10 Mar Sundog Solar Installs Solar Panels for School of Technology
The new Mid-Coast School of Technology 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 nearby high schools and adult learners to provide career and technical education programs. The goal is to equip students with skills they need to be successful in today’s job market.
Lavallee Brensinger Architects designed the new building, which was 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 system to have online solar monitoring. The 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.”
The solar panel system will soon power lights, equipment, appliances and 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 temperature of the earth to eliminate the use of oil heat. The geothermal system also boosts the electric 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, 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.”
In addition to lower energy bills, the new building at the school of technology also qualified for incentives for energy efficiency.
“The project was designed with the Maine Advanced Buildings Program from Efficiency Maine with criteria for energy efficiency,” says architect Ron Lamarre, “The new building goes beyond code requirements and qualified for $135,000 in incentives as a result.”
To boost energy efficiency and indoor comfort, the building also features enhanced insulation, high-efficiency mechanical equipment and a tightly constructed building envelope.
In addition to lower operating costs, some of the green features of the building will also promote student learning.
Natural daylight reduces the need for artificial lighting and is connected to improved mood and productivity. High indoor air quality helps prevent student absence and is linked to higher performance.
The online energy monitoring system enables students and educators to learn about the output of the solar energy system.
Sundog Solar was founded in 2009 to make solar energy affordable and available throughout Maine. The company installed hundreds of solar systems for homes, farms, retailers, non-profits, schools and municipalities.
The Sundog Solar team includes licensed electricians and NABCEP-certified solar installers.