26.4 kilowatt photovoltaic system will provide clean power to new research facility
WAITSFIELD, VT, July 2, 2002 — Northern Power Systems announced recently that it has been commissioned to complete the design and installation of a photovoltaic system at the environmental research and policy institution, The Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
The new 26.4 kilowatt photovoltaic array and monitoring system will provide green power to the organization’s Ordway campus, a new sustainable research facility currently under development.
The Ordway campus, designed by architectural firm McDonough + Partners-which specializes in environmentally sensitive buildings-is expected to generate its own electrical requirements, as well as the energy needed for heating and cooling the facility.
Northern’s photovoltaic system will enable the research center to generate almost 37,000 kWh of electricity annually, making it the one of New England’s few “totally green-powered” facilities.
The Ordway Campus will be converted from a summer home to an energy-independent scientific headquarters. The Center has already conducted extensive studies of methods of energy conservation, and has investigated existing and developing technologies suitable for creating an energy-producing facility.
On-site generation “runs the meter backwards”
Northern Power Systems will design and install rooftop panels made of silicon, which convert solar energy into electricity. Electricity is inverted from DC to AC and used in the building. Excess power is sent to the local utility, running the meter backwards.
The building will produce all of its energy from renewable sources. Greenhouse-gas-producing fossil fuels – oil, coal, and gas – will not be used. Additionally, the building will include a thermal ground source heat pump. It is intended that the building will produce more energy than it uses, but will remain connected to the electrical grid, which will serve as a battery to be used when renewable sources are inadequate for satisfying short term energy needs. WHRC has established an aggressive annual energy consumption target of 75,000 kWh/yr, which is 84% less than the average amount needed for a building of this size.
“Buildings use nearly two-thirds of all electricity consumed in the United States,” said Jito Coleman, Northern Power Systems’ Chief Executive Officer. “Constructing green buildings will help reduce the strain on current resources and maximize the use of clean, renewable energy. By working with Northern Power, Woods Hole Research Center, one of the greatest environmental authorities in the world, is recognizing our superior capabilities to build clean, energy-efficient systems.”
The project was funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s Green Buildings Program, the state’s development agency for renewable energy. The MTC, which manages the $150 million Renewable Energy Trust, launched the $14.6 million Green Buildings Initiative in May by making grants available on a competitive basis to spur construction of buildings that conserve energy and produce electricity from green sources. The Renewable Energy Trust is an essential part of the state’s strategy to reduce dependence on foreign energy sources by encouraging the use of renewable technologies.
About the Woods Hole Research Center
The Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) addresses the great issues of environment through scientific research and education and through applications of science in public affairs.
Climate change and the warming of the earth are at the core of the Center’s research, and the Center specializes in global forests because of their controlling influence on climate. The Center maintains continuing research projects in the tropical rainforest of Brazil, in the boreal forest of Siberia – the largest forested region on earth – and in the forests of our own New England.
WHRC’s Policy Program works in the international arena to foster agreement on ways to safeguard the health of the planet. Center staff drafted the treaty on climate change, now ratified by over 160 nations. WHRC is also involved in the implementation of the treaty on biodiversity. The World Commission on Forests, established in 1995 through our initiative, is defining ways of defending global forests as a public trust.
WHRC’s Education Program involves training the coming leaders of environmental science in Brazil and Russia and post-doctoral research by American scholars.
About Northern Power Systems
Northern Power Systems designs, builds, and installs highly reliable, state-of-the-art power solutions for industrial, commercial, government, and not-for-profit customers using a full range of thoroughly tested technologies, including wind, photovoltaic, natural gas and hybrid fossil/renewable power systems.
For more than 25 years, Northern has provided turnkey services to fulfill the needs of diverse customers. The company has installed over 800 systems on all seven continents, earning a worldwide reputation for delivering high quality, technically superior power solutions. Northern’s systems are time-tested and reliable-from the harshest and most remote locations on earth to densely populated urban sites. Additional information can be obtained at the company’s Web site: www.northernpower.com.