Five new homes for law enforcement on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming will be outfitted with solar panels. They will be the first residential homes in the town of Ft. Washakie to have solar arrays and mark the beginning of an era where more new construction will feature solar.
Construction is expected to finish in September on five small houses that law enforcement officers can lease in Ft. Washakie, said Clint Glick, project manager. For Glick, it’s the first time working on a project that called for solar in the design.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ energy policy calls for more renewable energy in new buildings, said Larry Olson, construction manager advisor on the project. That means more buildings in the future will utilize solar, he said.
“The bottom line is it saves energy,” he said.
The houses are the first homes in Ft. Washakie to have solar panels- there are some public buildings that use solar power.
The homes are small and simple, but the solar power systems are substantial, said Scott Kane, an owner of Creative Energies, the solar company working on the projects. Creative Energies is a company that designs, engineers and installs renewable energy systems. It has an office in nearby Lander, Wy.
Each of the homes is being outfitted with a 5.1 kw solar array comprised of 20 Suniva 255 watt solar modules, Kane said. The solar is mounted flush to the surface of the roof using standing seam roof clamps in order to avoid roof penetrations. A Power-one PVI 5000 watt inverter is used at each house. With reasonable energy efficiency measures in place the systems should be able to meet all of the electric needs of the homes, reducing the cost of living for the residents, Kane said.
Four of five are completed, Kane said.
The homes will be rented by police officers and can be used as a recruiting tool.
“Hopefully it entices some high caliber people,” he said.