Plainview bank gets solar energy boost
Dear Answer Man, I was driving through Plainview the other day and saw a line of solar panels in a parking lot along main street. Who owns those?
What a sharp-eyed reader you are. Those panels power Foresight Bank , what used to be Plainview National Bank, at 138 W. Broadway. They're on the north side of the parking lot along Plainview's main drag, and they were installed last fall.
Cassie Harrington, the bank president, said they're up and running and producing electricity for the building, and while they haven't taken the bank off the grid entirely, "they're taking a nice chunk" of the bank's power usage. They're using a "net metering" arrangement with Alliant Energy ; when the 26-kilowatt solar array is producing more than enough power for the bank, the rest gets credited to their Alliant account.
"We finance renewable energy" projects of this kind, "and I've always been a proponent of it, so we just decided that now's the time to invest in our own solar array," Harrington said.
There are 100 panels, measuring 3 feet by 5 feet, and they have micro-inverters, so if one panel is out of commission, "it doesn't take down the whole system, like an old Christmas light string," she said.
The system cost about $120,000 to put in, and with a federal tax credit of 30 percent, "that brings the investment down real fast," she said. Other credits and incentives are available as well.
The bank, which changed its name Jan. 1 when it went from a national charter to a state charter, has been a Plainview institution since 1902 and at its current location for 39 years.
Among the things I learned in pursuing this: Alliant Energy 's headquarters is in Madison, Wis.
Also regarding the Plainview area and energy, the site about five miles east of Plainview where the CapX2020 power line towers are being assembled is now huge. One of these days, those jumbo towers will start marching across the landscape, which is another reason to encourage solar and other alternative energy sources.
Dear Answer Man, they had a canned food donation event at the Galaxy 14 theaters in Rochester last weekend, and I heard that the Rochester theaters collected more than any complex that's operated by Wehrenberg. Can you find out if that's true?
I can, and it's not true, though an awful lot of food was donated. About 13,100 cans were collected here. Among the 15 other cineplexes operated by St. Louis-based Wehrenberg Theatres, the Ronnie's 20 Cine in St. Louis was tops with 50,000 cans.
The company just opened a new eight-screen theater complex in Lake Ozark, Mo. If you've ever been to Galaxy 14, you know from the ads before the show that they pronounce it, "Wwwwwwwehrenberg."
One other Rochester movie note: A reader asked a while back about the Metropolitan Opera HD broadcasts at the Cinemagic Hollywood 12 theaters, on Superior Drive at 19th Street Northwest. The shows aren't repeated here, despite what the online reservation website says, so the live broadcast of Verdi's "Falstaff" at 12:55 p.m. Saturday, for example, is it -- no encore sceening on Wednesday.
"Falstaff" is a long show, so I recommend you buy the jumbo bucket of popcorn and a few extra boxes of Dots.