When Mountain Rescue Aspen, an all-volunteer organization dedicated to saving lives through back-country rescue and mountain safety education, decided to add solar to its new facility in May 2014, the non-profit turned to Sunsense (No. 246 on the Solar Power World 2014 Top 400 Solar Contractors list).
Katherine Rushton, commercial sales and marketing for Sunsense, says the company received a call from the architects, who were looking for solar consultation expertise, at the design stage of the project.
“Being a high snowfall region, it was important to have a steeper tilt angle on the south-facing roof, to encourage snow to slide off the panels in the winter,” says Rushton.
Sunsense became the EPC contractor for the project, providing a code-compliant design, certified installers and full commissioning services. Known for giving back to the community, including solar installations on 10 Habitat for Humanity houses, Sunsense also provided low-cost solar equipment and donated all of the design time and labor to complete the 15.7-kW, roof-mounted PV system.
With 48, 327-W modules, the installation is said to prevent about 48,000 lbs. of CO2 from entering the atmosphere per year and provide free energy for the facility. The latter benefit is perhaps the most significant because it allows the volunteers, who raise the funds needed to sustain the facility through public donations and grant applications, to use that money for items of top priority, such as new equipment.
“Sunsense has been in business for over 24 years and has completed projects ranging in size from 2-MW community gardens to 2-kW back country cabins,” Rushton says, “but the projects we find most gratifying are the ones that help support our local community and economy.”