A zero-waste mission is almost by default a climate change mission. Almost any solid waste management decision has climate repercussions.
Currently ORS/The Exchange uses about 44,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. By putting solar panels on both The Exchange and our new Baler Building, we will be able to generate more than 94,000 kWh annually. That would be one of the biggest solar arrays in the County, and immediately become an important part of the island’s energy infrastructure.
There is an important reason to do this now: Thanks to the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” the Federal government will provide us with a 30% rebate on the entire project. Currently we estimate that to be almost $88,000 of savings!
It’s also a great deal in the longer term. According to our solar design consultants, with the savings the array will generate we should pay off the cost of the system in less than 10 years.
Not only will this array help us reduce our climate impact right away, it will help even more in the years to come. Currently we operate six pieces of heavy equipment that all burn a lot of diesel. It is our intention to replace them with electric machinery, which we can charge up using solar power.