Twitter Co-Founder’s Parents Go Solar

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Reposted from Solar Love:

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey was celebrating the completion of a new 25 kilowatt solar power system on the rooftop of his parents’ business, MA Tech Services, at around 9am this morning in downtown St. Louis. The new solar system was designed and installed by the local solar energy company Brightenergy. It’s estimated that it will generate 32,291 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, enough to offset 100% of the business’s energy needs. The new system should prevent the release of around 23 metric tons of CO2 every year.

twitter logo goes solar
Image Credit: Matt Hamm / / CC BY-NC


MA Tech Services is a business that specializes in the sales of mass spectrometers (and in related expertise). The business is of course owned by Twitter and Square co-founder Jack Dorsey’s parents, who he credits with inspiring the entrepreneurial spirit in him. The family will, unsurprisingly, be taking advantage of the social media platform to provide updates on the system’s production over time. You can follow them at: @1920Solar.

“I’ve been a long-time solar proponent, and Marcia and I mostly chose to install solar energy for our grandkids, to ensure we leave a better world for them,” said Tim Dorsey, owner of MA Tech Services, as quoted by Solar Power World. “The financials and the added benefit of keeping heat off our roof – which will help the air conditioner – helped make the decision even easier.”

Having public figures, or those close to them, show support for renewable energy is always appreciated. With the huge popularity of Twitter, hopefully this publicity inspires some people to install solar on their homes or businesses.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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4 thoughts on “Twitter Co-Founder’s Parents Go Solar

  • How much would the installed cost of a 25 kilowatt system be over there?

    • The last numbers that I saw put utility scale solar at $2.40/W.

      A 25 kW is in the commercial range so about $4/W as of third quarter 2012.


      • Bob,
        Your figures are exactly correct.
        There are several considerations to factor into the true final cost of the system.
        The federal tax credit is 30% of the installed cost of the system.
        There are State tax credits in most States (Not sure what it is in their home state / not given).
        There are also some utility companys that will contribute to the cost in the form of a rebate (these rebates are subject to tax as income/ a small percentage).
        A big advantage to having solar energy installed on a business is the ability to take the accelerated depreciation deduction for capital asset purchases. This is not available to residential systems.
        The average is somewhere around 50% of the cost is the true end price after you take into consideration all the incentives.
        The average return on investment is less than ten years for residential and less than five years for a commercial installation.
        Some States like Hawaii where utility rates are extremely high, the return on investment is much shorter.

        • The cost of a solar system needs to be measured not against today’s electricity rate but against the average rate over the life of the system.

          Most cost analyses are done using a 20 year time frame. That misses the 20+ years of almost free electricity the system will produce past that 20 year period. If you are paying 12 cents now and we have 3% inflation then over a 40 year period the average cost of electricity will be 20 cents.

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