The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) has moved one step closer to the goal of dramatically reducing its carbon footprint with the installation in December of 240 solar electric modules and seven inverters outside AMC’s Cardigan Lodge in Alexandria, New Hampshire (US). The 73.2-kilowatt, fixed ground mount is located next to the lodge, which is adjacent to Cardigan Mountain State Forest.
The grid-tied array, which has an expected lifespan of 40 years, was installed by ReVision Energy and is owned and operated by IGS Solar. The system was financed through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), which allows AMC to buy “green” solar power from an investor at a lower cost than “brown” electricity from the utility grid.
The array is expected to generate approximately 87,000 kilowatt hours of solar electricity each year, which is equivalent to offsetting the carbon dioxide emissions from 157 barrels of oil or the carbon sequestered by 15 acres of pine or fir forests.
Through group net metering (also known as virtual net metering), Three Mile Island Camp on Lake Winnipesaukee also benefits from the solar array at Cardigan Lodge. When the array at Cardigan produces more electricity than needed, excess power will be fed to the utility grid. AMC will receive a credit for the excess. AMC plans to share a portion of the credit with Three Mile Island Camp.
Adoption of this renewable energy technology aligns with AMC’s long history of utilizing systems and practices that minimize environmental impacts. Moreover, this new effort will help AMC achieve its organizational goal of reducing its total carbon footprint by 80% by 2050.
AMC uses its huts, lodges and sporting camps as models for sustainable operations and environmental stewardship. All New Hampshire huts and lodges have been awarded “Environmental Champion” status by the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association's Sustainable Lodging and Restaurant Program. To date, AMC operates eight off-grid huts in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, all of which feature alternative energy systems, consisting mainly of solar applications.
In Maine, AMC’s Little Lyford Lodge and Cabins have been certified under the state’s “Environmental Leader” program. AMC’s Gorman Chairback Lodge is registered with the national Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, one of only a handful of backcountry facilities in the nation to carry that distinction.
IGS Solar, a turn-key commercial and residential solar provider with nearly 25 megawatts under development, provides homes, businesses and communities with an opportunity to participate in creating a sustainable energy future with no upfront investment.