Vermont Institute of Natural Science
Headquartered in Quechee, VT, on 47 acres of forest, meadow, and rolling hills, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) features 17 state-of-the-art raptor enclosures that house hawks, eagles, falcons, owls, and other birds of prey. The facility includes four major centers: The Visitor Welcome Center and Nature Store, the Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation, the Center for Environmental Education, and the Center for Environmental Research from which operates an active Citizen Science program. VINS also has a classroom/meeting space, interpretive nature trails, and a newly renovated 4-season Pavilion designed for exhibits, events, meetings, and live raptor programs.
VINS now has an 86-kW DC system producing 111,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year at their Nature Center in Quechee, Vermont, and plan to use the yearly savings on electricity costs to sustain their mission of providing environmental education, research, and avian rehabilitation. NST provided guidance to VINS in choosing the most appropriate location for the PV arrays, which are on the roof of one building and in a parking lot at their site. Although it is common to have the arrays for an SSA offsite on land or an industrial rooftop leased from a third party, Norwich Solar Technologies was able to maximize the design of onsite arrays to fit in with VINS’ overall plan for the project.
NST handled all details and logistics of the VINS project, including the permitting, construction and, ultimately, maintenance.
Without any capital expense or upfront cost, VINS is now expected to save over $3,000 in year one, and more than $85,000 over the next 25 years. In addition, the VINS solar array will offset nearly 86 tons of CO2, the equivalent of 191,000 miles not driven or 43 tons of coal not burned every year.