By George Harvey
Net Zero Renewable Resources, LLC, of Chester, Vermont, was founded in 2009. However, A. Lee Gustafson, its managing member, has green credentials going back much further. Originally a hydro geologist, he spent years studying sites to see how groundwater moved, where pollution might have come from, and consulting.
His interest in renewable power became more intense with passing time, and in the 1990s he started working on home projects, installing a small hydro system and sufficient photovoltaics (PVs) to power his house. Power outages while he had small children persuaded him that he should install a battery backup, and he was soon off-grid. He remains so today. His current home system has 900 amp-hours of battery storage at 48 volts, though he likes to limit use to 180 amp-hours to keep the batteries in good shape. This is tied to a 6000-watt inverter and powered by PVs.
Most of the work Net Zero Renewable Resources is in solar PVs. They passed the 100 kW mark for PVs in 2013, with systems ranging in size from 15 kW all the way down to 550 watts. Most of these systems were residential, but they also do commercial systems when the need arises.
“People are looking for any way at all to cut energy costs,” Gustafson notes. That includes solar thermal systems heating water or building spaces. He is very upfront about costs, however, saying that such systems can be expensive. They do make economic sense in many cases, and he is willing and able to work on such projects.
One type of interesting and unusual project Net Zero Renewable Resources has worked on was a heat pump in a basement that served to cool the space in the summer, dehumidify it year round, and heat water for the house. This can be an ideal approach for the particular needs it addresses.
Gustafson’s interests in energy seem to cover the complete spectrum of available technologies, including hydro and wind. He has worked on both types of systems, but stresses the need for practical solutions to the actual problems people have in residential and commercial situations. He does consultations, and is happy to discuss the best and most practical renewable solutions.
Net Zero Renewable Resources’ phone number is 802.875.3654. The website is netzerorenewableresources.com