We’ve gone solar!
Up to the minute reporting on the production of our 2015 Ryder Solar Project at our 606 Scioto Street Urbana location.
As a conscious corporation we continue to hold the indentation of being a beneficial presence in our community and on the planet.
This office became the first business in Champaign County to have a solar awning custom designed by Brett Henderson in December 2015 as part of our solar array.
The project received one of the 10 Ohio USDA grants for renewable energy in 2015
Ryder solar project…for future generations
Realtor turn ‘irritant’ into energy
By Joshua Keeran
When R. Stephen and E. Lee Henderson, co-owners of Henderson Land Investment Company, decided to renovate their Urbana location at 606 Scioto Street in 2007, Mrs. Henderson threw out the idea of turning an ordinary fabric awning into an energy-producing, money-saving awning. What might have seemed like a futuristic idea eight years ago turned into reality last week when crews finished outfitting the building with 27 solar panels, 9 of which were used to construct a solar awning, while the other 18 were anchored to the roof.
“We have an awning at our other office (1404 S. Springfield St. in St. Paris) that is just fabric and I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if we could have an awning that was solar,“ Mrs. Henderson said. “I let it go because at that point in time it wasn’t possible. I kept thinking about it and kept considering fabric awnings but I also kept thinking it needs to be solar.”
As the years passed and the sun continued to beat through the five full length windows and other smaller windows that make up the front of the building. Mrs. Henderson never gave up on her dream of “turning the sun into an advantage instead of an irritant.”
Everything falls into place
In order for Mrs. Henderson’s dream of installing solar awning to take shape, two things were needed – someone to design it and funding to pay for it.
Unbeknownst to her at the time the idea was born Mrs. Henderson’s son Brett, who took a job as a project manager for Solar Power & Light in Miamisburg and decided to bring his mother’s dream to life.
As for funding the $21,000 project, the Henderson got the financial assistance needed to move forward earlier this year when they were one of ten recipients of the grant through the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Rural Energy for America Program. Available to small business owners and farmers who wish to install a renewable energy system, the grant covers 25 percent of the Henderson’s project.
Along with approximately $5000 grant from USDA, the business will receive a $14,000 federal investment tax credit.
Along with the installation of 27 panels. Mrs. Henderson said the project, designed to generate enough electricity to power the entire building, also involved a lot of electrical work centered on the installation of an inverter, which will convert the solar power into usable 12-volt electricity.
While the system has begun collecting solar power, it won’t be converted into usable electricity until sometime in early January, Mrs. Henderson said.
The benefits of such a project, she added, are two-fold.
“For us, it’s basically free energy.” Mrs. Henderson said, noting the business will save anywhere from $100-$140 a month in energy cost. “Once you pay for the project it’s free energy for in the ball park of 40 years. The chances of me living 40 more years are unlikely, so then you have to put it into perspective as to the main reason why we are doing this project, which is for future generations”
For the Hendersons the future is their 13 grandchildren, one of whom, Ryder, was born a few weeks ago.
“We are now naming this the Ryder Solar Project because we are doing this for future generations so that they will hopefully have clean air to breath.” Mrs. Henderson said.
Having seen her eight year dream come to light, Mrs. Henderson is hopeful other business owners will follow her lead in one way or another. “I believe that every business that generates income has a responsibility to make a positive impact in the community.” She said. “Making a positive difference is what it is all about, and this project is one way we can do that. For other businesses out there, if you have a project in mind, just do it”