WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 12, 2013, 08:47 PM

Fargo couple’s solar success

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A year after installing 30 solar panels on their roof, a Fargo family is seeing the benefits.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A year after installing 30 solar panels on their roof, a Fargo family is seeing the benefits.

The Bagus have produced more electricity than they used in their first year.

John and Robyn Bagu are harnessing the sun to power their lives.

With 30 rooftop panels producing 7.4 kilowatts of power, they are the biggest solar producer in Fargo.

John Bagu- Put Solar Panels on Home: "We beat the city of Fargo, we beat businesses in Fargo and we beat other people in Fargo; and I want somebody to beat us. We don't want to be the biggest. We want to see solar take off in Fargo."

In their first year after going solar, the Bagus managed to generate more electricity than they used.

John Bagu: "It wasn't exactly the best year for solar. We had a long winter and we had some minor technical issues, so our system was offline for a week or two."

For the family, that means no electricity bills; going from $1,200 a year to $0.

And knowing they're helping the environment.

Their system is attached to Cass County Electric Cooperative's grid.

When the family uses more energy than they are taking in, the grid makes up the deficit.

On the flip side, when they generate more energy than they use, the extra goes back into the grid.

This system cost about $35,000, but with the money they're saving on electricity bills, they expect it to pay for itself in 20 years.

Robyn Bagu- Put Solar Panels on Home: "It hasn't really affected my daily living that much. We changed all our light bulbs; that was a huge change just in that they're a little different. But now, I'm so used to them it's weird to go to normal light bulbs."

The couple hopes their success will convince others solar power can work here.

Robyn Bagu: "What we're trying to do is show people that it is possible in Fargo to have solar power."

The family has a plan to move away from using fossil fuels in the next five years.

They plan to eventually buy electric cars and use wind energy for their home.