The 220-watt polycrystalline solar panel system, which went live in December 2009, generates 80% to 90% of the electricity the facility needs, according to Seko. The company uses a net metering system to produce a net credit of electricity, which is then sold to Portland General Electric. Seko Worldwide expects to save approximately $600 on its electric bill each month.
The federal investment tax credit paid approximately $50,000 in federal tax credits, and a tax credit from the state of Oregon paid for 50% of the system. The Energy Trust of Oregon put $54,740 toward the system.
Eugene, Ore.-based Grape Solar supplied the panels.
"Federal, state and local financial incentives reduced the total cost of the solar installation by nearly 80%," says Paul Burkhart, owner of SEKO Worldwide in Portland. "All projections indicate we will achieve an ROI in just three years. After that, we will enjoy virtually free electricity."