Register-Star: Camphill goes solar with a little help
Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013 12:30 am | Updated: 2:03 am, Sun Aug 4, 2013.
Energy independence has empowered Triform Camphill Community, a Hudson residential facility for developmentally disabled young adults, to erect the county’s single largest solar electric installation.
Designed by Hudson Solar, the 770 high-efficiency panels of Triform’s 187-kilowatt “solar farm” will eventually supply 100 percent of the community’s electricity.
Scheduled to be complete by early September, the 1-acre solar panel array, for the 450-acre Triform campus, was financed through a state energy grant and a major gift from two Triform donors.
By July 3, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s NY-Sun Initiative had awarded $54 million, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, for 79 large-scale solar projects statewide.
In a recent statement, Keith Bogdanovich, the nonprofit organization’s chief financial officer, embraced “this unique and meaningful opportunity” for the certified organic/biodynamic farm.
“The environmental benefits convinced us to pursue this project,” Bogdanovich said.
Installers estimate the large-scale solar project should be producing as much clean energy as 34,010 therms of natural gas, 89 tons of coal and $16,605 gallons of crude oil would over the next several years.
Placed behind Triform’s Phoenix House, the solar panel array sits right outside center campus. Twenty-two rows of 35 arched solar panels are spaced about 15 feet apart.
Its rural location, though, meant Hudson Solar did not have to consult the city’s Planning Board, said John Wright, Hudson Solar’s vice president.
“We didn’t have to because we’re in the middle of the property, and it’s heavily screened by woods,” he added.
Closer to Linlithgo Mills, Triform Camphill Community operates nearly 9 miles outside the city’s center. It became one of eight North American Camphill facilities in 1979, providing vocational training to individuals with developmental disabilities. Since then, Triform has embraced a holistic approach, incorporating self-sustainability into its curriculum and campus. Students studying agriculture, in addition music, movement therapy, arts and crafts, do not deploy fertilizers, pesticides or hormones.
Last year, Hudson Solar assisted Triform in its construction of a “net-zero energy” house, with zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually. Geothermal and solar energy generates enough electricity for at least three Triform campus residences.
To reach reporter Joe Gentile, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2495, or email at email@example.com.