A Look Back at How MOXIE Introduced More Communities to Solar Energy

The MOXIE mission was born out of a desire to bring renewable energy to Iowa. Through hard work, dedication, and an unstoppable team, we were able to outgrow that goal. Our new focus expands to the entire United States. As we reach out to more communities, it’s important to remember how far we have come and what got us here. We will never forget our roots and the projects that helped us become the solar industry leader that we are today.

MOXIE Becomes Fastest Growing Company

Years ago, Jason Hall decided that he needed a career change. He wanted to do more than collect a paycheck. He wanted to do something that he could feel passionate about. A job that would motivate him to give 110%. That desire led to the creation of MOXIE.

Jason Hall – MOXIE

Nearly a decade after he took the plunge into renewable energy, MOXIE was recognized by Corridor Business Journal as 2016’s Fastest Growing Company. Those modest beginnings had expanded to include a team of 25 employees. Year-over-year revenue had also grown by 110%, with a total growth of 536% between 2013 and 2015.

Jason started his professional life in the finance industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and went on to work as a commercial credit analyst. He realized that he wanted more out of his career.

“I tended to be one-sided, where I was only a business guy and was kind of locked into four walls and a laptop for the vast majority of my week,” he explained. “So I really started looking around to say, ‘Do I want my next 15 years to look like my past 15 years?”

Jason built a profitable company that continues to grow. At the time of the award ceremony, MOXIE was responsible for a solar array that was connected to Johnson County’s multi-million dollar Secondary Roads Facility.

North Liberty’s Local Solar Company

Residents and businesses in North Liberty, Iowa don’t have to go far to find an expert solar installer.

MOXIE brought renewable energy to farmers throughout the region by July 2016. The team wasn’t stopping there. They focused on reaching local businesses and consumers to help them find the energy solutions they need. North Liberty was happy to have a local installer ready to do the work.

“The city of North Liberty right now is working on a project to install solar panels at three of our city buildings: Fire Department, our Parks Department building and our Street Department building,” said then-city mayor Amy Nielsen.

The goal is to make North Liberty environmentally friendly and lower operating costs for the city. Solar can do both while allowing buildings to continue operating with the power they need. The panels installed by MOXIE are expected to provide 25 years of service.

The local government keeps the public informed and aware of the benefits of solar through monitoring dashboards. Visitors can visit pages for each building and see how much energy is produced on a daily, monthly, or lifetime basis.

Per the North Liberty city website, the three new arrays powered the equivalent of over 58,600 light bulbs for a day and saved over 13,500 kg of carbon dioxide emissions. That is about the same as planting 750 trees.

MOXIE Quadruples Solar Power in Johnson County

In another step toward energy independence, MOXIE was hired to quadruple solar power production in Johnson County. An open house was held to reveal the 85.8 kW ground-mounted array that was installed near the administration building. Another 159.6 kW array was installed on the Health and Human Services Building.

Johnson County director of planning and development Josh Busard said that “With all the energy we produce, we’ve taken this building off the grid.”

Solar panels placed on the Administrative Building will produce approximately 113,000 kW hours annually, which amounts to 24% of the building’s total consumption. The Health and Human Services Building array will generate 195,000 kW annually or about 12% of the building’s use.

To put it into perspective, this project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are equal to 46 passenger vehicles in a single year or about 23 households’ worth of energy use.

Paying for large solar projects can be challenging for communities. MOXIE and Johnson County entered into a purchase agreement that will span 20 years. The agreement allows the county to purchase arrays for $1. They have the option to buy the arrays after 10 or 15 years. A termination fee applies, but it still ends up saving the county money in energy costs.

It’s a great deal for the local area. “In some cases, the upfront costs are too high, so the power purchase agreement allows you to spread out those costs over time,” said sustainability coordinator Becky Soglin. “It definitely makes it more possible for us to do solar.”

Mason City Library Lights Up with MOXIE

MOXIE installed solar panels on the Mason City Public Library in 2016. Over a year later, the project was proving beneficial for everyone. Library Director Mary Markwalter called the panels a “sunny success.”

It took three years of planning, but the 207-panel solar array was made operational on July 12th, 2016. It was placed on the flat library roof.

According to Markwalter, “The plant consistently produces 33% of the power used daily by the library.”

Solar energy combined with two related activities have taken the library’s utility bill down from $68,000 to $41,00 over the previous fiscal year. That’s a savings of $27,000 that could be invested in other vital areas.

The related activities include installing LED lighting and 23 windows that open to lower reliance on the building’s HVAC system. These changes, along with the use of solar energy, have made a huge difference. They save the community thousands of dollars while keeping the lights on in the library.

The Future of Solar Power with MOXIE

The MOXIE team has already made great strides in its mission to introduce more people to renewable energy. Check back in the future to learn more about MOXIE’s newest developments and projects. Let us know if you have questions or would like to find out if solar power can lower your utility costs and increase your energy independence.

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