On July 11, 2012, Intersolar North America, an initiative of the Germany-based company Solar Promotion International GmbH and the premier solar industry exhibition and conference in North America for solar professionals in the U.S., named Enerworks Inc.’s Oxford Gardens Solar Project, Vanir Energy, LLC’s William G. White Jr., Family YMCA and ESA Renewables, LLC’s Martins Creek Elementary School Solar PV Project the winners of the first annual Intersolar AWARD for solar projects in North America. The companies and their projects were honored during a special ceremony at the Intersolar North America that took place in San Francisco from July 8 to July 11, 2012 and drew the record number of 760 exhibitors, 22000 visitors and 1600 conference attendees.
The Honorable Mayors of San Francisco, Ed Lee, and Freiburg (Germany), Dr. Dieter Salomon, officially welcomed the attendees and emphasized the respective local achievements in the promotion of renewable energy and the importance of the new jobs created in the clean tech sector. Concluding the opening ceremony, the directors of three leading solar research institutions, the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and the German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (Fraunhofer ISE), signed a Memorandum of Understanding to give solar research institutions a global voice in the new so-called Global Alliance of Solar Energy Research Institutes (GA-SERI). The participating institutes will each send two researchers to the other two members of the alliance to intensify research collaborations and the exchange of ideas.
“This year’s Intersolar AWARD winners in the new solar project category are great examples of trends we are seeing in solar projects,” said Solar Promotion International CEO Markus Elsaesser. “These installations directly benefit the community with dramatic energy cost savings, educational opportunities and new jobs. They also play a key role in contributing to the amount of renewable energy on the grid, and we will continue to recognize those projects that move the industry forward.”
The three winners represent innovation in terms of system design, technology and project financing. Enerworks’ Oxford Gardens Solar Project harnesses the sun in a location where many would least expect it—on a retirement community in Eastern Canada. This 5,594 sq. ft. system, which produces 3.64 kilowatt hours per square foot per day, is currently the largest solar thermal heating and cooling project in Canada. The installation will save Oxford Gardens in Woodstock, Canada 40 percent of its cooling costs and up to 60 percent of its heating costs. Its compact, space-saving features and design attuned to the cold climate differentiates this project.
The second project honored, the ESA Renewables’ Martins Creek Elementary School installation in Murphy, N.C., is the third largest solar farm on school grounds in the United States at 999 kilowatts. The system, covering 5 acres, benefits not only the elementary school but the surrounding community as well. The system produces 20 percent more energy than initially projected—1.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, or the power needed by 150 average-sized homes. The community has benefitted through the system’s innovative and educational monitoring system, as well as through the rural jobs generated by the project.
Finally, the solar system at the William G. White Jr., Family YMCA in Winston-Salem, N.C., by Vanir Energy, LLC, utilized a power purchase agreement to help the non-profit institution realize over three million dollars in revenue for the local economy and generate more than 30 jobs. The 10,643 sq. ft. system, which produces 25,000 therms a year, saves close to 2.63 million pounds of CO2 emissions.
Source: Press Release by Antenna Group, San Francisco
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