Thoreau Farm, the birthplace of Henry David Thoreau, is collaborating with Solect Energy of Hopkinton, Massachusetts (US), to install a seven-kilowatt (kW) solar energy system on its Concord, Massachusetts, property. Solect Energy, which provided the installation for free, will own the system and donate the power to Thoreau Farm at no charge.
Thoreau Farm’s move toward solar began a decade ago when plans were first implemented to rehabilitate and renovate the 18th century farm house where Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau was born 199 years ago. Thoreau, famous for writing “Walden; or, Life in the Woods,” is also known as the father of the modern-day environmental movement. He was the only 19th century Transcendentalist in the Concord circle, which included Ralph Waldo Emerson and Louisa May Alcott, who was born in Concord.
With the help of Concord’s Green Team – comprised of area sustainability professionals – Thoreau Farm made use of a series of green efficiency materials, including an electric heat pump for heating and cooling, environmentally sound shingles, a rainwater collection unit, greywater disposal system, and a composting toilet. The solar installation represents the latest chapter in the sustainable rehabilitation of the farmhouse.
In addition to Solect’s donations, Canadian Solar is contributing panels for the seven-kilowatt system and Yaskawa – Solectria Solar is donating the inverter, which will convert the panel’s output into usable electricity. The solar panels will be mounted on the ground, not on the building itself, to preserve the historic appearance of the house.