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Exeter, NH Lumber Goes Solar

New Hampshire seacoast area business, Exeter Lumber, recently installed a 51.87kW solar array.

New Hampshire seacoast area business, Exeter Lumber, recently installed a 51.87kW solar array. Photo credit: Exeter Lumber (NH)

By Hope O’Shaughnessy

A local New Hampshire seacoast lumber company, Exeter Lumber, is gearing up for the future by investing in solar to curb future energy costs. Exeter Lumber is a family-owned and operated lumber and building supply organization that has been serving seacoast NH since 2009. They reopened an old lumberyard (Wentworth Lumber), which started in 1958.

According to the store’s partner, Sean Murphy, when electricity bills were totaling $1,000 per month, they decided to make the move to renewables. Their respect for the environment had an impact on their decision to switch to solar. They were fortunate to be able to utilize their store’s beneficial roof pitch and excellent location when determining the array placement. They were able to take advantage of incentives and rebates to make the project feasible. The Murphy family business includes owners Sean, Josh and Jamie who operate the business and are involved in sales.

The array offsets approximately 94% of their electric load. Photo credit: Exeter Lumber (NH)

The array offsets approximately 94% of their electric load. Photo credit: Exeter Lumber (NH)

At the end of the day, the benefits were overwhelming. After factoring in commercial rebates, depreciation, and electricity usage, the investment has us paying off the panels in 3.5 years and working off free electricity from there on out,” Murphy added. In their case, Exeter Lumber will save $337,770 over 25 years instead of paying for utility power. Specifically, the project received $46,080 in a 30% federal tax credit as well as a $30,000 NH Commercial and Industrial Rebate (Category 1) and a $36,557 MACRS Depreciation.

Revision Energy of Brentwood, NH with several other locations throughout NH, headed up the project. The 63.58 MWh solar array consists of 182 LG panels, each rated at 285 watts and was commissioned in August 2016. The solar generation is equivalent to offsetting carbon emissions from roughly 58,363 tons of carbon pollution each year. The array is flat-mounted on an existing roof pitch (3/12 pitch).

Murphy is pleased that the new 51.87 kW rooftop array will allow for nearly 100 per cent of energy needs. He also remarked that he has been so impressed with the value and need for solar, that he is also installing an array at his own local residence. “After seeing the proven success of solar at Exeter Lumber, I was eager to install solar panels at my own residence.” Although his roof was not ideally positioned for solar, Revision Energy was still able to offer him an economical 10kW ground-mount option that he has decided to install.

This local business now serves as an exemplar of what can be done with ingenuity and foresight when planning for future commercial energy needs.

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