News & Notes


MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Audubon to Install New Solar System at Gilsland Farm Headquarters

Thursday, October 16th, 2014
Posted on:

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release

October 16, 2014

Contact: Michelle Smith, Communications Manager
[email protected]
(207) 781-2330 x209
Mobile: (207) 838-0511

 

Maine Audubon to Install New Solar System at Gilsland Farm Headquarters
Installation will offset 37 tons of carbon emissions each year

Falmouth – Maine Audubon announced this week that it has partnered with Revision Energy to install a 42 kW solar system at its Gilsland Farm headquarters in Falmouth. The solar installation will produce an average of 74,000 kWh of electricity each year and will be the largest array of solar panels installed by a conservation organization in the state. The installation will consist of six solar trackers (for a total of 144 panels) and a rooftop array (composed of 24 panels) on the Environmental Center. The system will provide roughly 84% of Gilsland Farm’s electricity. Installation of the solar system is expected to begin on October 27 and completed before the end of the year.

The solar installation is connected to the electricity grid and will feed back energy when more electricity is produced than the facility is able to use. Maine Audubon will receive credit for excess generation. The six solar trackers (manufactured by AllSun of Vermont) use GPS technology to move throughout the course of the day and year to follow the sun, which provides up to 40% more electricity than a fixed array system. The first six years of operation are expected to offset 222 tons of carbon emissions, which is equivalent to 238,453 pounds of coal burned.

The total cost of the system is $238,761. Maine Audubon has partnered with Moody’s Collision Centers, who will pay for the equipment and installation of the project. The renewable energy project allows Moody’s to qualify for federal income tax incentives (as a nonprofit, Maine Audubon does not qualify for these credits). As part of the power purchase agreement between the two organizations, Maine Audubon will buy electricity from Moody’s for the next six years. At the end of the six year period, Maine Audubon has the option to buy the solar installation. Moody’s will be able to recoup its costs through electricity payments, depreciation, federal tax credits and the repayment cost of the system.

The solar installation is a continuing story of the organization’s dedication to investing in the latest renewable energy technology. In 1976, Maine Audubon installed early experimental solar panels on its administrative building. In 1996, the new Environmental Center was built with passive solar panels and a geothermal heating system. Now, twenty years later, the organization is committed to investing in the latest solar panel technology.

“Climate change is the number one threat to wildlife and habitat in Maine,” noted Charles Gauvin, Maine Audubon executive director. “As the state’s largest wildlife conservation organization, we must take action to reduce carbon emissions.” In addition to lessening its carbon impact, the organization will incorporate the solar installation into its youth and adult programming. The organization plans to unveil the project with an open house in early 2015.

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About Maine Audubon
Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. Our citizen science programs connect Maine people to engaging volunteer opportunities that make meaningful contributions to conservation research. The largest Maine-based wildlife conservation organization in the state, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.

Conserving Maine’s wildlife. For everyone.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
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