Why I Went Solar features homes and businesses that have chosen to go solar. If you would like to feature your home or business in this column please email our Community Manager.
Over a year ago, Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania built a 1.5 MW Solar Field. This “Field”, as Longwood Gardens calls it, can generate 2 million kilowatts of power per year. That amount is equivalent to powering 181 average-sized homes! On top of offsetting so much fossil fuel energy, 1,367 tons of carbon dioxide emissions are being reduced by the large field.
As of 2012, the Longwood Gardens have committed to installing a total of 3 MW of solar energy by 2018, half way there! With 3 MW of solar, the entire property will be fully powered off of solar and won’t have a need for the typical fossil fuel energy sources. Right now, they are about 28% powered by solar. The fixed-tilt solar modules were supplied by an American company, Motech Americas.
One of the biggest battles people and businesses face when going solar is the cost. Longwood Gardens worked through this issue by applying and receiving a grant worth $1.3 million from PA Geen Energy Works who went through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Also, they received an additional $500,000 from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. For the rest of the fees of installation, Longwood Gardens signed a Power Purchase Agreement and teamed up with EcogySolar and groSolar who also helped provide funds to build a successful Solar Field!
ASES will hold its annual National Solar Tour this fall where you can show your home, host a tour or go on a tour. If you’d like to donate to support ASES in its mission to promote solar, please click here. If you’d like to learn more about putting solar on your home or to find a local solar professional, click on the Find a Solar Installer Near You on the right side of ASES.org.