John Dorr Nature Laboratory Completes Solar PV Installation

Outdoor education center reinforces student awareness of natural world by embracing solar energy alternative

Rocky Hill, Conn., November 6, 2009 — The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) today announced that the solar photovoltaic (PV) system at the Horace Mann School’s John Dorr Nature Laboratory in Washington, Conn., is completed and successfully operating. This installation was made possible, in part, by a $136,200 grant from CCEF’s On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program, which defrayed approximately half of the total project cost.

The 35-kilowatt solar PV installation at the nature lab consists of 105 solar panels mounted on the roof of the lodge, the education center’s main building, comprising office space, classrooms and a kitchen. Installed by Sunlight Solar of Milford, Conn., the panels are supplying approximately 24 percent of the electricity required by the facility. The solar array is among several steps that the education center has taken to improve its energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint. Other green initiatives on site include a geothermal heating and cooling system and a solar thermal system for heating water.

“Adding the solar photovoltaic system to our facility helps us to reduce our carbon footprint, and it provides us an opportunity to expand our students’ awareness of sustainability and its importance,” said Glenn Sherratt, director of the Horace Mann School’s John Dorr Nature Laboratory. He added, “The data and information we will be collecting will be integrated into the math, science, and physics curricula in our lower, middle, and upper schools and will be accessible to students  in real time through the Internet.”

Lise Dondy, president of CCEF, said, “Schools across the state are enthusiastically adopting solar energy technology to help control their energy costs, proactively address climate change and integrate on-site solar into the science curriculum,” said Lise Dondy. “Horace Mann’s solar array – one of over 20 solar photovoltaic installations at schools in the state – is a great reminder of the power of solar.”

See the CCEF’s complete press release on this Sunlight Solar Energy installation here.

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