“Impressive” might be the first descriptive that comes to mind when you see the solar electric system recently installed by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) at their Asheville office. However, this just doesn’t adequately convey the striking impact the system has. Just shy of 8 kilowatts, twenty-four modules are mounted on a single pole, creating an imposing presence. However, what makes this system really grand is that it is on a dual- axis tracker, and the face of the array moves with the sun throughout the day to maximize its production.
This is the first of its kind for our installation team, and we are excited to be working with tracking technology. However, for the folks at SACE, this installation represents the embodiment of their mission “to promote responsible energy choices that create climate change solutions and ensure clean, safe and healthy communities throughout the Southeast.” The renovation of their office space, an older building that they moved into nearly a year ago, offered an ideal opportunity to model a clean energy strategy. Extensive energy efficiency measures, including sealing the basement, reducing air leakage in the envelope, replacing windows, and sealing the HVAC’s ductwork, were first undertaken with the assistance of Green Opportunities. With the building’s energy demand greatly reduced through these efficiency measures, generating that power with an on-site solar energy system was more viable. “More solar energy hits the Earth every hour than the world uses in an entire year. We are proud to harness this clean energy source at our Asheville office,” stated SACE’s Executive Director, Stephen A. Smith.
“Thanks to the expertise of Sundance and the leadership of Solarize Asheville, SACE is able to walk the talk and power our work with clean, renewable solar energy here in Western North Carolina,” expounded Charlie Coggeshall, Renewable Energy Manager for the non-profit organization. With this system, they are also demonstrating state-of –the-art solar technology.
As Charlie described in a recent blog, SACE Runs on Solar in Asheville, it showcases a triad of some of the highest quality and best performing technology on the commercial solar market today.
“The Center will demonstrate to the world that a green building can be warm, welcoming, and beautiful, as well as environmentally responsible and supportive of the physical and spiritual needs of all who work, volunteer, or learn here.”