Two local companies — First Light Solar Energy and Innova Homes — were recently awarded $61,000 and $51,160, respectively, from the North Carolina Green Business Fund.
The grant will help FLS Energy create jobs and expand programs that use “Solar Energy Purchase Agreements,” a financing method that reduces upfront costs for large-scale solar hot-water users. “The only thing standing in the way of mass adoption of solar-thermal technology is the upfront investment,” says Michael Shore, FLS Energy president. A recent project that uses this approach is the installation of solar hot-water system at Kanuga Conferences, featured in the Green Homes Tour being held Saturday, Aug. 22, by the Hendersonville-based nonprofit ECO.
Innova Homes will use its grant to help develop a hybrid modular home that combines structural insulated panels — a relatively new, energy- and material-efficient product — with traditional modular-home components.
Created by state legislators two years ago, the fund supports innovative projects in such fields as the biofuels industry, green building and renewable energy. A total of $950,000 was awarded to 14 companies this year, most of them in the Research Triangle.
— Margaret Williams