The Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden got some major energy upgrades this fall with the installation of rooftop solar panels and heat pumps. The Center, which was also recently outfitted with a Motus tower to track migratory animals moving overhead, is now set to be 100% powered by its rooftop photovoltaic system, and heated (and cooled) with efficient heat pumps.
Working with ReVision Energy, the rooftop solar system was installed in mid-September. The project is expected to generate about 16,000 kilowatt hours worth of electricity in its first year of operation, saving more than $2,500 in energy costs and offsetting more than 16,900 pounds of carbon dioxide. Fields Pond Manager David Lamon hopes that the solar system will also soon power an on-site electric vehicle charger.
The heat pump system is set to be installed in the coming weeks, and will replace the propane heating system currently in use at Fields Pond. The system will be powered by the rooftop solar, a system that will produce zero carbon emissions and that will save Maine Audubon tens of thousands of dollars in fuel costs over the life of the project.
Improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewable energy are fundamental strategies in the fight against climate change. Both of these technologies were major components of the Climate Action Plan passed last year, and for which the state is making good progress. Maine Audubon has long been a leader in renewable energy, with solar panels at Gilsland Farm in Falmouth and the Lodges at Borestone Mountain, and we’re proud to expand the use of these beneficial technologies to Fields Pond.