Changes at the Solar Initiative

Thu, 10/14/2021 - 4:45pm

As any organization matures and goes forward, it undergoes various changes. No less so with the Solar Initiative. En route to a separate 501-c-3 status, a Solar Initiative board has been formed. Its members are Tom Durden, John Spier, Samantha Hester, Seth Draper, and Tony Pappas, who
will serve as board chair. One of the first acts of the board has been to obtain the services of Wade Ortel as program director. Ortel will replace Tony Pappas in this capacity.

Ortel is a life-long islander and a graduate of the Block Island School. He went on to Brown University where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is passionate about climate health, renewable energy, solar power and especially electric vehicles. In fact, he has retrofitted a Volkswagen “bug” to run on battery power. Wave when you see him “buzzing” around the island.
Ortel’s duties will be, among other things, to continue the publicity and educational activities of the Solar Initiative as well as administer the subsidies that are offered on the island to effect lower fossil fuel emissions. Ortel can be reached at Welcome aboard Wade!

The board also voted the following subsidies to be in effect for the fourth quarter of 2021:

PV systems: $1,200 per kilowatt, up to five kws, some restrictions apply. Due to various delays, the projected installation time frame is spring 2022.

Heat pumps available to all island homes occupied year-round only: Two-thirds of the installed costs, up to a maximum of $6,000.

Heat pump technology hot water heaters: 50 percent of installed price up to a maximum of $1,000 with some additional restrictions.
Induction electric cooking stoves: 50 percent of the purchase price up to a maximum of $1,500.
A communication with further details will soon be going out to everyone on our heat pump and solar lists. If you have any questions or wish to be placed on our roster for a future subsidy, please contact Ortel.

I would like to thank our generous anonymous donor and all Block Islanders for the genuine interest and support I have received as program director over the past few years and I look forward to serving our environment and our island in my new role as we go forward.