If solar power is the future of energy, then Science First has brought the future to Yulee.
As a leading manufacturer of environmental sampling equipment, the company is committed to “green manufacturing.” The company’s products have been used by scientists and government agencies such as the EPA to sample fresh water and lake and river bottoms since 1938 when the industry was in its infancy. It is pleased to be able to use the remarkable Florida sunlight to meet much of its energy needs and to become more self sufficient over time. It expects that this solar array will reduce its carbon footprint considerably and will decrease, even in a very small measure, its unwitting contribution to the global warming so often in the news.
The solar array became operational on October 1, 2011 and was installed by Pete Wilking, owner of A1A Solar Contracting Inc, a locally owned and operated solar contracting company designing and installing solar power systems for residential and commercial customers in north Florida and south Georgia. The capacity of the total system is 32,200 watts, which Mr. Wilking believes to be the largest in Nassau County at this time. There are 140 panels, each providing 230 watts per panel. The system is designed to allow for a doubling of panel capacity at a future time and uses the latest technology microinverters to convert the DC produced by the panels to the AC required for operating the business. Each panel has 1 microinverter.
The system is warranted for 25 years and may well continue to produce for 50 years, an indication of the commitment by Science First to Nassau County.
To date the solar array has produced 10,000 kilowatt hours and is expected to produce 43,000 kilowatt hours per calendar year. It generates about 40% of the electrical energy used by the company annually and prevents the burning of about 21 tons of coal and 37 tons of carbon dioxide.
Science First would like to thank Pete Wilking and the entire professional installation crew of A1A Solar; Kelley Electric for extensive inside wiring work; and Florida Power and Light for their generous rebate program which helped make the project possible in addition to the 30% federal tax credit currently available. As Pete Wilking has frequently commented, “Why pay for energy when sunshine is free?”
Science First is a family business with ownership shared between Nancy and her sons Aaron C. and Nathaniel S. Bell. Ownership of the family firm is also shared with Nancy’s two daughters, Dr. Colleen E. Bell (MD) and Dr. Jocelyn R. Bell, not currently active in the business.