Let the Sun Shine: We’re Nearly Entirely Solar Powered!
If you visited us this past season, you may have noticed our zip line canopy tour base looks a little different: we’ve covered the roof with solar panels! The roof now holds an array of 36 photovoltaic panels with a capacity of 11.5 kilowatts. The new array was installed by Pioneer Valley PhotoVoltaics in Greenfield, MA. With these solar panels and the panels we installed in the fall of 2006, our total generation capacity is 25 kilowatts, an amount that meets almost 85% of our total energy needs!
While we had been considering adding to our PV capacity for a few years, the expansion was partly driven by the Massachusetts Green Communities Act which established minimum standards for the amounts of energy that utilities must provide from alternative sources. If the utilities don’t meet those minimums, they may achieve the standard by purchasing renewable energy credits from generators such as Zoar Outdoor that produce power using solar, wind or other renewable means. These credits, known as Solar Renewable Energy Credits, or SRECs, represent the positive environmental impacts of a solar array. By establishing a market for SRECs, the new Massachusetts law makes investing in alternative energy cost effective for small businesses or residents. It’s a form of doing well by doing good!
Follow this link to learn more about solar at Zoar.