CLIENT QUOTE: "

You guys did a phenomenal job with the Helios. And Rob, as always, went above and beyond for us.

" Dan Kae—Assistant Production Supervisor
CLIENT QUOTE: "

I wanted to give Rich another glowing report, He was AMAZING on our shoot. The most helpful driver I’ve ever had. I’ll definitely be requesting him on future shoots.

Thanks for everything guys!

" Adrienne Burton – Freelance Prod Coordinator
CLIENT QUOTE: "

The drivers were awesome to be with.  Hard working drivers!!   It really stands out when the drivers jump in to help set up base camp, and tear it down.  Not to mention always having a fresh green tea for me just when I needed it every time.  They really were great and I’d ask for them anytime we get vehicles from you. Thanks!

" Mary Brooks – 3 Star Productions
CLIENT QUOTE: "

…the moho was super nice, everything was great! I will definitely rent it again!!

" Susan Borbely – Prod Coordinator
CLIENT QUOTE: "

Thank you so much for lovely Eko lav — definitely the nicest port-a-potty I’ve ever used!

" Amanda – Producer
CLIENT QUOTE: "

The Helios is a great motorhome. Not only is it energy efficient but it offers a large space for production to work in. The copy machine is great because you can wirelessly print and make color copies and send faxes. The satellite phones came in handy when we realized we didn’t have any cell service on location. We received several compliments throughout the shoot day. Crew walked into the motorhome in awe of such a beautiful space.

" Courtney Witherspoon-Production Coordinator Three One O
CLIENT QUOTE: "

You guys are the BEST!

" Marie D’Amore—Production Supervisor, HSI
CLIENT QUOTE: "

Rusty, Bruce and the guys at King Kong were a crucial asset to my photoshoot.  They took a lot of stress off of my plate and came through when I needed them, allowing me to focus 100% on the production.  Without a doubt, King Kong is now my go-to for production vehicles and I do not hesitate to recommend them to my colleagues.  And, not only is Rusty the best and most helpful driver I have ever had the pleasure of working with, he is also awesome with a fog machine!

" Brett Spencer-Producer, Nastygal.com
CLIENT QUOTE: "

King Kong has great motorhomes and the best drivers in the business. Working with you guys is always easy and a pleasure.

" Cat Burkley-Portfolio One
CLIENT QUOTE: "

We’ve used the Helios twice now and have been quite impressed each time.  It has everything production could want AND it’s earth friendly! We will use the Helios on every job in which we need a moho.

" Mario D’Amici—Production Coordinator, Beef Films
CLIENT QUOTE: "
King Kong has the best equipment & drivers in the biz.
" Tom Baker – gangboss
CLIENT QUOTE: "

I just wanted to send you a quick message and let you know how amazing Rich is. I have hired motos from all over and this was by far our best experience. Really nice to work with great people

" Crystal Raymond- Chinese Laundry
CLIENT QUOTE: "

King Kong… top notch service, incredible drivers, clean, well equipped vehicles, on time—every time! Thanks guys…. you ROCK!!!

" Elaine Lee—Producer 5th and Sunset Los Angeles
CLIENT QUOTE: "

North Six has been working with King Kong for many years now.  Not only is their customer service unparalleled, but their fleet of motorhomes is always clean, reliable, and exactly what we need to support our photo productions.

" Kyd Kisvarday—Producer, North 6
CLIENT QUOTE: "
Thanks again for helping out with our party. The restrooms worked out great and the service was awesome as usual!
" Steve Brazeel
CLIENT QUOTE: "

Just wanted to say thanks for the awesome customer service. Our driver was friendly and professional. He arrived early and had everything ready to go for us. The motorhome was clean and in perfect shape. Every detail matters on a shoot to help keep everything running smoothly. We love working with King Kong!

" Jamie Williams- That Girl Productions
CLIENT QUOTE: "

We truly enjoyed working from the Helios, the attention to detail to make it an Eco friendly asset to our industry should be commended. The quiet workspace you get when running on the solar power is delightful! Rob was pleasant to be around and always willing to help out. Thank you Rob and King Kong for bringing us the Helios!

" Rochelle Savory-Assistant Production Supervisor

Communities collaborate on solar projects

The research engineer teaches a course on renewable energy at the University of Minnesota. He had already cut back on his energy use and converted his home to LED lights.

Then Schmidt heard about a community solar project his utility company, the Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association, is building. Instead of spending around $40,000 to install solar panels on his home, Schmidt could purchase a single panel for $869.

“This way, I can do it little by little, buy one panel at a time,” he said.

Schmidt will see a discount of a few dollars on his monthly electricity bill. He will also get the satisfaction of creating renewable energy for his community that won’t be affected by fluctuating prices of fossil fuels.

“We’re contributing some pretty stable power to the grid,” Schmidt said.

Community solar projects, popping up across the USA, are being touted as a model that makes solar power both affordable and accessible to everyone. The projects allow everyone to get involved in producing solar power, “not just the ones with a really good south-facing roof,” said Eric Jensen, chairman of the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society.

Elsewhere:

Clean Energy Collective of Carbondale, Colo., which is building the Wright-Hennepin project, has built or is building six others in Colorado and New Mexico and has six more in the works, said Tom Sweeney, chief operating officer.

“It’s going to accelerate very quickly in the next few years,” he said.

A solar project built in 2008 in University Park, Md., was one of the first of its kind in the nation. A group of residents formed a limited liability company and raised $133,000 from investors, said President David Brosch.

The 99-panel solar array was built on the roof of a church, which purchases about 25% of the power it generates. The surplus electricity is sold back to the grid, Brosch said.

“The panels have been running really well,” he said. “We’ve actually generated more than we thought.”

Two solar projects were built the past two years in rainy northern Washington state, one owned the Okanogan County Electric Co-op and another by 32 co-op members who invested a minimum of $5,000 each, said Nilsene Harris, a co-op staffer.

Community solar projects can be built on a roof of a large building such as a school or in an open area. Wright-Hennepin’s will be next to the utility’s headquarters in Rockford, Minn.

The projects also can be built on land that is unsuited for other development, such as an old landfill, or next to a wetland because there’s no environmental impact, Masia said.

The laws regulating local power generation vary from state to state. Colorado passed a law two years ago allowing community solar projects, which is why so many are being built there, Sweeney said.

Clean Energy Collective enters into a long-term power purchase agreement with the local utility such as Wright-Hennepin. Clean Energy sells panels to individual homeowners, schools and local governments.

Each month, it calculates the amount of energy produced by those panels and credits the customer on his or her utility bill, Sweeney said.

It’s less expensive for the company to build the projects on an industrial scale than for homeowners to install panels themselves. For consumers, the payback period varies, Sweeney said. For the Colorado projects, it’s usually 12-14 years. For Wright-Hennepin, it’s closer to 20 years because of the added cost of the batteries.

Wright-Hennepin’s project has been popular among co-op members so far. About half of the 216 panels have been claimed.

“I think it’s just the ease of being able to get into solar,” said Rod Nikula, vice president of power supply. “They want to be able to try it a little bit.”

Each panel generates about 25 kilowatt hours of electricity each month. It would take 25-30 panels to generate all the power used by the typical household, Nikula said.

One unique aspect of the Wright-Hennepin project: It will use batteries to store solar energy during the peak production hours in the daytime so it can be used during times when it’s needed the most. That’s important because the co-op is made up mainly of residential customers, Nikula said.

“Our peak demands occur around suppertime, when everybody comes home from work and occupies the home again,” Nikula said.

Marohn also reports for the St. Cloud (Minn.) Times

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