“It’s been more than 4 years since I’ve installed my 5.76 kW system with assistance from Altenergy Incorporated. I wanted to go solar for environmental and financial reasons. Immediately after installing solar panels on my first primary home our power consumption from the grid was cut in half, in spite of my having purchased an electric car that needs a nightly charge (energy from the grid can be quite cheap at night). I envisioned installing another array on the upper party deck of my lake house dock that has an ideal orientation for solar, but have since given that up because of very unreasonable resistance from Appalachian Power which controls all structures on Smith Mountain Lake. Buyers are also interested in the energy and cost savings from the PV system. I recently sold my Charlottesville home, and the the solar panels were definitely something I highlighted in the realtor’s pamphlet.” — John Kattwinkel
John Kattwinkel, age 76, is a semi-retired professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia. Kattwinkel aims to apply his interest in innovative technology and living green to improving the care of premature newborn babies.