Discovery museum

Creative Discovery Museum unveils new solar panel display system

Creative Discovery Museum is expanding its sustainability efforts with a new educational exhibit, Solar @ CDM, accompanied by a new 41.9 kilowatt (kW) solar panel system to its existing 10 kW system. The project is the first of many exhibitions on sustainable lifestyles and alternative energy that will be created as part of the CDM renovation funded by the Ignite Discovery fundraising campaign.

Solar @ CDM is located in the iconic museum tower and overlooks the array of solar panels. Children and families can discover how electricity generated by photovoltaic cells enters the museum as well as the benefits of the alternative energy source. A real-time dashboard will highlight the total amount of energy the system has generated to date, daily solar production on an hourly basis, and environmental benefits including reduced CO2 emissions compared to sources of energy. conventional energy.

The system and the new exhibit are the result of a national collaboration with the nonprofit Everybody Solar in partnership with All Points North Foundation, Engie, Change Happens Foundation and Tri-State Energy Solutions. CDM’s solar panel is Everybody Solar’s largest installation to date.

“We are grateful for the support from Everybody Solar and its partners,” said Henry Schulson, executive director of CDM. “This project helps CDM achieve its goal of becoming a more environmentally friendly and sustainable organization. It also gives children and families a better understanding of what they can do to protect our environment.

“The new solar panels, offered by Engie and installed by TriState Electric, are expected to generate over 52,289 kWh of electricity and offset a total of $ 6,120 in electricity costs in the first year of installation. The system will also serve as a centerpiece for the museum’s educational programs and exhibits on renewable energy. “

“We are honored to be a part of this exciting project and to have worked with so many great partners to bring this project to fruition,” said Youness Scally, Executive Director of Everybody Solar. “Now more than ever, it is crucial that we take action to mitigate climate change and educate people about the power of solar energy so that we can ensure that our planet continues to be livable for this generation and them. future generations.

Over the 25 year life of the system, CDM will save over $ 153,000 with this array expansion. The projected savings from the solar panel will support CDM’s “Museum for All” initiative, which offers significantly reduced admission fees to families receiving EBT assistance.

“At All Points North Foundation, we believe science centers are in a good position to engage communities on the benefits and science of solar, while also having the opportunity to reduce electricity costs by installing solar power and redirecting savings to what they do best, ”Joe Ogrinc, Acting Director of Solar Grant Partnerships.

Additionally, the savings translate into increased durability of the facility and complement the City of Chattanooga’s efforts to become a more environmentally friendly city. In December, CDM received green | light certification from green | spaces. Green | light is a regional sustainability certification that highlights local businesses that choose to be stewards of the environment when making business decisions. The certification process requires documentation of sustainable actions in various impact categories including environmental literacy, green cleaning, transportation, water reduction, energy efficiency, landscaping, participation and staff welfare, water and purchasing policies.

Current initiatives include a green roof to reduce stormwater runoff and the health island effect. The Museum is also planning other infrastructure improvements that will help conserve water.


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