(24) 40 Roxbury Street
Reagan Messer representing MoCo Arts
What motivated you to install solar?
MoCo Arts is a nonprofit arts education organization located in downtown Keene, N.H.
We offer instruction in dance and theatre for children ages 18 months through 18 years
and beyond. We also run multi-arts day camps during the summer months, and during
school vacation weeks. MoCo’s new home was built with conservation of energy in mind,
and the building is powered primarily by solar energy.
How many panels do you have, and if you know, how much energy are you producing, percentage of your electric usage?
The 49.32-kW rooftop solar array at MoCo Arts consists of 137 panels and will offset 70% of their energy needs. The array is expected to produce between 56,000-58,000kWh annually.
What has been the biggest benefit so far? What are you excited about?
In our first year of operations, we saved over 8,101 metric tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted into our atmosphere!
What were the obstacles to installing solar and what did you do to overcome them?
The biggest challenge we have faced since moving into the new building has been
dealing with humidity levels during the summer months. Because the building is so
efficient, we’ve found that the air conditioning unit doesn’t have a chance to reduce the
humidity levels sufficiently simply because it doesn’t run long enough. To combat this
issue, we have installed valves through the rooftop unit, which has helped increase
dehumidification while the air conditioners are running.
Another challenge for us was finding space for everything. We have a pretty open floor
plan and space is at a premium. We wanted to utilize every square foot possible for
studio space. The solution we found was to maximize the space on the rooftop, which
now holds our HVAC system, in addition to our solar panels.
What advice do you have for people considering installing solar?
The best advice we can offer is to seek out a commissioning agent from the very
beginning. This will ensure that everything is installed correctly and according to plan,
and subsequently operating properly after installation.
Anything else you want to share?
We’d also recommend seeking out any available incentives when budgeting for a project like this. There are several state and federal energy and tax savings to be had, if you’re aware of them.