Solar panels being installed at Camp McDowell

From staff reports
Posted 12/28/17

Camp McDowell will soon be solar powered.

Birmingham-based Eagle Solar and Light is currently installing 298 solar panels on three buildings at the Episcopal Camp and Conference Center in Nauvoo.

In addition, a ground-mounted solar array is …

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Solar panels being installed at Camp McDowell

Posted

Camp McDowell will soon be solar powered.

Birmingham-based Eagle Solar and Light is currently installing 298 solar panels on three buildings at the Episcopal Camp and Conference Center in Nauvoo.

In addition, a ground-mounted solar array is going in next to the orchard on Delong Road.

The project, which has a capacity of 86.4 kilowatts, is expected to be completed by mid-January.

It was funded by a major gift and unanimously approved by the Diocesan Council in September, according to Camp McDowell’s most recent newsletter.

Representatives from Camp McDowell, the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama and Eagle Solar and Light broke ground on the project Oct. 30.

The solar panels will provide power to Doug Carpenter Hall, Phifer Hall, and St. John's Pool and the solar array will serve the Johnston Welcome Center and St. Francis Chapel.

The savings realized on the monthly power bill for the five buildings will go into a reserve fund that will be used to finance future developments in energy independence at Camp McDowell.

According to the newsletter, plans under consideration include additional solar panels, hydro electric generation at the dam on Clear Creek, battery storage and a diesel backup generator.

“It is inspiring to see this project come to fruition after many months of hard work by so many. Utilizing the savings in our reserve fund, we hope to promote the dream of investing in hydroelectricity, wind and solar for Camp McDowell,” said interim executive director Whitney Moore-Shea.

Parts of Camp McDowell are already solar powered.

Solar panels at the goat barn in Bethany Village power the electric fences, lights and refrigerator there, as well as batteries for an electric jeep used for farm work.

Solar-powered street lights have been installed on DeLong Road, around Bethany Village and in front of the Welcome Center, and a solar-powered pump at St. James pier on Sloan Lake pumps water to the farm.

The camp also employs a renewable energy technologist.