The Louisiana Solar Tour 2015
By Jeff Shaw
Everyone that took the Louisiana Solar Tour 2015 seemed to love it. Our Louisiana Solar Energy Society (LSES) tour was held in conjunction with the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) National Solar Tour. This makes 15th year that Louisiana homes have been open for the “solar curious” and “solar wanna-be’s” to connect with real live solar homeowners (and the 20th for ASES)!
While it has been done many times, this year was unique in many ways. Here are a few:
1. The people that went – had to be the best group ever. It was a great mix of all ages that were exactly who the tour was designed for. They in turn will spread the word about solar to their friends, coworkers and families about what they learned. It was fun and light, not a stuffy event. The systems were unique and met the needs of each homeowner.
2. The places visited – showed the current trend of including battery storage with solar installations. Four out of five or the tour sites included battery storage. Two of the homeowners had storage to avoid the inconvenience of extended power outages (like hurricanes). Our company, Gulf South Solar (GSS) was on tour and has storage to avoid business shutdown during short term outages (4-6 hours). My home showcased “GridZero”, the latest Outback Power technology, which allows “Off-Grid” living with the grid as backup.
3. The party at the end – thanks to Tin Roof Brewing, Baton Rouge’s only brewery, we had celebratory refreshments to mark the 15th year of solar tours in Louisiana. GSS supplied the food and everyone was able to stay as long as they wanted and get to know each other better.
If you weren’t able to come this year, consider visiting (and joining) LSES, lses.org, and coming to a meeting, event, or support the non-profit efforts that have truly changed Louisiana for the better. They are continue to do so as well for a better solar Louisiana. Special thanks to Rebecca Chalin, the LSES Statewide Coordinator for putting the tour together so perfectly!