HAC Goes Solar

HAC takes the solar plunge!

The recent installation of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on our roof will reduce the shop’s consumption of commercially generated electricity by 30-40 percent, averaged annually. (And reduce our electric bill by an equal percentage.) These photos show the progression as the solar panels were installed by REC Solar.

The installers arrive for work

laying in the framework

installing the panels

the final result

Here is a link to our story in the Southeast Examiner for January, 2009.


By participating in PGE’s Net Metering program, the shop also sells unused energy back to PGE, primarily during the summer with frequent sunny days. This link graphically displays our solar power generation.

Our Toyota Prius also has been upgraded by installing an auxiliary high voltage (HV) battery pack, making it a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) capable of fuel economy in excess of 100 MPG.

Our next project is to install a vehicle charging station at the curb adjacent to the shop, to be shared with our neighbors’ PHEV’s and EV’s (electric vehicles).


The best thing about our solar electric system isn't what it does produce, but what is doesn't produce. When our solar electric system generates electricity, we are offsetting power that might otherwise be generated by burning fossil fuels, which can generate carbon dioxide and other pollutants. About 25% of PGE's electrical generation comes from its Boardman site. Situated about 150 miles east of Portland, the coal-fired plant uses 330 tons - or nearly three rail cars worth - of pulverized coal dust an hour at full throttle. Each week Boardman consumes four to five 115-car freight trains worth of coal! For a recent interview with Jim Houser on HAC's solar conversion, take a look here.

For more on hybrids, go to our Hybrid Technology page, here.