Everybody Solar, an award-winning solar energy nonprofit, announced that it will donate a 15 kilowatt (kW) solar array to the Sciencenter, a hands-on science museum in upstate New York. This was made possible by All Points North Foundation (APNF), Cornell University, JinkoSolar and over 50 individual donors, who rose up to bring solar energy and sustainability education to upstate New York.
In October of 2015, Everybody Solar kicked off a crowdsourced fundraising campaign to bring a solar array to the Sciencenter, which attracts over 100,000 visitors each year. The solar energy system will save over $1,700 per year on utility costs and will be a key feature of the Sciencenter’s new Sustainability Gallery, an interactive exhibit teaching the science of sustainability. Everybody Solar coordinated these financial and in-kind donations and worked alongside the Sciencenter’s leadership team to ensure the success of the project.
The donations from APNF, JinkoSolar, Cornell University and a group of concerned individuals pushed the campaign past its goal of $61,000, allowing construction on the 15 kW solar array to commence. The array will power the entire Sustainability Gallery as well as include a solar panel in the exhibit itself to help children and adults learn about the science of solar energy.
Dedicated to navigating communities upward, APNF, a small private foundation that supports projects that promote solar energy awareness and implementation, has awarded Everybody Solar a prestigious $25,750 grant. The grant will cover the installation and ancillary equipment costs of the Sciencenter array as well as help build the new Sustainability Gallery. APNF found this project, their second collaboration with Everybody Solar, a natural fit through the implementation of a solar energy array for a science based, children focused museum in the Sciencenter.
“The Sciencenter’s solar installation and Sustainability Gallery offer children and their families real-life, hands-on exposure to solar energy, including the science behind using solar technology,” said Laura Staich, executive director of APNF. “We hope this project will serve as a model for other science centers nationwide to better help people understand the benefits of solar energy as a practical and cost-efficient energy source.”
JinkoSolar donated 212 of its high efficiency solar modules in January 2016 to help Everybody Solar cover 3 non-profit projects, including the Sciencenter which will use 65 JinkoSolar solar panels to run its solar energy array. The system will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of three homes and averting enough greenhouse gas emissions to take the equivalent of 12 cars off of the road for a year.
“We are proud to support Everybody Solar as they continue to make solar energy available to non-profits across the US”, said Nigel Cockroft, General Manager of JinkoSolar (U.S.) Inc. “We are pleased that our modules will not only be powering the Sciencenter, but will also be giving students the opportunity to learn more about sustainable energy.”
The project would not have been possible without the effort and support of a group of students from Cornell University’s Charles Dyson School of Management. The students led by Kevin Cellucci and Rachel Geiger secured a $15,000 grant from the university to implement a renewable energy project in the Ithaca, New York community and coordinated with Everybody Solar to jump start the campaign and find the ideal beneficiary in the Sciencenter.
Kevin Cellucci when asked to reflect on the project said that, “we could not be happier with the success of this project and the good it will do for the Ithaca community. Working on this project and seeing it finally succeed, has been the most rewarding experience that I have had at my time here at Cornell. I feel very fortunate to have worked with Everybody Solar, and we hope that the organization continues to have a powerful impact on the environment and deserving charities across the country.”
With the crowdsourcing effort now realized, Everybody Solar is working with the Sciencenter to break ground on the solar panel installation in early October with project completion and ribbon cutting targeted for later this winter after the completion of the new hands-on Sustainability Gallery.
News item from Everybody Solar