Solar panels leverage services at F.I.S.H. |

Solar panels leverage services at F.I.S.H.

John Barrette
FISH executive director Jim Peckam kneels next to the solar panels installed on the roof of the FISH thrift store and dining halll. The 130 solar panels can generate 28 kilowatts of power.
Jim Grant / | Nevada Appeal

An array of 130 rooftop solar panels worth $112,000 was recognized at Carson City’s charitable F.I.S.H. organization Tuesday as a pre-holiday season gift that will keep on giving.

Gathered for the celebratory dedication were representatives of F.I.S.H., also known as Friends In Service Helping, NV Energy, Black Rock Solar and the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy. The event was held in the F.I.S.H. thrift store and dining room building at 138 E. Long St., the primary location for the charity helping area needy people with food, medical and other services.

“Resources are limited, and the needs are huge,” said Jim Peckham, F.I.S.H. executive director, thanking project backers for pushing the energy-cost-saving array that will mean $500 monthly can go to client needs rather than utility payments.

John Hargrove, NV Energy renewables program manager, praised F.I.S.H. and Reno-based Black Rock Solar and said one of the best parts of his job is giving away money. He also said the Legislature is aggressive about renewable energy, which in part makes such projects happen.

“We are somewhat the envy of the country,” he said, speaking of Nevada and efforts under way to leverage geothermal, solar and wind power use.

Laura Brigham of Black Rock Solar, the nonprofit that installed the panels, was on hand to represent the firm that also helped put together the project’s funding. Black Rock installs solar panels at low or no cost and, in this case, combined the NV Energy rebate and a $15,000 crowd-funding campaign to get the job done. Brigham, communications coordinator, provided a statement from the firm’s deputy director.

“We’re pleased the array is completed just in time for the holidays,” said Black Rock’s Marnee Benson, “so F.I.S.H. can start channeling more of their donations directly into programs and services.”

Black Rock estimates the solar array over the next quarter-century will save F.I.S.H. at least $125,000 in electric utility costs.

Paul Thomsen, director of the governor’s energy office, said the project is a great example of how renewable options can help save on power and help communities.