sumner County. But the bank’s East Main branch was a 30-year-old building, and Deberry knew the building would not be able to become LEED certified.


However, about a year ago, Deberry had a conversation with a customer who owns a shopping center located in the neighboring town of Hendersonville, where he had just installed solar. Deberry then decided to further investigate solar energy as a way to power the East Main branch.


He started with a phone call to Steve Johnson, president of LightWave Solar. LightWave Solar then met with Deberry for a consultation to survey the site and create a plan for a solar system install.


LightWave Solar helped Deberry apply for the Solar Installation Grant, and upon completion of the project, Commerce Union Bank received $38,480 for the bank’s 20,000-watt array consisting of 84 solar panels and three inverters.


“LightWave took care of the entire grant application process,” Deberry said. “They created a firm timeline for the grant application and stuck to it. They completed the paperwork to the point that all I had to do was read it, sign it and turn it in.”


In addition to the grant, LightWave Solar presented a package of all the incentives that the bank was eligible for including the 30% Federal Treasury Grant; TVA’s Generation Partners program  rebate of $1,000; and 100% Bonus Depreciation.


The bank is able to sell solar electricity (about 22,700 kilowatt-hours of it in an average weather year) to the Tennessee Valley Authority. TVA pays the bank about twice what the bank pays Gallatin Department of Electricity for conventional electricity. The income will be approximately $5,000 per year, which will be enough to pay off the net cost of the system in about 6 years.


“The project yielded a very attractive return on investment,” said Deberry. “It also shows our commitment to environmental conservation.”


LightWave Solar reports that in just one year, Commerce Union Bank’s system will generate 22,727 kWh, offsetting 61,360 pounds of carbon dioxide (the leading greenhouse gas), 160 pounds of nitrous oxide (causes smog) and 320 pounds of sulfur dioxide (cause of acid rain). Within the system’s 25 year warranty, these annual offsets add up to the equivalent to taking 100 cars off the road or planting 150 acres of trees.

Residential Spotlight
The Allen Family Goes Solar


In March 2011, the Allen family of Brentwood, Tenn. embarked on a new adventure: the installation of an 11,424 watt solar system on their home.


Despite its large size, the solar photovoltaic system was only projected to cover about 75 percent of the Allen’s electric bill, which averaged around $350 a month.  In order to afford solar, Kirby Allen wanted to completely eliminate the electric bill.  This means he would have to challenge his family to reduce their electric usage by 25 percent.


“In order to motivate some of our household’s biggest energy hogs, we decided that our three kids could split the proceeds of any check we might receive,” said Allen.     


Under TVA’s Generation Partners Program, the Allens receive 12 cents per kilowatts plus their current rate which is 10 cents per kilowatts for the solar energy generated each month.  That translates into a credit of about $260 per month on average.    


Kirby Allen is the father of Hunter, age 15, David, age 11, and Sarah, age 11.  His children have responded well so far to the incentive.


“So far, so good… In fact the roles seem to have reversed,” said Allen.  “The kids are always reminding me and Linda to turn off lights and make sure doors are not left open.”


Allen’s clever strategy to negotiate with his family not only raised solar energy awareness among the next generation but also helped alleviate the Allen’s electric bill.


The family was shocked when their first full month’s electric bill showed a balance due of negative $125. Even with the air conditioning running during these past hot months, they have still been able to produce a negative bill, further widening the gap.


“My experience with solar so far has been great.  The system seems really bullet-proof.  I love being able to check on my system on the Internet, and wirelessly in the house.  The tax incentives are also great,” said Allen.  “I just wish more people would try it.  Who needs coal?  It pollutes our air, our oceans and our fresh water.  Installing residential solar is such an easy answer.”


Kirby Allen chose LightWave Solar to install the system based on their experience and reputation.


“In selecting a contractor to install my system, Light Wave was an obvious choice.  They are well organized, professional and on top of their game.  While my expectations were high based on their reputation, my experience was even better than expected,” said Allen.  “From the initial telephone sales consultation to the commissioning of the system everything was covered.  They have a team of specialists handling all aspects of the job.  It was truly a pleasure in every way.”

Congrats to Jason Campbell and Rhodes Thompson

This May Rhodes Thompson passed his NABCEP exam and is now a NABCEP-certified Solar PV Installer.  Jason Campbell also earned his NABCEP certification and is one of the nation’s first NABCEP-certified PV Technical Sales Professionals.  Thompson and Campbell now join Steve Johnson, Pete Vash and Karl Jaeger in this prestigious group.  LightWave Solar now employs a total of six NABCEP certificate holders!

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a volunteer board of renewable energy stakeholder representatives that includes representatives of the solar industry, NABCEP certificants, renewable energy organizations, state policy makers, educational institutions, and the trades. Each member of the board was chosen because of his or her experience and involvement in the solar energy industry. NABCEP’s mission is to support and work with the NABCEPrenewable energy and energy efficiency industries, professionals, and stakeholders and is intended to develop and implement quality credentialing and certification programs for practitioners.


NABCEP’s goal is to develop voluntary national certification programs that: 

  • Promote renewable energy;
  • Provide value to practitioners;
  • Promote worker safety and skill; and
  • Promote consumer confidence

NABCEP is committed to providing a certification program of quality and integrity for the professionals and consumer/public it is designed to serve. Professionals who choose to become certified demonstrate their competence in the field and their commitment to upholding high standards of ethical and professional practice. 

USDA Rural Development logo USDA Grant Deadline Reminder – June 15th!

June 15, 2011 is the deadline for USDA REAP solar grant applications.  The REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) grant is available for small, rural businesses or agricultural producers and covers 25% of the cost of a solar installation.  We take care of all grant paperwork!  Contact us for details on eligibility. 


Read Grant Overview  

Find Us Online! 

Find us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter


View our videos on YouTube  View our profile on LinkedIn

About Us

SInce 2006 LightWave Solar has designed and installed over 140 solar PV systems in Tennessee, representing over 2.7 MW of solar power capacity.  We are committed to quality solar installations that will generate clean, renewable energy for decades.

Attend a workshop or contact us today to learn how to become part of the clean energy solution, and start turning sunshine into savings!

3026 Owen Dr, Suite 107, Nashville, TN 37013 615.641.4050 lightwavesolar.com