The sun shines in our Kentucky, Kentucky homes and alternative energies LLC believes that it could become a great business opportunity.
Last year, alternative energies became sole manufacturer of Kentucky of photovoltaic panels that convert sunlight into electricity to households and energy companies.
The company has leased office space and manufacturing in the former ATR wire the Danville bypass cable plant, 10 employees trained and set up a parallel business security systems to cushion your home.
"Has been slow starting," said Dan Tolson, one of the three partners of the company. Solar energy is a novelty in Kentucky, he said, "but we believe that the potential here is huge." "It just makes sense."
Photovoltaic panels around the world - prices have fallen more than 30 percent in the last year, so the solar energy an increasingly viable complement to conventional power sources. "The more using this technology, it becomes cheaper," Lay AEK teammate Troy said.
But on the side of the industry, competition is fierce. Chinese firms now have two-thirds of the world market for $39 billion for solar panels, thanks to the massive subsidies from their Government.
In addition, Lay said, the industry has been affected by the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a company in California that made another type of solar panel that had received $528 million in federal loan guarantees. Solyndra failure gave politicians in debt with a convenient white fossil industries to attack the idea of investing in alternative energies.
"This is proven technology that we are using," said Lay, who added that the type of panels marks AEK had been used successfully in Europe for more than three decades. "But we are still fighting a lot of the same questions."
Lay said that he also faces questions about whether Kentucky has sufficient sunlight for solar energy to be viable. He said Kentucky has sol more than Germany, which gets more of its energy from solar energy than any other country.
"The idea that we do not have enough sunlight is crazy," he said. "I don't know why that keep it comes."
AEK buy cells of Taiwan, solder together silicon wafers and an Italian machine is used for laminating tempered glass to form a sturdy but flexible and watertight panel which is framed in aluminium.
Full panels are installed on the roof of a building. The power produced can be stored in batteries, but most systems are linked in the network to complement normal power and offset power that otherwise would be used.
AEK sold a full 1.1 kilowatt system that includes five 31/2-by-5-foot panels, installation and all equipment used to monitor the operation of the $6.999 system. However, federal and state incentives to reduce the final cost up to $4,400 to $3,900 for companies or owners.
Systems can be extended through the addition of panels, an option that will be more attractive if the panel costs continue to fall. Repayment terms vary greatly, depending on the amount of electricity that is used, a power utility company rates and how quickly these rates increase in the future. Lay believes that most customers pay for their systems in about 10 years.
One of the first clients of AEK last year was the home of animals, a pet business preparation and shipping at Versailles. Owner Sharon Hughes said it added six panels for the initial installation and the figures is saving approximately 30 percent in electricity costs.
"I like to be able to save energy and use natural energy out there," he said.
AEK solar panels have an expected life of about 50 years, said Lay. They come with a 25 year warranty, but that depends on the acquiring company so long.
So far, AEK has received close to $6,000 in State economic incentives for employee training, director of marketing, said John Cotten. However, state tax breaks could eventually amount to $1.125 million if the company creates approximately 30 jobs waiting for more than 15 years.
AEK partner Mike Carpenter said that the company would be large enough to focus on the manufacture and leave the installation to other contractors, and that it would create more jobs in Kentucky.
"We are not here to take charge of the coal business, but solar can be a great advantage," Lay said. "It may not be the complete answer, but it will be better and cheaper."