Tucker House’s mission is to “Inspire Sustainable Living” here in our community. We do that through many different programs, events, and even through our energy use! In the fall of 2010, Tucker House started to implement changes as part of its Green Design Initiative to make the house a model of sustainability.
One of the biggest changes made in 2011 was the construction of Tucker House’s solar photovoltaic system! Located at the back of the property, there are three adjustable pole mounts each holding fifteen 235 watt PV modules and fifteen micro-inverters. Each PV module consists of 60 silicone solar cells giving the entire array a total of 2700 solar cells and is a size of 80m2 – 800ft2.
This system not only feeds energy to the Ontario power grid, but it is used as an education tool about renewable energy for the public, school groups and Tucker House visitors. Through this initiative, we have been able to create a learning area that is environmentally-friendly, it showcases environmental retrofits in a historic setting and brings together lessons from the past and the future on how to improve our environmental footprint.
Under bright sunlight conditions the system will produce just under 9 Kilowatts (kW) of solar energy to be fed into Ontario’s power grid and helps to reduce the demand for less sustainable energy forms.
We were able to implement this project in 2011 through generous grants from TD Friends of the Environment, the Community Foundation of Ottawa and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Additionally, we received loans from Community Forward Fund, Private loans and community support through the “Adopt-a-Solar-Cell” initiative.
Now that the solar panels have been paid off, Tucker House is able to benefit from the investment! Funds generated from these panels go directly back into the retreat centre to improve infrastructure, to hold accessible community events and educational programs.