Kevin Johnson is the kind of client every VR Counselor dreams of working with when he/she walks through the door. Kevin worked as an electrician and brought a lot of organizational and management skills with him. Because of connective tissue disorder and a right knee injury, Kevin found he was not able to work in the field any longer. He decided to start a business with alternative energy. Kevin began working with Business Enterprise Consultant, Inge Huband, to develop a Business Plan for Snowy Range Renewable Energy.
Kevin took classes on renewable energy and learned how to do home inspections. He did this with serious perspective customers once a week. As he completed the home inspections, he would write a detailed report for the home owner and the result would be a project for Kevin to complete.
One of his prospects hired him to install a solar thermal heat in a big shop and to also design and help install the systems. He did work on a wind turbine in Medicine Bow and designed a wind/solar hybrid pumping station for some stock watering. He also said he would hire local contractors to do the work requiring equipment and man power and he negotiated an agreement with Satellite Systems and Solutions in Douglas.
Kevin went to Denver for a week of review and testing. He passed two written exams and the field exams as well. This gave him the BPI Auditor and Envelope Professional.
Certifications he needed. His instructor in Torrington at EWC, talked him into taking one more semester of the Weatherization program and he ended up helping him teach the wind and solar part of the course. Kevin also attended EWC community seminars with the instructor and got some good exposure for Snowy Range.
Kevin was excited because he began doing house testing/inspections with John Ely from Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington. They did two in Douglas and two in Laramie. They used the equipment supplied by the college. One of the items is a blower door which fits into the frame of the home and then it blows out all of the air and is able to then determine how much is lost to draft spaces etc. From there, they were able to determine where the heat is lost and how to remedy it. They also checked for radon. Kevin said the first home took about seven hours, but he got it down to about three hours per home. After the men do the testing/inspections, a Data Collection Form is given to the homeowner and they can get a contractor to fix anything that needs repair of adjustments. There is a lot of information then available to the homeowner.
Kevin spoke with four companies that manufacture windmills. Three of the companies were from the U.S. and the fourth was from China. He arranged for three (two U.S. and one from China) to provide some other type of equipment or service. He has also been in touch with an Inverter Manufacturer that is developing an interface to connect the windmills to the utility grid, such as Rocky Mountain Power. Kevin worked steadily on his education, business plan, and business needs. He paid to have his website built. His website will be snowyrangerenewableenergy.com.
Kevin is very excited about his business and its potential.He went into Wyoming Entrepreneurs at Fedbiz.gov and created a vendor number. He said there is a NAISCHS Code for every project he can do and then it comes up when a consumer is looking for someone to do a certain job. Apparently, the site highlights what can be done with the codes and then the person puts in the state and the consumer can see the projects that have been done. Kevin has also signed up for the U.S. Green Building Counsel for his business. He went to Lander with Univ. of Wyoming Professors for the Green Building Counsel. He has also joined the U.S Chamber of Commerce.
Kevin also explained a job he is going to do in Torrington, WY. On the City Shop, there is a Solar Air Wall which is 85'x10'x5'. There are 4x8 windows heating a solar absorber which is copper and then it reflects back to the glass. He will be tying the fans to the Heating and Air Conditioning ducts. He said the air wall has been there for 25 years and never been maintained, so the town is going to pay him to maintain the system as well.
One exciting innovation Kevin has also come up with is a method to heat stock tanks with solar power. A woman in Manville, WY, is going to have him set up two initially and then if it works, she has a large ranch she will eventually do, as well. He also has two projects in Laramie.
Kevin is very excited about his business and its potential. He is staying very busy.
Kevin was very thankful for the help he received from VR and the Business Enterprise Program. He was so motivated and active in his plan and follow-through. Kevin = Success!