Macon Habitat, Mercer University receives $60,000 Solar Power System Grant

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — More homeowners will now have a new way to power their homes.

The All Points North Foundation has awarded a $60,000 grant to Habitat for Humanity of Macon and Mercer University to provide installation of low-cost solar panel systems on 5 Habitat homes.

“We will work with Mercer with their engineering school, and with students from Mercer to lead the project and install the solar panels on each of the houses,” said Ivey Hall, executive director of Macon Area Habitat for Humanity.

Habitat for Humanity of Macon plans to complete the project by 2021 to help homes become more energy-efficient.

“This will be another step to be able to bring solar power to our homeowners to continue to keep their utility cost low,” Hall said.

She says the habitat homes will be given grid-tied rooftop solar PV systems at no cost.

According to a news release, the individual systems will offset approximately 80-100 percent of each home’s annual energy needs, saving an estimated 6,400-kilowatt-hours of fossil fuel-sourced electricity, resulting in nearly $1,000 in savings per year for each homeowner.

“This will bring down that cost even more, and the exact amount will depend on the homeowner and where they set their thermostat every year and how much power they use,” Hall said. “This will offset their bill a quite bit to be able to keep their cost low throughout the year.”

Dr. Michael MacCarthy — director of Mercer’s Engineering for Development Program — says the funding helps give Mercer students experience on energy efficiency.

“We are excited to grow our service and research work with Habitat for Humanity through All Points North Foundation funding,” said MacCarthy.“We believe that in addition to providing clean-energy systems for Habitat homeowners, this project will expose numerous students to Habitat construction and solar PV design and installation to help promote solar PV options to the wider Macon community.”

The solar panel systems construction begins this summer.