Letting The Sun Shine In
Solar Energy from Eastman’s Pilot Project
Text by Susan Kessler
Graphics by Carol Ann Moses
Let the sun shine in—and generate power. Sustainable Eastman’s Energy Subcommittee is achieving that goal as you read this. Solar panels on the pavilion roof next to Peppermint Patty’s now generate some of the power used by the South Cove Activity Center (SCAC).
The solar panels were installed this past summer as a pilot project through a limited liability company established by five Eastman Members. The energy from the panels is monitored and displayed graphically in real time on a television in the SCAC lobby. Residents may also access the information from the comfort of their homes—or anywhere they have access to a computer, smartphone or other web-enabled device—by using this link.
According to the System Details on the online display, 36 Canadian Solar, 255-watt solar panels totaling 9.4kW (DC) are installed on the southwest-facing roof of the pavilion. The system is estimated to generate 10,410kW in the first year, which is more than the typical Eastman family of four uses. The solar energy produced will eliminate over three tons of carbon dioxide per year.
The first screen to appear when you access the website contains an array of blue blocks. The default for the ENERGY production in the horizontal menu bar is Hours, but can be changed to Months or Days. Scrolling down the blue chart and clicking on a blue box for a specific time will show how much energy was produced by the solar panels during the time period selected. In the screenshots shown, the date and time chosen are Sat., Aug. 17, 2015 at 3:15 p.m. The resulting information of 1731kWh is shown in the lower left corner of the display.
For more information about conserving energy and renewable energy sources go to
Eastman Energy’s website at www.eastmanenergy.info.
Susan Kessler is a member of the Sustainable Eastman Committee and is a regular contributor to this column.
Carol Ann Moses is a member of the Sustainable Eastman Committee and is a retired graphic designer.