New Rooftop Solar Array Demonstrates Ongoing Efforts Toward Sustainability

CEO of Express Scripts, George Paz, recently described the Missouri Botanical Garden as “a world leader in the green movement” and “one of the region’s finest civic institutions.” Quite a title to live up to, wouldn’t you say? Well Express Scripts sure does believes in the Garden, because they have partnered with Missouri Botanical Garden by providing the initial investment for 110 solar panels atop the Commerce Bank Center for Science Education (CBEC). CBEC is the new home of both the Earth Ways Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden and the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter.

Here are the facts on the new solar array:

– Each panel is 40in wide, 65in long, and 40lbs
– In total the array covers an area of 3,000 square-feet
– The array works to convert the sun’s direct current (DC) electricity into alternating current (or AC, the type used to power lights, appliances and other electronics) right on the spot
– It will produce an annual 32,000 kilowatt hours of energy (870,000 in its lifetime), amounting to about 5% of the buildings total electrical needs and saving $180,000 in electricity costs over its lifetime
– The cost of the solar panels will be paid back over the next 5 years (leveraging a rebate from Ameren Missouri & federal tax credits)

which means the solar array will…

– Save enough energy to power 4 to 6 homes
– Displace 800 tons of carbon dioxide
– Eliminate 2,500 gallons of gas burned in cars per year
– Preserve 29 acres of hardwood forest

Now doesn’t all that seem worth the initial investment?!

Not only was this new project a great investment, it also serves as an excellent opportunity for education within the community. Deb Frank, Vice President of Sustainability for the Missouri Botanical Garden stated, “We hope that our action will inspire others to seek out ways to increase energy efficiency and utilize solar energy in their own homes and businesses.”

mbgsolarpanelFrom Left: Bill Barbieri, Ameren Missouri, Marc Lopata, Microgrid Energy, Larry Zarin, Express Scripts,
Deborah Frank, MBG, Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson, MBG

 

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