Solar panels powering Maldaner’s Restaurant downtown Springfield Illinois

This was my first time attending Illinois Solar Tour. A bit of drama got in way of me attending an earlier Springfield event this year.

Michael Higgins, chef / owner of Maldaner’s Restaurant and Michelle Marley-Knox of WindSolarUSA did an excellent job of explaining installation process and overall solar power benefits.

Maldaner’s solar photovoltaic (PV) modules provide 15 to 20% of restaurant’s energy needs. After grants and rebates system total cost was $800 out of pocket ( figure given day of event – one news article states less). So it has already paid for itself. Not to mention all the free advertising from press coverage. I think Mr. Higgins would say going green makes good business sense.

These solar panels are also an educational tool for Illinois colleges. System is monitored and used as teaching resource. Students visit site to learn more about this technology.

Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) is a consortium of Illinois community colleges working to grow the green economy of Illinois. Locally this is a partnership with Lincoln Land Community College.

A full structural analysis was done to make sure roof of this old building could support weight of solar panels. They are completely removable – not anchored into roof – use a ballast system. No maintenance required – other than an occasional cleaning.

Project used solar panels Made in USA and union laborers.

A presentation on this project was given at Illinois Renewable Energy Conference on July 16, 2014 at Illinois State University Normal IL. Unfortunately do to event rules I was unable to record any content.

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