This week marks one of the biggest solar energy events of the year - Intersolar in San Fransisco, CA. New this year to the show was a series of awards given out to projects that were in their opinion worth calling out and recognizing.
The three winners represent innovation in terms of system design, technology and project financing
Unfortunately after sorting through all the press releases, news items and tweets there weren't many of the kind of details we like to see about solar projects. So after a little bit of digging by our research crew here is a little more about why these projects were worthy.
Enerworks' Oxford Gardens Solar Project harnesses the sun in a location where many would least expect it - on a retirement community in Eastern Canada. This 5,594 sq. ft. system, which produces 3.64 kilowatt hours per square foot per day, is currently the largest solar thermal heating and cooling project in Canada. The installation will save Oxford Gardens in Woodstock, Canada 40 percent of its cooling costs and up to 60 percent of its heating costs. Its compact, space-saving features and design attuned to the cold climate differentiates this project.
The Village of Oxford Gardens Website on the project
Youtube video project tour
Martins Creek Elementary
The second project honored, the ESA Renewables' Martins Creek Elementary School installation in Murphy, N.C., is the third largest solar farm on school grounds in the United States at 999 kilowatts. The system, covering 5 acres, benefits not only the elementary school but the surrounding community as well. The system produces 20 percent more energy than initially projected - 1.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, or the power needed by 150 average-sized homes. The community has benefitted through the system's innovative and educational monitoring system, as well as through the rural jobs generated by the project.
Photos of the project from ESA Renewables
The Project even has it's own Facebook page!
William G. White Jr., Family YMCA
Finally, the solar system at the William G. White Jr., Family YMCA in Winston-Salem, N.C., by Vanir Energy, LLC, utilized a power purchase agreement to help the non-profit institution realize over three million dollars in revenue for the local economy and generate more than 30 jobs. The 10,643 sq. ft. system, which produces 25,000 therms a year, saves close to 2.63 million pounds of CO2 emissions. Source: PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1hyVn)
Vanir Energy's project details PDF
We hope we shined a little more light on why these projects were groundbreaking and typify the ingenuity and progress people are making in advancing the use of renewable energy from the sun. We also like it when there are cool pictures to look at.
SOURCE Intersolar North America