Standard Solar, a leading solar energy company specializing in the development and financing of solar electric systems nationwide, installed a 47.9-kW solar array on the roof of the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s (AFF) new education building, one of the greenest most energy efficient structures in the world. The building is designed to meet the net-zero water, net-zero energy, zero-waste and carbon-neutral requirements of the Living Building Challenge.
The 174-module array, which will produce 63,509 kWh a year, will help AFF reach its energy goals for the building. “Thanks to the array installed by Standard Solar, we are able to generate our own electricity and export any excess power to the grid,” said Lori Arguelles, Executive Director at the Alice Ferguson Foundation. “We are pleased to partner with a local company like Standard Solar as we work together to change the future of energy design and usage in buildings.”
The education building—nicknamed ‘Grass’—features the solar array, along with geothermal wells and walls and a roof designed to be a three-fold energy efficiency improvement over the average building, making this first part of the educational campus a light year leap ahead of the current best practices in construction. When completed, AFF’s educational campus will consist of an overnight lodge and two sleeping cabins in addition to the recently unveiled education building. The renovation and upgrades to the Foundation’s campus represent an ongoing commitment to education, stewardship and advocacy for the Potomac River watershed.
“I had the opportunity to tour the site last month and was particularly impressed by the seeming simplicity of this attractive, technically sophisticated, energy-forward building,” said Tony Clifford, Standard Solar’s CEO. “It is an incredible achievement for the Foundation.”
“As a business located in the watershed district, Standard Solar is also concerned about its preservation,” he continued. “That’s why we were so excited to be involved in this important project and constructing the array on this building — the Foundation does exceptional work to protect the environment, and we were happy to help in any way we could.”
The foundation celebrated the building and this great step in its environmental education endeavors with a ribbon cutting ceremony on October 23.