Evergreen Solar: Installation at Carlson Orchards

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Evergreen Solar, Inc., a manufacturer of STRING RIBBON® solar power products with its proprietary, low-cost silicon wafer manufacturing technology, announced a 220-kilowatt ground mounted installation is now operational at Carlson Orchards, Inc., a 120-acre apple, peach and nectarine orchard that also produces more than 500,000 gallons of apple cider each year. The array was constructed using Evergreen Solar’s ES-A Series STRING RIBBON solar panels.

The system will supply approximately two-thirds of the electricity at the orchard by powering two large-scale refrigeration buildings and the orchard’s cider press. The system will generate more than 5 million kilowatt hours of electricity over 20 years. It will also eliminate an estimated 3,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, the equivalent of removing approximately 670 passenger cars from the road.

To make room for the solar array, Carlson Orchards made a conscious decision to remove two acres of 45-year-old apple trees, displaying the company’s commitment to incorporating renewable energy resources to meet its electricity demands.

“The ability to continue my family’s farming tradition has required imagination and resourcefulness,” remarked Franklyn Carlson, President of Carlson Orchards. “I had looked at solar incentives … but Symantha Gates of EC3 Consulting helped guide and provide us a vision — a sustainability approach for our power consumption — that was viable. She managed our financing and project implementation. Now, 10 months later the effort is complete.”

“This is a unique and interesting solar power system that shines the spotlight on a company that is dedicated to finding clean, reliable ways to power their business,” said Scott Gish, Evergreen Solar’s vice president of sales & marketing. “We’re proud to not just be associated with the Carlson Orchards project but to have it just down the street from our Devens factory where these panels were produced. Our Devens manufacturing plant continues to be a major success for Evergreen Solar manufacturing high quality solar panels for use around the world.”

Because the array is located on slanted ground, careful attention had to be paid to its architecture. The project’s installer, Lighthouse Electrical Construction, hired Steven Kelleher Architects and its subsidiary, kWind, Inc. Working closely together, they designed a racking system that employs variable length legs to yield a level installation that maximizes each solar panel’s electrical potential.

“It was important to preserve the contour of the land so as not to significantly disrupt the natural feel of the orchard,” said Herb Aikens, President of Lighthouse Electrical Contracting, Inc. “With that design requirement in mind, we took great care to design the array in smaller sub arrays that fit into the existing topography. In looking at the final product, I think we were very successful in achieving our goal”.

“Because of the uneven terrain, the Carlson Orchards project presented a unique set of design challenges,” said Chuck Fougere, Architectural Project Manager for Stephen Kelleher Architects. “Due to time constraints we determined that the fastest and most accurate way to incorporate Lighthouse’s design was to model the system in three dimensions on the computer. Using three-dimensional terrain maps and a model of the array we were able to lay out the initial plan and design the foundation and steel beam leveling system capable of supporting the panels and to prevent uplift from the wind. In early meetings with the orchard’s owner Frank Carlson and his project coordinator Symantha Gates, the solar team was able to arrange the array to suit the site while minimizing the amount of land that had to be converted from apple production.”

The array consists of 1,050 Evergreen Solar ES-A-210W panels. The system is located in a high-traffic area – on the immediate left-hand side as guests enter the orchard. It will be seen by thousands of visitors each year, particularly in the Orchard’s busiest months of August, September and October.

The inverter and the data acquisition system for the array were manufactured by Solectria Renewables, LLC, of Lawrence, Mass.

About Evergreen Solar, Inc.
Evergreen Solar, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets String Ribbon® solar power products using its proprietary, low-cost silicon wafer technology. The Company’s patented wafer manufacturing technology uses significantly less polysilicon than conventional processes. Evergreen Solar’s products provide reliable and environmentally clean electric power for residential and commercial applications globally. For more information about the Company, please visit www.evergreensolar.com. Evergreen Solar® and String Ribbon® are registered trademarks and BOOST™ is a trademark of Evergreen Solar, Inc.

About Carlson Orchards
Carlson Orchards, Inc., established in 1938, is a diversified agricultural operation located in Harvard, MA. In addition to managing multiple orchards and a variety of fruit crops, Carlson’s is the largest apple cider producer in New England. Come see our new solar array and pick your own fruit! www.carlsonorchards.com.

About Lighthouse Electrical
Lighthouse Electrical Contracting, Inc. was established in 2002 as a quality union electrical contractor based in Rockland, Massachusetts. In the last eight years, Lighthouse has grown from a small one man shop to over 35 electricians completing multi-million dollar projects. Lighthouse’s clients include some of Boston’s most prestigious firms including; Dana Farber Cancer Institute, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, TD Banknorth Garden, and Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

Lighthouse has been dedicated to the renewable energy industry for their entire existence. It has become one of the largest installers of photovoltaic (solar-electric (PV)) systems in Massachusetts and one of the largest union installers in the country. Lighthouse has installed over 4 MW of commercial and residential solar-electric systems in Eastern Massachusetts. Besides many successful solar installations, Lighthouse has a base of over a dozen successful wind installations and is responsible for the maintenance of the 100 kW turbine at IBEW Local 103 in Dorchester.

Lighthouse Electrical Contracting is dedicated to quality performance and prompt attention to customer needs. Most clients are repeat customers, a testament to Lighthouse’s dedication to superior work and customer satisfaction. www.lighthouse-electrical.com

About Steven Kelleher Architects
Stephen Kelleher Architects, AIA is a full service architectural firm providing design services for residential, commercial, and industrial clients. For the past 20 years, Stephen Kelleher Architects has completed numerous projects providing site analysis, space planning, lease negotiation, permitting, architectural design and engineering.

With an emphasis on environmental design, Stephen Kelleher Architects has assisted many clients in reducing energy and reducing their environmental impact. Through Stephen Kelleher Architect’s subsidiary, kWind, Inc., Stephen Kelleher Architects has developed the capability to design and engineer both wind and solar projects. In the past few years, Stephen Kelleher Architects and kWind have been integral team partners in the successful design, engineering, and permitting of numerous renewable energy installations.

With extensive building code, governmental, and historic experience, Stephen Kelleher Architect’s projects include engineering and architectural design for schools, dormitories, nursing homes, government buildings, museums, theaters, office complexes and buildings, housing, industrial buildings, shopping centers and funeral homes. Complete services range from initial schematic design renderings through contract negotiation, construction supervision, code review and analysis for the State Building Code, Americans With Disabilities Act, Massachusetts Architect Access Board, and local zoning requirements. www.stephenkelleherarchitects.com

About EC3 Consulting
EC3 Consulting is a green energy consultancy firm founded by Symantha Gates with the intent of helping small and mid-sized businesses navigate the thicket of utility, state and federal incentives available in the marketplace and implement affordable renewable energy solutions. For more information about how EC3 can secure your organization’s renewable energy future, email [email protected].

Evergreen Solar, Inc.
Chris Lawson, 508-251-3214
Director Marketing Communications
[email protected]
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