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Zoar Outdoor Goes Solar

by Blair Winans

Charlemont, MA - In keeping with the theme of Powering Your Own Adventure, Zoar Outdoor is installing a solar energy system through collaboration with the Small Renewables Initiative of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. The system utilizes roof-mounted photovoltaic panels on three adjacent buildings at Hawk Mountain Lodge and the Zoar Outdoor base. The south-facing roofs of these buildings make the site ideal for capturing the sun’s energy and transforming it into electrical power. Each roof-mounted system will provide an average output of 4.5 kW. The system will meet the annual electrical demand for Hawk Mountain Lodge and about 30% of the energy needs of the Zoar Outdoor base. The system will be operational by the end of this year.

Photovoltaic technology uses semiconductors energized by sunlight to create electricity. The semiconductors are comprised of cells arranged on a panel mounted in a location ideal for capturing solar output.  The Renewable Energy Trust was created by the state in 1998 as part of the electric utility industry restructuring to promote the development of renewable energy in the Commonwealth. The Trust is administered by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. The goal is to generate the maximum economic and environmental benefits from clean energy resources. Massachusetts Technology Collaborative works with homeowners, businesses, and public entities across the state designing, funding and implementing a variety of renewable energy technologies in order to promote sustainable production of clean energy.  

According to Zoar Outdoor President, Bruce Lessels, "We are pleased to participate in the Small Renewables Initiative because it is in keeping with our core environmental values.  Solar energy makes sense as a way to minimize our environmental impact while embracing the latest technology." 

Ironically, the Deerfield River, the location of many of Zoar Outdoor’s river trips, is a source of renewable energy itself. During hydroelectric generation, the water released from dams on the river serves a dual purpose by also providing flows for recreational boating such as kayaking, rafting and canoeing. Hydroelectricity is the largest source of clean energy in the United States and around the world and a significant source of renewable energy for Massachusetts.

Media contact: Karen Blom
Email: karen@zoaroutdoor.com

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