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Heat Shed, an established industry leader in residential solar installations in Pennsylvania, today announced the completion of a 6.21-kilowatt, ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) system for the Rodale Institute, a nonprofit organic farming research and outreach organization in Kutztown, Pa.
The system, which was designed, engineered and constructed by Heat Shed, is housed on the organization’s farm at 611 Siegfriedale Road, and is used to offset the power of its visitor’s center and Water Purification Eco-center, an on-site wastewater treatment system that captures rainwater and reuses it several times before returning it to the soil as clean water.
“We’re thrilled to announce the completion of the solar system for the Rodale Institute,” said Gaurav Naik, principal of GeoGenix, Head Shed’s parent company. “A solar system is a great way for nonprofit organizations such as Rodale to reduce their operating costs, thus freeing up financial resources for their activities. The ability to generate clean, renewable power onsite is especially important for an organization whose focus is the environment.”
The Rodale Institute was founded in 1947 and is considered the birthplace of America’s organic movement. The organization researches the best organic farming practices and shares its findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world. In addition, it advocates for policies that support organic agriculture and educates consumers about the benefits of organic agriculture.
The solar system will be on display for visitors at the Rodale Institute’s upcoming Organic Apple Festival on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Representatives from Heat Shed will be conducting tours at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. to educate the public about solar power and to answer any questions.
Attendance at the festival is free; parking is $5 per car. Event-goers can also go apple picking, take tractor-drawn wagon tours of the farm and enjoy live music and food from organic vendors. The festival is expected to draw more than 4,000 visitors. For more information on the festival, please go to www.rodaleinstitute.org/organic_apple_festival.
“The installation of this solar system is an exciting step for us,” said Coach Mark Smallwood, Executive Director at the Rodale Institute. “Although we focus primarily on farming, eco-friendly practices beyond farming are also very important to us. This system has allowed us to showcase how we can utilize nature’s resources and be environmentally friendly through the generation of renewable energy.”
The solar system, which was funded by a grant from the Berks County Community Foundation’s Metropolitan Edison Company Sustainable Energy Fund, will also be used to offer a hands-on learning experience for students – from kindergarten through college -- about the technology and its environmental benefits.
The power generated by the 27 panels equates to the reduction of more than 10,128 pounds of CO2 emissions per year, which is the equivalent of planting 163 trees.
About Heat Shed
Established in 1973, Heat Shed is recognized as a leading solar integrator in Pennsylvania. In October of 2010, Heat Shed became part of GeoGenix, a NJ-based solar integrator and proud winner of the SunPower 2010 “Outstanding Customer Service” award. Propelled by enthusiastic customer referrals, Heat Shed has the expertise and credibility to provide quality solar installations to its customers and as true believers in the technology, many Heat Shed employees’ homes are powered by the sun.