Range Solar and Wind is a small company specializing in custom solar installations for residential and commercial customers. Project installations vary from smaller energy independent or energy offset shops, homes and cabins to larger 25kW projects, the largest allowed by Wyoming per meter. “Small but mighty is how we think of ourselves,” Stacey Schmid points out.
They started in the solar energy industry in 2002. They began working for the original owners in 2011, purchasing the company in March of 2016 and have doubled their number of installations since then. Mark Schmid points out with a small two-person operation everything is hands on. He and Stacey earned their own electrical certification under a master, which allows them to control the whole project and provide the highest customer service they can.
“We take the time to gather as much information as possible about the customer’s needs. Then we make recommendations according to those goals,” Stacey said.
Many people still have the misconception that solar power requires a lot of maintenance, is too expensive, or that it never pays for itself.
“A solar power installation usually can pay for itself within seven years, 10 years being the longest and some installations in one year. And many of these installations have very little or no maintenance.” Mark explained.
Combine that with warranties that last 25 years and solar power can be a great option for people. Wind turbines generally have a greater cost due to the maintenance of the turbine.
“All Wyoming utilities must offer interconnection to their power grids. This allows customers to accumulate “kilowatt-hour credit” for power they didn’t have to use because they generated their own.” Mark explained. “Each utility has their own schedule for the building and pay-back of “kilowatt-hour credits.”
Mark and Stacey joined CAEDA in an effort to extend the conversation about the opportunities solar and the wind could offer Wyoming. They have the knowledge about a sector of the energy industry that they can share with others. They are familiar with laws that direct the use of solar and wind energy on a smaller scale. This knowledge can help shape the direction of CAEDA.
“They have a voice in an industry that we haven’t had before,” said Riata Little with CAEDA.