EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSOLAR FARMERS MARKET
from Eyewitness News Online
Solar-Powered Farmers Market To Feature Electric Vehicle Charging Station
Reported by: Jeff Morris
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Feb. 27, 2013 3:50 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 27, 2013 4:15 PM EST
Morgantown, Monongalia , West Virginia
Power to the solar.
That's the message that will be shared in Morgantown, soon to be the site of the state's first solar-powered farmers market, according to a news release from the Mountain Institute. The solar system is slated to be complete in March and will include an electric vehicle charging station.
The institute, a a nonprofit organization dedicated to education and sustainable development in mountain regions around the world, is donating a solar array to be constructed on the new Farmers Market Pavilion, which also serves as a covered parking lot in downtown Morgantown.
The Mountain Institute developed the project with two West Virginia companies: Downstream Strategies, an environmental consulting group based in Morgantown, and Mountain View Solar, a solar installer headquartered in Berkeley Springs. The project uses funds allocated for alternative energy development in the Monongahela River watershed to purchase the solar equipment.
"The project is a win-win as it will save the city of Morgantown on electricity costs, provide an opportunity for the public to recharge electric vehicles, and demonstrate the potential of solar power to generate clean, locally produced energy," said Aaron Sutch, energy program manager for the Mountain Institute.
On weekends, the pavilion provides a shaded, permanent location for the Morgantown Farmers Market. On weekdays, it serves as a covered parking lot operated by the Morgantown Parking Authority. The pavilion was designed by the Mills Group, a Morgantown-based architecture firm, with solar specifically in mind.
The solar array will consist of 12 panels with a capacity of more than three kilowatts and generate nearly half the electricity used to power the lights, electric vehicle charger, and other electricity demands.
Tom Arnold, executive director of the parking authority, said the system is expected to save the authority about $4,000 in its first 10 years of operation.
A unique feature of the project is its electric vehicle charging station, which will be made available to the public. It will be the first of its kind in downtown Morgantown and one of the few places in the region to fuel vehicles with renewable energy.
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