Rooftop Solar Puts Local Business on Path to Net Zero

By ReVision Energy | Aug 20, 2012
Courtesy of: ReVision Energy A 14.4 kilowatt grid-tied solar electric array installed by ReVision Energy for the folks at Northeast Radiant Technology (NRT) in Gardiner, ME.

The rising costs of oil and gas has peaked Mainers’ interest in heating alternatives, and a new generation of heat pump technology and falling costs of solar electric modules have combined for a vision that many would not have believed feasible: affordable electric heat offset entirely by solar power.

Leading this charge is Northeast Radiant Technology (NRT), who recently hired ReVision Energy to install a 14.4kw solar electric array on the open south-facing roof of their Gardiner, Maine offices, alongside a Daikin Altherma air source heat pump.

Being full-service heating system design professionals, NRT knew intimately the full range of heating options available. Their choice to go with solar and an air-source heat pump was based on a commitment to environmental responsibility and an exciting vision: a heating system powered solely by the sun.

"The ability to go net-zero with a photovoltaic array for a small business like ours was really attractive,” says NRT Co-founder Rob Brown. “With our competitive grant, our time to pay back the system cost is less than 7 years and even with just the base tax credit it’s about 13. We felt if we could really tread that lightly on the earth for that kind of a price it was well worth it to us. And of course in the end it’s an economic winner as well.”

NRT was able to take advantage of a suite of rebates including a $2,000 Maine state rebate (recently increased to $4,000 for businesses), a 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit, Accelerated Depreciation Benefits, and an Efficiency Maine grant.

Unlike a choice to invest in fossil fuels, NRT knows that in the future their cost of energy will never increase. The solar electric system will produce a little over 18,000 kWh of power a year – a savings of close to $3,000 annually at today’s prices.

The solar electric panels are long-lived, with an expected life span of 30+ years, and contain no moving parts. Whenever the sun is out, clean electricity is generated and either used immediately in NRT’s offices, or exported to the grid.

To learn more about grid-tied solar electric systems, visit our website at, email Jennifer at, or give us a call at (207) 589-4171.

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