MARLBORO & HARVARD, USA: Evergreen Solar Inc., a manufacturer of STRING RIBBON solar power products with its proprietary, low-cost silicon wafer manufacturing technology, announced a 220-kilowatt ground mounted installation is now operational at Carlson Orchards Inc., a 120-acre apple, peach and nectarine orchard that also produces more than 500,000 gallons of apple cider each year.
The array was constructed using Evergreen Solar’s ES-A Series STRING RIBBON solar panels.
The system will supply approximately two-thirds of the electricity at the orchard by powering two large-scale refrigeration buildings and the orchard’s cider press. The system will generate more than 5 million kilowatt hours of electricity over 20 years. It will also eliminate an estimated 3,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, the equivalent of removing approximately 670 passenger cars from the road.
To make room for the solar array, Carlson Orchards made a conscious decision to remove two acres of 45-year-old apple trees, displaying the company’s commitment to incorporating renewable energy resources to meet its electricity demands.
Because the array is located on slanted ground, careful attention had to be paid to its architecture. The project’s installer, Lighthouse Electrical Construction, hired Stephen Kelleher Architects and its subsidiary, kWind, Inc. Working closely together, they designed a racking system that employs variable length legs to yield a level installation that maximizes each solar panel’s electrical potential.
The array consists of 1,050 Evergreen Solar ES-A-210W panels. The system is located in a high-traffic area – on the immediate left-hand side as guests enter the orchard. It will be seen by thousands of visitors each year, particularly in the Orchard’s busiest months of August, September and October.
The inverter and the data acquisition system for the array were manufactured by Solectria Renewables, LLC.