Ground Mounted Solar Array

Ground Mounted Solar Array

Week One

After two years of planning and permitting, Elemental Energy and their sub-contractors started the installation on April 6.
Michael, Will, with a quick visit by Kevin followed by the 3 Toms – Courtney, Strickland, and Crowe, along with Lezarus, Brian, Vlad, Jake, Jon, and Chris installed the solar array via post hole digging, concrete pouring, structural racking assembly, line drilling, 24 solar panels and scrim attachment…all of this while working within a framework of Covid-19. Lots of masks and gloves and social distancing.
Next week electrical and battery backup with Will and Luke.

For videos of Week One, go to this link. The videos are Zipped so you’ll have to download them first.

Week Two

During the week of April 13, Luke and Will were the leads in part 2 of this story. Tom showed up for the hand off on Monday and the electrical journey began. It’s been labeled among the Top 5 worst/ hardest installations Will can remember…because of our crawl space. Dark and dusty and filled with wiring that rats had likely dined on AND so shallow and tight that Luke couldn’t get into parts of it and so their coordination of Luke in the crawl space and Will through the wall in the basement where the Tesla was being installed, involved yelling and straining to hear one another’s muffled directions and feedback. Masks didn’t help communications either.
So it took longer than expected but throughout Luke and Will worked, worked, worked and persevered with good humor and professionalism.
I tried to stay up on the process but for the most part it just looked like a bunch of wires being cut and spliced and more wiring installed and boxes being hung and a heavy Tesla battery being lugged from truck to basement…oh and did I say that they went up and down the basement steps about a million times…oh and did I say that all of this while social distancing, wearing gloves and masks and attending to my questioning and picture taking?

Okay, I’ll stop now and simply say that they will be back on Monday to finish and if all goes well, Tom and the Gresham permitting folks will be here on Tuesday for inspection. And, it’s cool to realize that Earth Day is Wednesday, April 22. Here are the photos and below them the link to videos.

Videos of Week Two at this link. The videos are Zipped so you’ll have to download them first.

Final Phase

On Monday and Tuesday (Today) the project was completed. On Monday, Luke and Will arrived to complete their work outside and in. They pulled the line from house to panels, drywalled the upstairs panel, and “commissioned” the system. When Luke and Will left they were smiling and pleased that our system “looks clean”…Cool!
Today, Johnny, the Gresham Inspector, and Tom came out for the inspection (we passed) and among other things Tom answered a lot of practical questions for us and helped me load the Tesla app onto my iPhone. Before he left, we threw the main breaker so that we were running on the Tesla battery, walked to the barn and greenhouse and turned on the pump to make sure the Tesla would easily start it, AND IT DID!

Jerry and I started this project broadly speaking because we want to leave a light footprint environmentally-speaking/energy consumption-wise, and more specifically to, a) have power during outages that occur here mostly due to winter wind and ice, and, b) to assure we had water to fight fire threats around our house and barn when Corbett Water might not be available. It’s a great feeling to see our 2-3 year project come to fruition.
Now comes living it and learning more.

Videos from the past two days are here.

Thanks to All at Elemental Energy and to your extended system of sub-contractors.
We appreciate your expertise and caring.