Solar Power for Umstead State Park
We strive to make William B. Umstead State Park a place that people can come and learn how to make the environment in which they live cleaner, healthier, and more natural. And to practice what we preach, we are looking to offset some of the electricity we use with power from the sun.
The proposed 5kw solar photovoltaic (PV) system would not only produce electricity for the Visitor Center and help reduce our dependance on energy derived from fossil fuels, but would also provide an educational component for the public to learn about renewable energy. A small wall mounted tablet display would deliver real time solar energy production data to visitors and allow park staff to educate the public about the system and the benefits of solar power. Southern Energy Management, a local B-corporation with nearly 1000 solar installations under their belt, will be our partnering contractor. 100% of the funds requested will go to purchasing and installing the 18 solar panels on the roof of the park's Visitor Center and whatever is raised above and beyond that will stay in the park being utilized by The Umstead Coalition. The proposed system would save the park hundreds of dollars a year that could be spent on keeping up trails, facilities, and education programs for the public to better enjoy.
Please help us make this dream a reality and help us fund our project. You would not only be helping the environment, but would also be educating the public for decades to come about the benefits of renewable energy from the sun.
Thank you for your consideration of our project, and whether you contribute or not, we hope to see you enjoying the outdoors in William B. Umstead State Park and in all of North Carolina State Parks.
The Umstead Coalition
And as always, I’m so grateful that you continue to enjoy William B. Umstead State Park and see all the good that will come from this project getting off the ground.
Neat idea. Can you publish SEM's study of the suitability of the location and the total financial details? For instance, there have been various tax incentives over time--which I would assume would not benefit the park--and there are renewable energy credits that been "sold" back to the power company. What is Umstead able to leverage of those? Also, is SEM doing this as a partnership (read that as "discounted") to help their community and get a benefit of visibility for their business? I would personally be more interested in being part of an investment in a "solar farm" on the ground, positioned ideally (vs. however the roof is aligned and without trees that would create shade) that could be more easily maintained (i.e. on the ground) and expanded (i.e. not limited by roof space). People--over time--could invest in their park with what would become an annuity of income for the park. I suppose a key question would be if there is a location that would be appropriate, convenient to existing utilities, AND fit within the charter of the park.