Monday, July 8, 2013

Windmill repairs

Effective immediately!

I will no longer be taking calls for windmill repairs, unless they are ones that I have installed. Do to the amount of labor and cost of repairing them it is cheaper to add additional solar panels to your existing system. 

If you wish to get your windmill repaired I can refer you to someone that might be able to help you with that. 

Sorry for the inconvenience.

I will still offer windmills to customers. Just keep in mind my cheapest grid-tied wind turbine starts at $65k and goes up from there. You can do a whole lot of solar panels for that kind of money.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

General prices

I spend a lot of time writing up proposals to have the customer say that was more then they wanted to spend. So I decided to post some general renewable energy system prices to help with the shock of pricing.

Now keep in mind that each project is different and will need to be field verified.  Also prices change all the time on equipment.

Solar rack is sometimes costly starting with cheapest to the most expensive. Roof, ground mount, and then top of pole mount is how the cost break down goes.

Solar Grid connected:

12- panels on the roof installed cost around $13,500 and up. This is my average size install.

12 panels on a ground mount system cost around $15,000 and up.

12 panels on a top of pole mount rack system costs around $17,500 and up.

Solar panels have leveled off on price. The same system 5 years ago would have been almost doubled. 

Off-grid Solar:

6 panels on ground mount system with inverters, batteries, and installed. Starts around $16,000 and go up from there. It also depends on the racking which can drive the cost up from there. Plus the more batteries you use the more it costs as well.

Small wind: (grid tied only)

I only carry to brands Bergey and Evance. These two companies have both been around 15 plus years and have been through a second party verification testing.

Evance only has a 5kw and Bergey has a 5kw as well. Both cost about the same.
On a 60' tower installed is around $65.000. The Evance I can only get a 60' tower. The Bergey I can go as 120' on a tower. The tower is what drives the cost up. But higher the better. Sticking a windmill on a short tower. Is like sticking solar panels in the shade.

Bergey 10kw on a 100' tower starts at $75,000 and goes up from there. I installed one of these last year at this price. I think since that time the price has gone up. Windmills need rare earth magnets. Rare earth magnets come from China. China is hold on to their magnets for their on wind projects.

Now keep in mind they all need to be field verified and could be less. I am basing my prices on projects I have done in the past or quoted recently. Each project is different.

I will say solar offers the best value for your money and is the most flexible then small wind. Solar you can start with one panels and add on as you like. Small wind that's it, you get what you get for that generator size.

I'm not trying to scare anyone off from doing this at there home or small business. But  I'm trying to give you a heads up as well. It takes a lot of time to figure these projects out and if you are going to get sticker shock then we are both wasting our time.

I have both solar and small wind at my home. It has been the best thing that I could do for myself. I think it's worth but i does cost money. Sometimes a lot of money. But you are securing your energy future. You are locking in your electrical cost in at today's price.

If after reading this post and are still interested in installing a system for yourself. I would more then love to talk to you about a price and a system that is right for you.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Off the Grid

For some of you that may just stumbled across my blog or those that follow along. I have been off the grid for about 3 weeks now. So far the system has been running flawlessly since it came online.

I am not 100% off the grid but about 90%. The grid for me is actually the backup if the batteries are not fully charged and I still have 3 things connected to the grid. My stove, water heater and heat, which are all electric. Because I do not have a big enough inverter they can not be connected to the off grid system.

If the grid goes down for what ever reason I will still function as normal. There are other ways to heat water and stay warm.

I installed 6- 250 watt solar panels on a ground mount support. I chose this style because it's cheap and I can clean the snow off them in the winter.

I used 2- Outback GVFX 3648 inverters with 2 sets of 105ahr 12v deep cycle boat batteries for a total of 210 ahr at 48 volts.

 The Outback inverters were from a job that I did earlier this year that I acquired for converting the system over to grid interactive. The batteries are from Menard's. Just cheap boat batteries. I wanted batteries that I could buy locally. Plus I didn't spend a ton of money on them.

I am currently running my computer and lights off grid while I am blogging to you today. I live my life and run my business just like normally when connected to the grid. I really curious to see what next months electric bill will be.

I will continue to post from time to time on how my system is doing. My plan next is to install a small wind turbine. Probably a Whisper 200 on a 80' pole.

If you would like to follow along it is best to like J.D. Stratton Electric on Facebook.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The state of the things to come?

I have been giving some thought to the recent heat wave we have been experiencing here in Northern Michigan. I believe this will be the way the weather is going to be now and in the future.

We have been experiencing very quick and violent storms and record high temperatures which is not normal. Could this be the new normal? I don't know.

But I do know, that it has been playing havoc on the electrical systems for the power companies. These sudden storms are knocking out large populations of electrical customers. The heat is setting record power usages for the demand for air-conditioning.

On a personal side I too have been experiencing electrical issues with my own electrical provider. Twice last week I had no power for whatever reason. We had no storms but still it went out. I believe we are going to see rolling blackouts. These high heat days play hell on electrical equipment. Causing things to fail or the power company will not be able to keep up with the demand of power comsumption.

So we have this natural stuff playing havoc on the grid. What will happen when we add electric vehicles into the mix on a hot Summer day? Are the power companies going to be able to keep up then? Are we going to have these rolling blackouts or worse brownouts?

I guess time will tell. Quicker then I think people believe. 

But there are solutions to these problems. Solutions that you the individual can do to protect your own well being. I know that I am currently making preparations to help maintain my own self-preservation. I will be installing a battery backup solar system. Because myself like others, I like to keep things running. I don't like my lifestyle interrupted with these problems of things not working. I like my beer cold and a good glass of water when I want it.

I have several customers with this very option. They are very happy with their systems. It is not cheap. But I'm being to think it's the way to go in the long haul. With a simple gas generator as backup, to the backup. 

Other options would be a backup generator, manual or automatic. The problem with gas generators is there is maintenance issues and moving parts. Plus the cost of running a generator is not cheap. But a good option in the short term, but not for several days without power.

Well I guess this gives you something to think about and consider. I can see that this whole power problem is not going away anytime soon. Everyday I see in the news or online that power is out again in an area. So why wait until it starts happening or happens to you again? So get prepared now before it's to late again!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Consumers Energy EARP is now accepting residential solar applications.

Beginning today, Tuesday, April 3, 2012, residential electric customers served by Consumers Energy can submit applications to participate in Phase 6 of the utility’s Experimental Advanced Renewable Program (EARP).  This standard-offer contract program allows electric customers to sell the output of customer-owned solar generating systems to Consumers Energy for a fixed price over a contract length of 15 years.

Applications for this next phase of the EARP must be submitted by May 3, 2012, and are available online at

So if this is something that would interested in doing give me a call TODAY! (231) 715-1170

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Latest news and offers

Well some of use in Northern Michigan lost our power for a few days. So I have been busy doing generator hookups. Here is a picture of one of them. Plus I have a nice little generator package deal to offer.


Did you loose power for days? Do you want an economical solution? If you answered yes to both questions then here it is.
You will get:
1- Generac 5500 watt gasoline only generator
1- 30a 120/240 outlet mounted outside
1- Generator cord 10' long
1- Panel mounted transfer switch (as in picture above)


You will be able to run most of the house with this unit: Well, refrigerator, freezer, furnace and some outlets and receptacles.

Don't be left in the dark again.

I also offer a full line of Briggs and Stratton whole-house generators too. Which can be hooked up to either propane or natural gas. Generator sizes start at 7kw and go up from there.

Just in case you missed it there was a nice article in the Northern Express about my company.
Here is a link to that article . They did a great job on it. So take a look it. It's worth reading.

Plus it's another option for backup in case of another power outage. All my customers that have solar /battery backup reported that their systems were running great. With little to no lifestyle change. Love happy customers.

I'm gearing up for several solar installations coming up. So stay tune for pictures of those projects coming up soon.