Thursday, April 5, 2012

Solar Array Means Savings for Arizona Cemetery

A 30 kilowatt-hour solar array is being installed to provide electrical power to the Southern Arizona Veterans' Memorial Cemetery.

The $170,000 project, with funds provided by the federal and state governments as part of an ongoing "green" program, is expected to be in full operation by the first of April.

Cemetery Administrator Joe Larson said the solar array, being installed by Phoenix-based Sky Renewable Energy, will mean the cemetery's budget of between $1,400 to $1,500 a month for electricity will be saved.

"The grant money came through the Arizona Department of Administration," Larson said.

The amount of power which will be provided will be sufficient for daily operations and none will be sold back to the electrical provider, which is the Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Co-op, he said, adding on days where not enough power is generated by the solar array SSVEC will be the backup source.

Mark Hardison, the company's foreman for the job, said there will be 126 panels on three separate arrays which will fulfill the cemetery's electrical needs.

The amount of power — 30kwh — is enough to provide electricity to five homes, Hardison said.

The project, which began about a month ago, includes a number of specialized equipment as part of the system which will convert alternating current to direct current.

Working with him is one other man, Broc Matthew, who is an apprentice with the company.

Each of the arrays tilt at 30 degrees "to receive the maximum sunshine," Hardison said.

The system is spaced so no shade from one part of the three arrays interferes with another set of panels, thereby degrading the amount of power generated, he said.


No comments: