Artistic Nonprofit Makes Area for Solar

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Installers place panels on a rooftop array for Claremont MakerSpace in NH

In the Claremont MakerSpace, local artisans and artisans from the Upper Valley in New Hampshire turn their creative ideas into reality. On the roof above, a new 57.9 kilowatt solar system converts sunshine into clean local electricity.

The space has been renovated from the sawtooth mill building known for its 3 very pointed roofs and is ideal for studios and workshops. Natural light pours in from a series of windows that line the north sides of each rooftop, while the south walls (and an additional section of the flat roof) are now covered with 178 solar panels that take advantage of the abundant sunshine in other ways.

The array will produce around 69,072 kilowatt hours of electricity annually – this corresponds to an annual shutdown of 121,000 gas-powered cars. Not only does this reduce the MakerSpace’s carbon footprint, but it will save up to $ 340,000 over the 40+ year life of the array, allowing the money to be used for human resource development and education programs rather than utility bills.

About the MakerSpace

A drone image shows three roof peaks covered with solar panels on the roof of the Claremont MakerSpace.

Solar panels line the south sides of the “saw teeth” of the former mill building – while the windows on the north sides let in plenty of ambient light. Photo credit: Steve Goldsmith

The Claremont MakerSpace is operated by local volunteers and is a project by TwinState MakerSpaces, a non-profit organization that aims to enrich communities through collaboration and creativity. They had their grand opening in Claremont in the summer of 2018. After receiving a generous grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission to invest in solar, they partnered with ReVision to install an array in October 2020.

The MakerSpace currently has shared tools and workshops for woodworking, precision machining, jewelry and metalworking, fiber art, electronics, welding, robotics, graphic design, programming, and more. It’s an ideal place to work for locals who want to take classes and make use of the shared tools and work space, and collaborate or share ideas with other local artisans. The Claremont MakerSpace is just part of a larger economic and cultural revitalization in the city of Claremont that is now renewable and locally operated.

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