Carrboro Pediatrics Solar Story
Dr. Nick Sartor had been interested in solar energy for years. Since moving to North Carolina from Michigan he noticed a local phenomenon… the sun was shining! After graduating from the University of Michigan Medical school and then doing his residency, Nick moved to North Carolina and joined Carrboro Pediatrics & Internal Medicine in 1998.
Sailing with Solar
Dr. Carolyn Sartor, Nick’s wife, became a professor with the UNC Radiation Oncology Department. The two thrived in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area, Nick growing the pediatric practice and Carolyn rising to Chair of the Radiation Oncology department and Director of UNC’s Breast Cancer program. Nick, Carolyn and their son Keegan, took a sabbatical aboard their 38 ft sailboat SWEET CAROLINA. Equipped with three 85 watt solar photovoltaic panels and a wind generator, they lived for two years in such exotic solar locales as Bermuda, St. Martin, St. Lucia, and Bonaire.
The Solar Solution Pay-off
In 2010, Nick decided to make solar a part of the pediatric practice. Working with Yes Solar Solutions Carrboro Pediatrics installed a 10.0 kilowatt system on an already highly efficient building that has energy costs of only about $200 a month. The array of 44 panels is projected to produce another 11,098 kWh of electricity a year, providing $2331 a year income, less electricity used, with a payback of about 5 years. Nick elected to take the federal tax credit as a grant, and got a check for over $19,000 shortly after installation.
The environmental benefits are impressive. Producing his own energy equates to planting 1759 trees a year, 8,989 lbs. of coal not burned, almost 15,000 car miles not driven.
The Rest of the Story
The Sartors have found purpose to their lives in making the world a better place and making their actions reflect their values and goals. Although the financial benefits speak for themselves, the solar project was also an opportunity to lead by example for the many children and families who come through the door of Carrboro Pediatrics. Having an impact on the environment and the future of those children (and his own) are not small goals. As an update, in 2017, Nick and Carolyn Sartor are very happy with the solar system, and now have expanded their electric adventures with the purchase of a Tesla Model S car, a ZERO FXS electric motorcycle and a GotwWay electric unicycle! Their now 15 year old son has picked up the family tradition and has a job at “Electric Rides” where they are selling electric bikes, hover boards, skate boards and unicycles. They look forward to further solar installations with Yes Solar Solutions soon.