Lucia Stanslaw works with Hot Springs commission to add solar panels to downtown business.

HOT SPRINGS, S.D. –Lucia Stanslaw , owner of Lucy and the Green Wolf of Hot Springs, simply wanted a solar awning but so for several months she worked to find a solution that fit her needs and the wishes of Hot Springs.

Almost a year later and Lucia’s efforts caught the attention The Washington Post.

“We started looking into solar awnings and who had done it, and there were a couple businesses in the country that we found had done it,” said Lucia. “A coffee shop that had won an award. So that’s what started the thinking in that direction.”

Hot Springs Historic Preservation Commission was not as thrilled about placing solar on the buildings – due to historic preservation ordinance.

Lucia searched online – finding a company on the east coast that formed from other businesses who also wanted solar on their old buildings.

“And so they came up with this idea of the film that is applied to the solar panels that camouflages with anything,” she said.

Formulating a plan to install the solar took months. Solar panels Lucia liked were not the most sustainable option – with parts being rare and expensive.

The final cost for her solar panels was $7.6k with a 30 percent tax credit. It ended up being around $5k.

“It’s a small system. It’s not producing enough energy to cover all our needs but it is offsetting a chunk. “

Almost a year after the fact and Lucia has received a great deal of attention for her panels from tourists and customers. The company in which she bought the solar “skins” from, Sistine Solar, is a startup by MIT. They had been in touch with The Washington Post for an article on historic downtown’s who were battling similar situations like Lucia.

“The Washington Post was preparing an article and they were curious to see if we would talk to them because they were talking to people in historic districts as well and how the region is responding to that.”

Working towards energy efficiency and historic aesthetics is an issue businesses around the nation are facing

But Lucia believes everyone can meet in the middle.

“I think what people are looking for is just to reduce their impact and we really have to be open to all the new possibilities.”

Categories: Local News