One of the largest solar farms on school grounds in the USA
ESA Renewables has been awarded the Intersolar Award for Solar Projects in North America for its Martins Creek Elementary School Solar PV project during a ceremony at the Intersolar tradeshow last week in San Francisco, California. The new North American Intersolar Award solar project category was developed to recognize the exceptional projects in North America. Intersolar Europe has been awarding this distinction for several years, but 2012 is the first year the award has been utilized to recognize the North American market.
The Intersolar Award recognizes projects, both large and small, which utilize advanced technology, incorporate aesthetic and architectural concepts and exemplify outstanding services and products. The new solar project category, open to exhibitors at Intersolar North America 2012, Intersolar Europe 2012, Intersolar China 2011 and Intersolar India 2011, distinguishes installations demonstrating strong innovation in three fields: solar building; industrial and commercial use; and utility-scale projects. All nine award finalists delivered presentations that provided attendees with an overview of their projects. The three winners represent innovation in terms of system design, technology and project financing.
ESA Renewables' Martins Creek Elementary School installation in Murphy, North Carolina (USA) is one of the largest solar farms on school grounds in the USA at 999 kilowatts (kW). The system, which covers 5 acres (~2 hectares), benefits not only the elementary school but the surrounding community as well. The system produces 20% more energy than initially projected: 1.3 million kWh of electricity, or the power needed by 150 average-size homes. The community benefits through the system's educational monitoring system, as well as through the rural jobs generated by the project. In addition, a portion of the PPA funds generated by the project go back to the school and equate to keeping approximately two school teachers employed annually.
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