2016 Project of the Year Editor’s Choice: No Energy Left Behind

beardWe say it every year: When it comes to solar projects, we are all winners. We already announced the winners of our 2016 Project of the Year vote, but we at Solar Builder liked a bunch of the other submissions too. Here is the fourth and final entry in our series of Editor’s Choice winners. These are projects that didn’t garner the most votes from readers but we felt were still pretty darn cool too.

Previous Editor’s Choice posts

North Putnam High School & Middle School


North Putnam Schools were in need of physical upgrades, and Johnson-Melloh Solutions (JMS) proposed a solar panel farm on 6 acres as the answer. JMS also introduced a capital lease agreement through a non-debt service finance program via a community bank that required no upfront capital and did not raise any local tax levy with a positive cash flow in Year 1 — after the annual lease payment. Facilities can rely on stored power during peak times to lower bills, and excess energy can be fed back to the grid at a constant rate over the course of the day, resulting in lower bills. Transmission and Distribution infrastructure at the school facility caps the amount of power that can be transmitted back to the grid to 500 kW — a limitation easily overcome by the brains of the energy storage system. Students get a hands-on lesson in energy efficiency because they can monitor the JLM Energy’s Measurz software dashboard real-time on kiosks located throughout the school.

North-Putnam-High-School-2Location: Bainbridge, Ind.

Size: 1.6 MW

Completed: March 2016

Developer: Johnson-Melloh Solutions

Contractor: Johnson-Melloh Solutions and JLM Energy

Modules: Boviet

Inverters: Fronius

Mounting: Solar FlexRack

Grenada Elementary & Delphic Elementary


A major project goal of the Grenada Elementary and Delphic Elementary installations was to demonstrate and measure the investment benefits of renewable technologies for schools. All funding for the PV Tracker project was procured by SES from California’s Prop 39 job creation program, bundled with other energy efficiency measures for the schools. The program requires the tracker bundles to show an SIR of greater than 1.05. The tracking systems are currently generating nearly 530 MWh of clean electricity per year, saving the districts more than $8,000 annually in utility costs.

Location: Grenada & Montague, Calif.

Size: 22 kW & 7.3 kW DC

Completed: May and June 2016

Developer: Sharpe Energy Solutions

Contractors: Sharpe Energy Solutions, Double J Electric, Willpower Electric and Price Excavating

Modules: LG

Inverters: ABB

Mounting: AllEarth Renewables


Have you checked out our YouTube page?

We have a ton video interviews and additional content on our YouTube page. Recently we debuted Power Forward! -- a collaboration with BayWa r.e. to discuss higher level industry topics as well as best practices / trends for running a solar business today.

Our longer running side project is The Pitch -- in which we have awkward discussions with solar manufacturers and suppliers about their new technology and ideas so that you don't have to. We've discusses everything from residential rail-less deck attaching and home solar financing to large-scale energy storage value stacking and utility-driven new home solar + storage microgrids.

We also post our Project of the Year announcements there! Interviews with this year's winners will be up starting the week of Nov. 8. Head there and subscribe today to stay on top of all this extra stuff.

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  • Steve FitzGerald
    December 6, 2016 12:31:09

    Can you tell me what contractors are working in Kansas and who I might be able to talk to to switch careers to Solar and or Wind sales and or installation please. you may call me @ 316-308-2750 or by the noted E-mail site. Thank you very much- great magazine!