Wilderness Aware Rafting Goes Green With Renewable Solar and Wind Power
In May of 2008, Wilderness Aware installed a state of the art wind and solar power system at our 17 acre Colorado Headquarters. We are Colorado’s first rafting company to incorporate renewable energy into its power grid!
Our large property and Colorado’s 300 days of sunshine and windy off-rafting season weather are a perfect fit for this ambitious project.
We have installed the infrastructure to eventually supply 100% of our energy needs using renewable energy. We buried $7,000 worth of wire consisting of four sets of 200 amp wire from our renewable energy pad to a “Net Meter” located on the main power line to our building. The net meter allows us to consume the energy we produce, take power from the grid when we don’t make enough, and sell power back into the grid when we make more than we can use.
Our initial pilot project is up and running now and producing 400 to 800 kilowatts per month, enough power to supply a small home (about 20% of our annual energy needs currently). The details of that system are spelled out Here.
In order to get our initial system up and running, we took advantage of the 30% federal tax credit and $5,000 in interest free loans from Sangre de Cristo Electric, our local coop. We have plans to install another solar panel in 2009 using a $3 per watt grant from our coop in addition to the federal tax credits that were extended in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.
The eventual goal is to generate 100% of our power. How much power is that? In 2007, prior to installing our system, we used about 34,000 kilowatts of power, most of it in the summer time due to heavy refrigeration use and computer use. We anticipate generating about 7,000 kilowatts of our own power in 2008. With another solar panel installed in 2009, we should increase our generation up to at least 30% of our total needs. We hope to add more generation each year until we are independent. We thank you, our customers, for making this project possible. We are proud to be contributing our small part to American energy independence.
— Joe and Sue Greiner and the Entire Staff of Wilderness Aware
For answers to technical questions about our renewable energy system, Click Here.
MAY 2008 RIBBON CUTTING
Sue, Ben, Ethan, and Joe Greiner
shown with renewable energy contractors.
View of single solar panel array.
We installed a second array in 2009.
View of our new green bus, solar array
and wind generator.
View of solar array and wind generator.