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Great-Grandma Says She's Going Solar For Her Grandchildren

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Solar power technology is coming to the city of Plymouth, and it's all thanks to a great-grandmother who's passionate about her family's future.

Alice Allison has an electric dryer, electric washer, electric range, an electric refrigerator, but soon she'll have no electric bill.

"We're taking the sun's rays, and converting it into alternating current and feeding that electricity into Alice's home," said Brian Allen of All Energy Solar.

Being installed on the roof of her home are 14 solar panels.

"The system that we are installing here today is going to produce enough electricity during daylight hours to power Alice's entire home, anything that she uses this system will produce that electricity," Allen said.

Alice's choice of technology may even make her money.

"It's even going to have excess energy left over, and that excess energy just goes right back out to the grid, past her meter and Xcel Energy will buy that excess energy at the same rate that they sell energy, so it's an even offset," Allen said.

But monetary incentives are not Alice's motivation.

"I feel it's the thing to do for my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren," Alice said. "It's the coming thing, it's the thing for our environment, and I could do it."

Getting the panels installed has been a six-month process of homeowner association approvals, permits, and, of course, waiting good weather.

Yet, Alice was determined to witness the installation of each solar module.

"I skipped working out -- I work out at the Y, four or five mornings a week -- and this was much more important," Alice said.

The cost of the installation is $16,000, but rebates and tax credits cover about half of that.

Alice says it's a birthday gift to herself.

She turns 90 next month, and her system will be up and running by then.

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