Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

Lincolnville Library aims to be ‘net zero’ with solar PV and heat pump combo

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Lincolnville Library Goes Solar
Click to view video coverage of this solar project from WCSH Channel 6

The Lincolnville Community Library is now powered by the sun, thanks to grant funding by Efficiency Maine and the solar pros at ReVision Energy. The former one-room school house received 30 US-made solar electric panels to help power the 12,000 BTU heat pump that provides heating and cooling for the library.

“The Lincolnville Community Library is an excellent size and location to model energy conservation and renewable energy technologies that could be widely adopted by homeowners throughout the state,” says librarian Sheila Polson. At 24 by 34 feet and with a monthly electricity bill similar to that of many Maine households, the library’s energy efficiency measures and solar energy project, could be replicated by an average homeowner. “Already many visitors to the library ask questions about the heat pump, passive solar heating, and general energy usage,” says Polson.

Lincolnville’s library truly embodies the essence of “Community.” The town originally did not have a library, but a group of volunteers, with support from the community, rallied to move the existing 19th century school house across the street to the new site. From there, the Schoolhouse turned Library has become a central hub in the town, hosting community events, speakers, and educational gatherings. Energy efficiency improvements and the solar project are one more way the library showcases technology and knowledge for the broader community.

The Library has made the real-time performance of the solar array available online. Also see the Library’s Facebook page at:

Coastal Cohousing Community Wins North American Copper in Architecture Award

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Salt Marsh Cohousing
The decision to use copper extensively on the Coastal Cohousing Community project was a carefully considered one, as low maintenance and long durability were high on the owners’ list of priorities.

The ease of adapting copper to a variety of conditions and configurations allowed the architects to design all eaves, rakes, dormers and chimneys entirely in copper. This was both performance-enhancing and an aesthetic benefit. The result is a contemporary interpretation of the classic New England building form.

Full story is available here:

Another New Solar Electric Installation in Andover

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Revision Energy of Exeter installed another photovoltaic array in Andover last month.

The 18 panels should provide about 5.4 kilowatts of electricity over the course of a year, enough to power the entire household. Any excess power goes into the New Hampshire Electric Co-op’s grid for other NHEC customers to use. Revision recently announced a new program that lets qualified homeowners add solar with no money down.

Full story is available here:

Solar Q&A: Dr. Ron Davis, Professor Emeritus at UMaine Climate Change Institute

Monday, August 4th, 2014
Ron Davis Ground Mount Solar, Orono, ME

Dr. Ron Davis with ReVision Energy Master Electrician Ryan Herz in front of Davis’s ground-mounted solar electric array in Orono, Maine

Professor Ron Davis served at UMaine’s climate school for over 30 years before retiring, and in the decade since has improved his home and lifestyle to the point where he and his wife consume almost no fossil fuel.  He is also an avid bird photographer and took time from a recent trip to Nome, Alaska, to talk to us about his solar efforts.

Could you tell us a little bit about your background? How did you get interested in solar?

I’ve been in Maine since the 1950s.  I taught at Colby for 10 years before moving up to UMaine at Orono to join the (then) just-starting Climate Change Institute. I worked there for over 30 years before retiring in 2003. My focus was on paleoecology, reconstructing past ecosystems by analyzing pollen and other remains in lake sediment and peat. These deposits offer us clues about the ecosystems and environments of the distant past and the living conditions of the ancient peoples. Of course, all this helps us to understand climate change and what is normal and what is outside the norm.

The understandings I acquired in my teaching and research have had an impact on how I act as an individual living on this planet. As a scientist, I believe in the scientific process and what scientists are saying about climate change, especially as I have evaluated the findings of climate scientists from my own critical point of view.  My wife, Lee, is also a scientist and shares this point of view.  Through that lens, we feel a powerful sense of responsibility in regards to our personal consumption of fossil fuels on this planet, and we set out to do something about it.

So what pushed you to go from solar enthusiast to solar customer?

When I retired in 2003 we invested some of our savings into a series of renewable energy projects. We started with a solar hot water system, which provides nearly all of our home’s domestic hot water use, continued with a geothermal heat pump for all our home’s heating and cooling, and finally added a large (11kw) ground-mount solar photovoltaic system for all of our household need for electricity. When we planned the size of the solar electric array, we included enough capacity to power an electric car for all of our local transportation.  We were finally able to buy that car last November, a Nissan LEAF, which we have named ‘SUNCAR.’

With the LEAF, we find we hardly ever need to use our regular car (a Toyota Prius) except for when we go on long trips. Overall, we have gone from quite a substantial carbon footprint for our household and local transportation to almost none.

How’s the solar life? Anything else on the horizon?

We are excited that our work has inspired others in our community and we are now working with a local (Orono-area) group to discuss progressive issues ranging from environmental justice to peace-making. We’ve opened up our home for others who wish to see how they can combine all of these technologies together to save money and greatly reduce their burden on this planet.

Small library gets big grant to go solar

Friday, August 1st, 2014

lincolnville-library In the middle of summer, the small library in Lincolnville is getting ready to beat the cost of winter. The library is installing a full solar electric system, which they say should power all the lights and a heat pump to heat and cool the building.

Dunham says they’re hoping the combination of building insulation, passive solar from the south-facing windows and the heat pump will make the library a “net zero” building, meaning it will generate at least as much power as it consumes. John Luft of Revision says they can structure the billing so any excess power credits can be given to other town facilities, such as the school or town office. Librarian Sheila Polson says they hope the library will also serve as an example to the community of what can be done to reduce energy consumption and costs.

Full article and video is available here: