Going Solar

The Fairbanks Museum invested in 60kW solar panels in the Solaflect Fairbanks Solar Park in St. Johnsbury.

The Fairbanks Museum invested in 60kW solar panels in the Solaflect Fairbanks Solar Park in St. Johnsbury.

February 22, 2018| Category: Fairbanks Museum

“This Museum has been at the forefront of environmental exploration and stewardship for over 100 years,” Executive Director Adam Kane says. “We want to walk the talk — and we’re moving to renewable energy sources as a way to lead the way toward a clean energy future while we demonstrate the science and technology in our exhibits.”

The first step was to reduce energy consumption. “We replaced every single bulb in the Museum’s fragile and light-sensitive displays with LEDs. This move dramatically reduced our energy use, and provided better light throughout the gallery,” comments Kane. The lights were replaced in 2015, as a massive retrofit project was undertaken – 400 fixtures were replaced. The results were rewarding: lower energy bills and less obtrusive lighting fixtures.

Providing energy to the gallery is another endeavor that has been ongoing for several years. “We started by installing 3 solar panels in our parking lot, with support from the US Department of Agriculture,” continues Kane. The commitment to solar enabled the Museum to develop exhibits that explore light, energy, and the process of transferring solar energy to the grid.

Two additional investments in solar parks, most recently 60kW in the Solaflect Fairbanks Solar Park in St. Johnsbury, offset the Museum’s energy usage entirely. “Solaflect Energy is proud to be partnering with such a cherished Vermont institution to help spread the word about the importance of solar energy as one of the most effective solutions to combat climate change,” says Bill Bender, Solaflect’s president and founder. Through the net metering process, the Museum’s electric bill is credited with the electricity generated, plus an additional solar adder.

“In 2014, the Museum paid a total of $17,000 in electricity. Through solar and efficiency, the Museum’s electricity costs are zero. That means we can dedicate every donation and membership contribution towards programs and exhibits.” The investments in renewable energy sources were made possible through grants from the Northern Borders Regional Commission, a Federal-State partnership for economic and community development, and The Canaday Family Charitable Trust.

The Museum’s board of trustees sees this move as important in the responsible care for an institution founded on, and dedicated to the wonders of our natural world.

Founded in 2007, Solaflect Energy is a Vermont-based developer and manufacturer of solar PV Trackers that follow the sun and generate 40% more electricity than fixed panel solar.  More information about Solaflect can be found at www.solaflect.com.

For additional information contact Rob Adams, radams@solaflect.com, (802) 649-3700

Tags: energy, Fairbanks Museum, Northeast Kingdom, renewable, Science, solaflect, solar, St. Johnsbury, vermont