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Solar Energy International installs solar PV system on Paonia Town Hall

Posted by: april
November 18, 2010


Paonia solar panel installation

By Kathy Swartz, Solar Energy International's Renewable Energy Education Program Director

Solar Energy International recently installed a 6.3kW PV system on Town Hall in Paonia, Colorado. A grant from the StEPP Foundation funded the hardware, Solar Energy International donated design and labor time, and Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) and the Town of Paonia gave their support to the project.  At 6.3kw, the system is the largest in the town of Paonia, and is visible from downtown. 

Lucien Pevec, a Town Council Trustee, wrote the grant for the project and approached Solar Energy International to help. At first we thought we could get 3-4 kW with the available funds. However, from when the grant was submitted to when the system was designed, prices of solar had dropped and we were able to stretch the budget to have 6300 watts installed. 

"For a town that is the home to SEI's PV department and training center, it is great to finally have a commercial PV system that can bee seen when  walking through downtown," said Kris Sutton, the lead installer and a Solar Energy Intrnational PV Instructor.

The system is made up of 30-210 watt modules and 30 micro-inverters. It is mounted on a ballasted racking system on a flat roof that is tilted up to about 38 degrees. The inverters are grid connected and are tied into the three phase main service panel of the building.  The array also has a web-based monitoring system so anyone can look at production online, which the town can display on its own website.

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