Donation is in Conjunction with Hannah Solar’s Government Services Division and “Solar for Disabled Veterans” program
For his courage and valor during the Vietnam War, Skip Askew earned the Silver and Bronze Stars. Years later, through a program created to support veterans long after their return to the U.S., an Atlanta solar company donated installation of a solar PV array to help power his home. The installation was finalized this week.
Hannah Solar knows its donation is only a small token compared to the sacrifice Skip made while serving in the 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam. Askew’s tour ended abruptly after a mortar round explosion; he survived the attack but lost his left arm and suffered major damage to his hip. More than one year ago, Askew experienced a fall that devastated his previous hip replacement surgery and has been bed-ridden since. The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) stepped in after the accident to retrofit his house to be wheelchair accessible and also installed a mechanical bed in which Askew spends most of his time.
Prior to the fall, Skip was on a mission to incorporate Solar PV into his residence and even built a new, south-facing carport roof in preparation for acquiring the panels. The installation is a “net metering” system that will generate approximately half the family’s energy needs for the next 30 years. The system is tied to the regional electrical grid and can send electricity to it. The family can pull from the grid and/or the system as needed.
“We wanted to help Mr. Askew finish the noble project that he started,” said Pete Marte, founder and president of Hannah Solar. “These solar panels are more important to Skip now than he ever imagined. In honor of Independence Day and Mr. Askew’s sacrifice, we wanted to provide a true American hero a system to provide him the energy independence he has clearly earned.”
The two-kilowatt system uses panels donated by Suniva, the Norcross-based solar cell manufacturer, which was recently named the exporter of the year by the ExIM Bank. PV Powered, the inverter supplier, also donated a two-kilowatt inverter. K&H Electric is providing discounted services, and Hannah Solar is donating the design and installation expertise.
“We hope this opportunity highlights how critical it is to our country’s future that we strive to be energy independent,” continued Marte. “Our petro-dollars are financing the operations of countries with which we are at war. Additionally, this renewable energy system was installed against the backdrop of the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that began with an oil rig explosion killing 11 and completely devastating the ecosystem of the Gulf, as well as a coal mine disaster which tragically killed 28.”