|The Loudoun County Homeless Center solar system benefited from a Federal Community Development Block Grant and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.|
|Roger Williams / Standard Solar|
The newly-constructed Loudoun County Homeless Services Center has begun generating a portion of its own electricity with a 9.5 kilowatt array of solar panels installed by Standard Solar. Combined with a variety of passive lighting and energy efficient appliances and air-handling systems, the structure is expected to receive at least a “Silver” certification from the nationally-recognized Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System.
“No matter how large or how small, we are privileged to be helping local governments throughout the Mid-Atlantic region turn to cleaner sources of energy and save taxpayer dollars over the long-run,” said Standard Solar President Scott Wiater.
Sandy Hunter, the lead building design manager in the County’s Department of Construction and Waste Management, saw the potential for the new shelter to generate some of its own electricity by combining Federal Community Development Block Grant funds with money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
“We in Family Services want to thank County Commissioner Andrea McGimsey and the other Board members for helping harness the resources to make this a truly ‘green’ weigh-station for our families in need,” Hunter said. “Wherever possible, we are developing healthier and economically justifiable energy systems as part of our five-year comprehensive plan to meet the needs for affordable and supportive housing and public services.”
The solar electric system consists of 44 216-watt solar panels manufactured in Tennessee by Sharp USA. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act requires that projects funded by the so-called “Stimulus” law be made in America. While that used to be a real challenge for installers such as Standard Solar, the options for sourcing projects with panels and other materials made in the U.S. now are beginning to grow due in part to federal, state and local incentives to invest in renewable sources of electricity.
“Manufacturers now see the U.S. market as an attractive place to grow their solar businesses, creating jobs and forging a cleaner energy future,” Wiater added.
Standard Solar is a full-service developer, integrator and installer of solar electric systems for academic, commercial, government, and residential customers throughout Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. It serves more than 400 system owners throughout the Mid-Atlantic region and has created more than 50 green jobs since the summer 2008.