by Bill Batson
To paraphrase the musical “Annie,” and a report from an April 17 White House energy summit, you can bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be more solar power in America. From the stock market to the farmers’ market, renewable energy from the sun is gaining in popularity. From a corner storefront in Nyack, Revolusun is providing regional consumers the tools to harness the power of the sun.
Revoluson’s Nicholas Grisanti left a career trading oil futures to pursue a business that he believes has a brighter future. “I went from working with a carbon energy source to a nice clean, renewable source,” Grisanti says.
Sun Power on the Rise
On May 9, Obama announced more than 300 private and public sector commitments to create jobs and cut carbon pollution by advancing solar deployment and energy efficiency.
Here are some statics released in a report that followed April 17 summit.
- Last year, about a quarter of new power generation capacity was from solar – second only to natural gas.
- Growing deployment, led in large part by the utility sector, has driven down costs: Over the last three years, the cost of a solar energy system has dropped by more than 50 percent.
- Since President Obama took office, America has increased its electricity generation from solar more than ten-fold and tripled electricity production from wind power.
Even though solar power is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, it still only accounts for approximately 1 percent of the nation’s electricity generation.
The Hawaii-based Revolusun equips homeowners with a state-of-the art solar energy system that can feed the regional power grid instead of drawing from it. As the owner of the New York franchise, Grisanti helps consumers find an economically sound and environmentally conscious way to power their homes. “In addition to the green aspect, the savings on utilities can be substantial,” he says. “Electricity prices are on the rise. With solar, you know what you are paying for and the savings are significant.”
Solar power has been given a boost in recent years by the enactment of a 30 percent federal tax credit and a 25 percent New York State tax credit worth up to $5,000. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers an incentive program that provides 1$ per watt toward the cost of a solar power installation (a 7 kilowatt system would generate a one-time payment of $7,000).
In addition to these public programs, Revolusun offers an array of financing options, including a zero-down lease. “If you qualify for all the credits and incentives that are available in New York State, you can take off approximately two thirds of the price of your solar power system.”
Starting on June 7, Revolusun is sponsoring the new Saturday Farmers’ Market in Nyack. They will continue to be a presence at the Thursday Market, operating an informational booth every other week. “If you visit us at the Market, we can go onto Google Earth and locate your house to see how suited your home is for solar power. Orientation matters. Southern exposure clear of trees and buildings is ideal, ” Grisanti said. “Once the analysis is completed, we show you how much energy the system will produce and how much you can save on your electric bill.”
More efficient and attractive solar panels and advances in mounting equipment make installations on the some of the historic homes common in our region easier to accomplish. One of the homes on the recent Historical Society of the Nyacks house tour featured solar power. This was not a Revolusun project, but it illustrates that solar panels can be successfully incorporated into the architectural details on the roofs of Victorian homes.
The choice to locate in Nyack was a deliberate and easy one. “New York is one of the leading states for solar. We wanted to be on the Hudson, along the I-87 corridor. We got to Nyack and fell in love with it,” Grisanti said.
Grisanti’s appreciation for the Hudson River heritage of the village is painted all over his office, literally. Revoluson’s storefront on the corner of Franklin St. and Depew Ave. was once the home of the urban clothing and sneaker shop, Trendsetter, that has since moved to Main St. Trendsetter left behind a floor to ceiling graffiti mural of the Tappan Zee Bridge. When we moved in, we painted and cleaned the space.” said Grisanti, “But we kept the mural.”
Revoluson is now a renewable energy trendsetter in town. Just a few years ago, solar power was an esoteric and almost experimental fuel source. Today in Nyack, solar power is for sale at a corner store.
Additional reporting by Clayton Whiteby