Tuesday, March 20, 2018

IPS Solar Shows How It's Done

Here's one piece of positive news: local solar company IPS Solar is doing well by doing good. Founded by Ralph Jacobson 27 years ago, the company tried to sell what not enough people wanted for a long time. Jacobson paid himself $5,000 a year for the first 10 years.

In 2017, IPS was named one of Minnesota's fastest growing companies. It has created hundreds of jobs and installed over 40 megawatts of solar power.

This is my favorite quote from the story, from a farmer who installed a solar garden on 22 acres of marginal land:

“It works,” Eichten said. “Every day. Whether cloudy or sunny. It’s the ultraviolet rays that power the thing, less in the short days of winter. … I make twice as much off that land as I would farming it. It’s renewable energy. And I’m not polluting.”
From that I learned that solar panels don't need clear, sunny days to work. And it make economic sense, too, because Eichten says he makes twice as much from using this marginal land for energy as he would if were farming it.

Making the right thing to do the cheapest thing to do: that's what it's going to take.

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