Green Spotlight: Elemental Energy

Solar energy is the fastest growing power source in the world, with enough energy hitting the earth’s surface hourly to power mankind for a year. It provides clean power with no harm to the environment, and is so reliable that the first solar cell made in 1954 is still producing power to this day.

Locally owned and operated solar installation leader, Elemental Energy, provides this valuable power with a greater mission to critically address the way that society uses and thinks about energy. After graduating from Oregon Institute for Technology’s Renewable Energy Engineering program in 2010, founders John Grieser and Brandon Little traveled to Tanzania to install solar energy systems on schools, orphanages, and community centers. Inspired by this unique experience, the duo committed themselves to solar, spurring the birth of Elemental Energy and their dedication to providing creative energy solutions across Oregon and around the world. Today, Elemental Energy is expanding to meet the growing number of Oregonians, realizing the value of owning their own clean energy source.

It is this background that enables them to provide the highest quality systems and workmanship on every system with a strong eye toward aesthetics and creative solutions. We admire their knowledge and expertise, and especially like one of their core values, ‘kaizen.’  This value describes how the team practices continuous improvement, for themselves, the business, and the industry at large.

Not only does this company provide renewable energy sources to homes and businesses throughout Oregon, the same leadership also operates a sister nonprofit called Twende Solar (Twende means “let’s go” in Swahili). Twende is focused on bridging the gap between energy poor communities and renewable energy experts. By unifying the PV industry behind its global electrification efforts, Twende volunteers design and install renewable energy systems for schools, medical clinics, and community centers with limited or no access to electricity. It is easy to forget that throughout the world, one in five people are in the dark after the sun goes down. Without energy equality, we can never have a truly equal society. With this in mind, Twende Solar installs solar PV systems everywhere from Guatemala to Cambodia and is installing their first U.S. project this fall for the Portland Rescue Mission’s women’s shelter.

In January, Elemental Energy (founded in Portland) opened an office here in Bend, expanding opportunities for Central Oregonians to take advantage of the abundant sunshine we get year round. One of the things that makes Elemental Energy unique is the breadth of solar solutions they can provide from grid-tied to off-grid energy storage, residential to commercial and mobile.

When Four Peaks Music Festival asked if they could provide off-grid power, the Elemental team designed and built a mega solar trailer to both educate the masses about off-grid systems and power any large event with clean, silent energy from the sun!  With 6kW worth of beautiful bifacial modules and a 15 kWh lithium battery bank, the trailer provides over 40 kWh of usable power on a summer day. The addition of a large generator that can run on diesel, bio-diesel, or filtered vegetable oil means it can provide clean power day and night, rain or sunshine! The Solar Trailer is now housed at the DIY Cave and available for rent.

Laurel Hamilton, the Central Oregon Elemental Energy Operations Manager, spoke of the great energy (pun intended) here in Bend and how they’re looking forward to helping connect more people in this great community to clean solar power. So, if you’re looking to power your home, business, or car with the sun, contact Elemental Energy to make the transition in style.

VIDEO: Twende Solar: 26kW Solar PV Installation in Siem Reap, Cambodia