Solar Energy for Self Storage

Ideal Self Storage is a storage facility located in Hummels Wharf, PA that provides clean, secure units that are perfect for storing household furnishings, clothing, toys, bicycles, camping gear, patio furniture, office supplies, electronics, sports equipment, and holiday decorations.  Gerald Stauffer and Dennis Brubaker, joint partners of Ideal Self Storage, were seeking to install a 15.12 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system to provide electricity at their facility.  This system would be interconnected with the electric grid utility.

Gerald and Dennis contacted the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC) Clean Technology Resource Center (CTRC) to help start cutting utility costs.  The CTRC Technology Consultant made several recommendations about ways energy costs could be reduced.  After carefully reviewing their options, Gerald and Dennis worked with a contractor who drew up a plan to install a 15.12 kW solar PV system.  The solar PV system will produce up to 1,233 kWh of power per month offsetting a portion of the 3,591 kWh of power provided by the utility company.  The solar PV project was estimated to cost about $67,247. However, in order to complete this project, Gerald and Dennis needed funding assistance to offset the cost.

Once again Gerald and Dennis contacted the PA SBDC CTRC Technology Consultant for assistance with funding opportunities for their solar PV project.  The CTRC Technology Consultant informed Gerald and Dennis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grant, the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Sunshine Grant, Federal Tax Incentives, and Solar Renewal Energy Credits (SRECs). The CTRC Technology Consultant guided Gerald and Dennis through the USDA REAP Grant application process.  Gerald and Dennis applied for and were awarded a USDA REAP Grant for the amount of $13,499.  Their solar installer assisted them with the PA Sunshine Grant for the amount of $10,060, and their CPA helped them receive the Federal Tax Credit for the amount of $20,173.  Ideal Self Storage has plugged in their solar PV project and it is currently generating electricity!   

Through the innovative and proactive approach towards achieving greater energy efficiency, Gerald and Dennis have demonstrated a commitment to the public’s best interest.  With limited renewable fuel resources, every effort made to reduce energy consumption helps ensure that there is some left for future generations.