Feather River Solar Electric is the inspiration and dedication of Bill and Denise Battagin. Designing, engineering and installing photovoltaic (PV) systems since the early 1980s, Feather River Solar Electric provides complete code compliant, turnkey PV systems for residential and commercial applications throughout Plumas County and some parts of Northeastern California. Our primary work is site survey, design and installation of renewable energy (solar and micro-hydro) systems for grid intertie and stand-alone (off-grid) customers.
Our philosophy in our quest to infiltrate the American energy landscape with solar power is to do the job right, upfront. Feather River Solar Electric’s systems are built to last – our goal is twenty-five to thirty-plus years of uninterrupted, hassle-free and cost effective solar powered electricity.
Whether you need a large commerical grid inter-tie PV system or an off-grid 100 watt low head microhydro set-up, we will take your complete project from start to finish.
When I purchased my first PV panel in 1982, we were powered by PG&E. My lust for choice, independence, and the opportunity to make my own electricity without the deleterious effects of nuclear power, the burning of coal, oil or natural gas, and the damming of large rivers won out over my complacency. For me, generating my own cleaner source of electricity means being less hypocritical. The purchase of the original panel produced much more than electricity flowing through its wiring, it freed me from my box and helped to show me the value of this precious, thin biosphere I have the privilege to inhabit.
To this day, I am still learning about responsibility, respect and appreciation in part from my experiences with renewable energy, and my dad and brother Bob. I believe in solar electricity so much that on a special day in 1996, Denise and I watched as PG&E disconnected their power lines from our home. It was another seven years before Californians had the option of installing PV systems on their homes and back-feeding solar power back onto the grid via net metering. Though living off-grid is not for the faint-hearted, we don’t miss our past connection to the grid, the outages, smart meters, pollution and politics that came with it.
Here at Feather River Solar Electric, choosing solar power was the beginning of more efforts to reduce our impact. Since 1998 most of the fuel we have used for transportation has been made from used fryer oil. We recycle all of our cardboard from the receiving department and since December 2012, we have been charging our 100% electric RAV4EV with our solar electric system. Our store and shop are heated with wood, a local renewable resource, in an EPA approved woodstove.
As a side note, that first panel I bought in 1982 is nameplate rated at 43 watts and cost me $370.00 or $8.60/watt. Today, panels are about 77% less expensive before you account for inflation. Maybe the best part is… more than three decades later, that panel is still charging my batteries and running our loads at about 35 watts output. Yes, it was made in the USA.