solar panels MCST

28 Feb Mid-Coast School of Technology Installs 1,000 Solar Panels

The 2019-2020 academic year is an exhilarating time for the Mid-Coast School of Technology. The school recently celebrated the construction of a new 91,000 square foot building to replace the existing outdated 57,000 square foot facility. The new building contains numerous features that benefit students and the community alike. Sundog Solar will soon add the finishing touches with the completion of the solar energy system.

The Mid-Coast School of Technology serves hundreds of students from seven nearby high schools and adult learners to provide access to comprehensive career and technical education programs. Their goal is to equip students with the skills they need to be successful in today’s job market. Lavallee Brensinger Architects designed the new building, which was made possible from a $25 million bond. It features window walls that bring in lots of natural lighting, modern equipment, and numerous green features that save energy.

Sundog Solar designed the 313 kW solar system to have online solar system monitoring. The solar panels will be mounted on a ballasted roof racking systems, avoiding the need to penetrate the rubber roof.

“Schools are a great match for solar energy systems,” explains Chuck Piper, co-owner of Sundog Solar. “They draw more power during the day, which corresponds with the available sunlight. It also helps promote awareness of the benefits of solar energy within the school and surrounding communities. We also installed a large solar energy system on MDI High School in Bar Harbor, and it was widely celebrated within the community.”

The solar panel system will soon power computers, lights, equipment, appliances, and the geothermal heating and cooling system. Combined, the solar energy and geothermal systems help significantly reduce the carbon emissions generated by the building. The geothermal system uses the constant temperature of the earth to eliminate the use of oil heat. The geothermal system does boost the electricity use of the building, especially during the heating and cooling seasons. Utilizing solar energy helps keep down the operating costs of the new building.

“Every high school in Maine is looking for ways to reduce their operating costs,” says Sherry Moody, business manager for the Mid-Coast School of Technology. “Having a green building with solar panels is a great way to save money for things that truly benefit students.”