Solar Spotlight: dbV Rentals in Nashville

Published May 25, 2016

Commercial Solar Installation in Nashville, TN

LightWave Solar recently installed 113 solar panels at dbV Rentals, a video equipment rental house located in the Berry Hill neighborhood of Nashville. Founded in 2002, dbV Rentals is Nashville’s premiere video equipment rental house. Founder Doug Bates and his team of industry professionals provide the friendly customer service of a boutique while providing the resources of a major rental house. Perhaps that is why some of its major clients are CMT, CMA, NFL Films, Nashville Predators, Pandora and iHeart Media.

Although sustainability was a factor, dbV Rentals’ main motivation for installing solar was financial.

“Our bill is pretty outrageous, especially in the winter.” says Bates. “Once it was as high as $1,200, so the choice to install solar was definitely a money thing.”

The 34 kilowatt (kW) system will generate about $5,900 per year which is about 85% of dbV Rental’s annual electric costs. The tax incentives were also important in the decision making process, as well as the solar loan option.

“If there weren’t any tax incentives, I would not have been able to do it,” he says. “But with the 30% tax credit and accelerated depreciation, I will see a full payback on my out-of-pocket investment as soon as I file my taxes next year,” he explains.

To increase solar production at dbV Rental’s moderately tree-shaded location, LightWave Solar utilized new LG NeON 300-watt panels, and each panel is outfitted with a SolarEdge power optimizer. SolarEdge power optimizers increase energy output from PV systems by constantly tracking the maximum power point (MPPT) of each module individually. This means that if one panel is shaded, the performance of nearby unshaded panels will be unaffected. Meanwhile, LG NeON panels employ Cello technology which replaces 3 busbars with 12 thin wires for increased output and reliability. Additionally, there are cells on the back of the panel that absorb and convert backlight into electricity.

LG NeOn panels can be more aesthetically pleasing than typical solar panels since they are all black with no white grid lines.

LightWave Solar and Nashville Electric Service will commission the system in August 2016.