Asheville Yoga Center
Two solar electric systems were designed for Asheville Yoga Center’s facilities, with a combined rating of 29.1 kW. SolarWorld modules were used with Ecolibrium Solar’s EcoFoot2+ ballasted racking system and Fronius inverters. Both arrays are net-metered grid-connected systems.
As featured in our March 2016 newsletter:
What does a yoga center look like when it is intentionally built to house world-class yoga instruction that promotes well-being for all, is community- friendly, and considers the environmental impact every step of the way? Sunny and Stephanie Keach, founders of Asheville Yoga Center, consider themselves blessed for the opportunity to create a stunning, state-of-the-art studio with those ideals in mind. They credit years of working in re-purposed buildings for the experiences and lessons that guided them towards the design of the 3,500 square foot facility that was constructed at 211 South Liberty Street in Asheville, just a few doors down from their existing space. The new studio, which opened in January 2012, embodies the Center’s commitment to the environment, with passive solar design and daylighting, an energy efficient Superior Wall envelope, a HVAC system with fresh air heat exchange, and water- conserving fixtures. However, it is atop the roofs of the two buildings where the epitome of sustainable energy can be seen in the photovoltaic systems that have been generating clean energy from the sun since this past January, with the goal of making Asheville Yoga Center net-zero in their electrical energy use and production.
While they are not very visible from the ground, the two solar electric installations are very similar in design. Both arrays are composed of 52 US-made SolarWorld modules, however, one utilizes 275 watt modules for a total of 14.3 kW, while the other uses 285 watt modules with a capacity of 14.8 kW. They are mounted on Ecolibrium Solar’s EcoFoot2+ ballasted racking system, which minimizes penetrations to the flat roofs’ membranes. Wind loading engineering on this specialized racking solution allows for an angle tilt up of 10 degrees. Fronius inverters make these net-metered systems grid-compatible, and system monitoring will display the systems’ production to the Asheville Yoga community, as well as ensure optimal performance.
As the solar electric systems are newly operational, Sunny is not yet able to speak to the energy savings that is expected from them, but our performance calculations estimate that the combined generation from the two systems will be over 40 megawatt hours a year. At 10 cents per kilowatt hour, that equates to over $4,000 in savings a year. With the tax incentives that Asheville Yoga was able to benefit from, the economics of their solar investment are solid. However, they greatly value the environmental benefits as well, and are proud that their systems will collectively offset 12.6 metric tons of Carbon dioxide a year, which is the equivalent of Carbon sequestered annually by 10.4 acres of pine or fir forest.
Asheville Yoga Center has been working to change the world through yoga since 1997. In addition to offering over 100 weekly classes and over 100 certification events a year in Asheville, it is recognized as the country’s largest single location yoga teacher training program and has spawned centers and yoga teaching all over the world. Their reach is impressive, and by modeling energy efficiency and clean energy technologies, their global impact could be greater than imagined.
For more information on Sunny and Stephanie’s story and Asheville Yoga Center’s schedule of classes, lodging, and yoga lifestyle boutique, visit youryoga.com.