The Creative Discovery Museum (CDM) is introducing its new 41.9 kW solar system, which complements the existing 10 kW system at the beginning of the holiday season. This new system is expected to generate more than 56,045 kWh of electricity and offset electricity costs totaling $ 6,120 in the first year of installation.
The system is the result of a year-long collaboration with the non-profit Everybody Solar in collaboration with ENGIE North America, the Change Happens Foundation, the All Points North Foundation and Tri-State Energy Solutions.
The new solar panels, donated by ENGIE North America and installed by TriState Electric, will provide CDM with a welcome reduction in overhead costs in the face of the global pandemic. Science and children’s museums are particularly hard hit when closings in connection with pandemics. In particular, CDM had to close for a few months and when the doors reopened in June the visitor capacity was limited to 20%. While solar is not a solution to all or even most of CDM’s financial challenges, it will help. This expansion of the array will save CDM more than $ 153,000 over the 25-year life of the system. These savings lead to increased sustainability of the facility and are a perfect complement to Chattanooga’s efforts to be a greener city.
The projected savings from the solar system will support the CDM “Museum for All” initiative. This program offers over 50,000 free and discounted entries annually. The savings from the solar panels will also support the CDM education programs on sustainability and alternative energy sources, as well as an internal sustainability initiative.
“The Solar project for the Creative Discovery Museum complements our vision of delivering cost savings, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability to nonprofits while providing a unique educational experience to spread the adoption of renewable energy,” said Henry Schulson, Executive Director of CDM.
“We are honored to be part of this exciting project and to have worked with so many great partners to make this project a reality. Despite the challenges this year, our team and community have come together to ensure we can install our largest solar system yet. More than ever, it is critical that we take steps to mitigate climate change and educate people about the power of solar energy so we can ensure that our planet continues to be livable for this and future generations, ”said Youness Scally, Executive Director from Everybody Solar.
“At All Points North Foundation, we believe science centers are well positioned to excite communities about the benefits and science of solar energy, while also being able to reduce electricity costs by installing solar panels and redirecting savings to what they do best. The time to support such initiatives couldn’t be more critical in the light of COVID-19 as the science center and museum communities are particularly hard hit, ”said Brandon Kiger, Director of Solar Grant Partnerships.
Message from Everybody Solar