Fulfilling Edison’s vision: Birthplace home now powered by solar energy

Edison birthplace solar rooftop solaredge unirac

The birthplace of one of the pioneers of electric current is now being powered by the sun. SolarEdge collaborated with Meyer Burger, Unirac and National Renewable Energy Partners to convert the Thomas Edison Birthplace Museum, in Milan, Ohio, to solar power.

The project represents the realization of vision Edison foretold in 1920, when he allegedly said, “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. I wish I had more years left.”

Edison’s birthplace and museum was converted to solar energy, paying homage to Edison’s monumental contributions to the development and innovation in electricity. A celebration was held on June 3, attended by Edison’s relatives and family as well as Mayor Pam Crosby.

Ron Cull, a board member of the Thomas Edison Birthplace Museum, inspired this project. He wanted to integrate solar power into this landmark as a means to strengthen and reiterate the inventor’s visionary work on the evolution of electricity.

“By incorporating solar energy into the framework of the museum, we are not only embracing sustainability but also enriching the story of electricity, from its inception to its modern-day applications,” Cull said.

The Edison home solar project was made possible by the donations of several solar manufacturers and installers. SolarEdge provided its home inverter and power optimizer solution.

“Our joint effort with Meyer Burger and the Thomas Edison Birthplace Museum underscores our commitment to sustainable energy solutions,” said Bertrand Vandewiele, GM of SolarEdge North America. “Together, we are illuminating the path towards a cleaner, greener future through showcasing the possibilities of sustainable alternatives to power generation.”

Meyer Burger provided the rooftop solar panels.

“By harnessing the power of the sun, we are honoring Thomas Edison’s legacy while advancing the cause of renewable energy,” said Michelle Graef, senior marketing manager of Meyer Burger.

Unirac donated the solar racking system.

“Thomas Edison, the quintessential American inventor, was a giant among innovators. His relentless pursuit of technological advancement continues to inspire us. It is our honor to donate a SolarMount racking system to the birthplace of Thomas Edison. We celebrate that enduring spirit of innovation and continue to strive for a sustainable future of discovery,” said Ernest Gallegos, director of products, Unirac.

National Renewable Energy Partners donated its expertise and labor to ensure the seamless installation of the solar technology.

“As we install solar panels on the very home where Thomas Edison’s legacy sparked generations of innovation, we are reminded of the enduring power of human ingenuity and its capacity to evolve,” said William Matthews, president, National Renewable Energy Partners. “Today, we harness this spirit not only to create but to conserve, ensuring our planet remains as vibrant and full of potential as the light bulb once was to a darkened world.”

The benefits of this project extend beyond saving money on the museum’s monthly electric bills. Edison’s birthplace and museum will now offer visitors an opportunity to understand his groundbreaking electricity discoveries in a journey that includes solar. Edison’s solar energy installation will become a staple of the museum itself, and visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about Edison’s historic affinity for optimizing and exploring the most efficient energy sources.

“We are making Edison’s dream come true,” said Robert Wheeler, president of board of trustees, Edison Birthplace Association Inc. “We are powering history at the Edison Birthplace in a new way, thanks to SolarEdge and Meyer Burger.”

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