Nationally recognized Wake Robin turns to the sun to power independent senior living facility
Shelburne, Vt. - January 27, 2015 – Wake Robin, a nationally recognized Continuing Care Retirement Community based in Shelburne, Vt. has turned to the sun for emission-free, local power.
Wake Robin, a 2014 U.S. News and World Report “Best Nursing Homes” recipient, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that embodies “resident-powered” community life. Committed to the responsible stewardship of resources and the environment for a sustainable future, Wake Robin strives for a “green” approach to day-to-day operations.
The recently completed solar initiative is an integral step forward for the community’s efforts to provide the infrastructure needed to make Vermont a more environmentally-friendly place for future generations, says the retirement community. The Renewable Energy Credits for the project are not being sold.
The 500kW system, located in Bristol, Vt., features dual axis AllEarth Solar Trackers, manufactured nearby in Williston, Vt. by AllEarth Renewables and a Power Purchase Agreement by SolarSense, LLC, a provider of clean, reliable and affordable power.
The ground-mounted solar systems will provide emissions-free, net metered solar electricity for the facility at below-market rates. The project was constructed utilizing solar trackers, which follow the sun throughout the day to maximize energy production, and SunPower solar panels, the most efficient solar panel commercially available.
“Wake Robin is a leader in environmentally-friendly and sustainable practices and the solar project is a huge step forward,” said Patrick McKee, CEO of Wake Robin. “Our residents and staff are constantly seeking creative ways to improve our impact on the planet and we are proud of the effect that the locally-sourced solar energy will have.”
Host of the project, Stan Livingston, added, “Having grown up farming, using the sun to produce power for peoples’ homes and businesses is fantastic. It’s a great alternative and compatible use of the land.”
The project, which was installed utilizing local labor, including Addison County-based Smith & McLain, will also help the community by paying both local and state property tax.
“It’s exciting to work with clients who are truly committed to sustainability as part of their mission,” said Chris Fraga, Founder and CEO of SolarSense LLC, the project developer. “To Wake Robin being green is more than just a catchy phrase, it is a way of life for staff, residents and the Board of Directors, and that makes this project ever the more special. We applaud and congratulate all Wake Robin stakeholders for their commitment to green.”
SolarSense will grant a Vermont Make-A-Wish child his or her wish as part of their “Watts for Wishes” charitable giving program.
“We are thrilled to be partnering to provide locally-produced solar power for Wake Robin, a first-class independent senior living facility that embodies the essence of sustainable living and community engagement. Wake Robin touches so many lives well beyond this community and their decision to go solar sends a strong message about the economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy leadership. We look forward to inviting its residence to tour this exciting solar farm,” added David Blittersdorf, president and CEO of AllEarth Renewables.
PHOTO (linked): The 500kW solar installation of AllSun Trackers on land owned by the Livingston family in Bristol, Vt. provides emissions free solar energy for Wake Robin’s retirement living facility in Shelburne, Vt.
About Wake Robin
Located on 136 acres in Shelburne, Vermont, Wake Robin is a non-profit life care community offering the full continuum of living options for senior citizens. Ranging from 212 independent living cottages and apartments to the Linden Health Center, a five-star residential care and skilled nursing facility, Wake Robin offers the best in continuing care. Wake Robin is an active, safe, supportive community of adults. We value communication and fellowship, joy and humor. We welcome a diverse population and believe in everyone’s lifelong dignity and worth. Wake Robin’s first priority is the care and well being of every resident. To learn more, visit http://www.wakerobin.com.
About SolarSense LLC
SolarSense, and its affiliate Alternative Energy Development Group, helps commercial-scale clients reduce their energy demand, reduce their energy supply costs, and become more sustainable and resilient. Our clients, who span mid-market to Fortune 500 entities in the for-profit, not-for-profit, and public sectors have entrusted us to generate 543,000,000 kWh’s of clean, reliable and affordable power under long term contracts. Our singular focus is solving customers’ energy needs by utilizing proven technologies that deliver meaningful financial, sustainability & resiliency benefits. For more, visit www.aedgonline.com
About AllEarth Renewables
AllEarth Renewables, headquartered in Williston, Vt., manufactures the AllEarth Solar Tracker, a dual-axis solar tracker that uses innovative GPS and wireless technology to follow the sun throughout the day, producing up to 45 percent more energy than rooftop solar. The company has manufactured and installed over 2,800 solar tracker systems to date. Among its product awards, the dual axis tracker was named a “Top-10 Green Product” by BuildingGreen magazine and “Top Product of the Year” by Solar Power World. The company’s ground-mounted, pre-engineered solar trackers are designed for residential and commercial-scale installations and available throughout the United States through local and regional solar dealers. For more, visit www.allearthrenewables.com
SolarSense, a provider of clean, reliable and affordable power for commercial and industrial scale customers in the U.S., announced the commissioning and financing of 2.15 megawatts (MW) of net metering projects utilizing American-made AllEarth Solar Trackers.
The five solar tracking projects, all net metered in Vermont, were commissioned and placed in service in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Among the projects were three, 500 kilowatt (kW) projects for the State of Vermont, providing solar energy at below market rates to correctional facilities and state office buildings.
Two additional projects are providing solar energy to three prominent Vermont businesses – Danforth Pewter, Gardener’s Supply, and Wake Robin. All projects are retaining the Renewable Energy Credits associated with the energy production.
The five projects were all constructed utilizing AllEarth Solar Trackers, manufactured in Williston, Vt. by AllEarth Renewables, which track the sun throughout the day to maximize energy production. The award-winning trackers are utilized across the U.S. for residential and commercial scale solar projects.
The 24-panel trackers are equipped with SunPower solar panels, the most efficient solar photovoltaic (PV) panel commercially available. SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) is a leading solar technology and global energy services provider based in Silicon Valley, Ca.
Building on the success of 2014, SolarSense and AllEarth will develop, construct, and finance 6MW of net metering projects in 2015-2016, largely for State of Vermont facilities and their power needs.
“The optimized design pairing of ultra-high efficiency SunPower solar panels with the reliable AllEarth dual axis tracker to harvest the sun has proven to be a winning combination,” said Chris Fraga, founder and CEO of SolarSense LLC, the project developer. “We celebrate the State of Vermont’s commitment to sourcing solar generated power through long term Power Purchase Agreements, and the commitment to sustainability by the teams at Danforth Pewter, Gardener’s Supply, and Wake Robin.”
“We are excited to be working with SolarSense as a financing partner. Their expertise in financing renewable energy projects around the country will help us continue our national growth,” said David Blittersdorf, president and CEO of AllEarth Renewables. “By utilizing our tracking technology, we can maximize production, boosting the total solar savings for both the off-taking customers and the economic returns for the owners of each project.”
Radnor, Pa.-based power provider SolarSense, part of the Alternative Energy Development Group, has commissioned 2.15 MW of projects in Vermont. The five net-metered projects are all equipped with solar trackers from AllEarth Renewables. The 24-panel trackers are equipped with SunPower solar panels. Among the projects were three 500 kW projects for the state of Vermont providing solar energy to correctional facilities and state office buildings. Two additional projects are providing solar energy to three businesses - Danforth Pewter, Gardener's Supply and Wake Robin. SolarSense and AllEarth plan to develop, construct and finance 6 MW of new net-metering projects through 2016, largely for Vermont state facilities.
Danforth Pewter and Gardener’s Supply Company, a nationally known businesses based in Vermont, has partnered on a solar system for emission-free power. Danforth Pewter, a family business producing fine pewter work, is located in Middlebury Middlebury with stores in Burlington, Woodstock and Waterbury. Gardener’s Supply, an employee-owned business providing environmentally friendly gardening products, has its headquarters in Burlington. They have cooperated on a new solar array on the Pulling Farm in Addison.
The 144 kilowatt (kW) system consists of SunPower 345-watt photovoltaic (PV) panels mounted on dual axis AllSun Trackers supplied by AllEarth Renewables of Williston, Vermont. The tracking mounts follow the sun, so the panels get greatest exposure as the sun moves across the sky. This means that the panels will provide optimal performance for the location where they are installed.
Because the system is optimized, it should produce 36% more energy than fixed-tilt PVs mounted on racks. A test of the tracking system got 1660 kWh of electricity per kW of PV panels, over the course of a year.
The electricity from the system is supplied through a power purchase agreement with SolarSense, LLC. The system operates through Green Mountain Power’s net metering program, so Danforth Pewter and Gardener’s Supply will be getting electricity at below market rates through the contract with SolarSense. SolarSense is also undertaking to support a child in the Vermont Make-A-Wish Foundation as part of their “Watts for Wishes” charity program.
Fred and Judi Danforth, owners of Danforth Pewter. Photo courtesy of Anjanette Lemak, Designer at Danforth Pewter.
Chris Fraga, founder and CEO of SolarSense, LLC, commented on the project, “This is a win through and through for Vermont and the stakeholders in the project.” He stressed the fact that a number of suppliers and service partners were Vermont companies. In addition, the Vermont Economic Development Authority provided debt financing, and Green Mountain Power provided interconnects as part of their work to make Vermont a leader in Sustainable Energy. He added, “This project epitomizes our mission of socially conscious energy development, and we could not be more honored to be part of this initiative.”