Solar science powers art

Appalachian Ohio Solar Co-op members Matt Wedel and Coral Marie Wedel use their system to provide electricity to their home and home businesses, sculpting and fashion respectively. The Wedel’s 42 panel system provides 17 kW of electricity and is mounted on Matt’s sculpting studio.

“Our electric bill can be 500 bucks per month, so having that be offset by the solar input is a great incentive,” Wedel said. Sculpting is an energy intensive process. Wedel has three electric-powered kilns and electric forklift as well as electric powered table and pneumatic saws. All of which he said is now being offset by electricity from solar.

Wedel’s system provides an estimated 80% of their electric needs. Matt notes his studio sits in a good spot for solar, away from trees and other obstructions.

“It took a day and a half and the whole system was up,” Wedel said. “I was surprised how plug and play it was.”

Wedel notes that Ohio has great potential for solar development and job growth. He hopes the spark of solar that has caught on in and around Athens will spread further.

“Real economic development rests in infrastructure spending surrounding renewable energy and as a small business owner and artist I want to promote renewable energy is much I can.” The artists’ solar powered work can be viewed at www.MattWedel.com and www.CoralMarie.com.