NORWAY — The Alan Day Community Garden (ADCG) is now running on solar power. The Center for an Ecology-Based Economy (CEBE) installed the project as the first of four community projects funded in part by their recent crowd funding campaign.

They will host an open house from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, at the garden to demonstrate the system and explain its design and installation for all those interested in learning more about solar power.

The powering of the garden, which is not connected to the electrical grid, with clean renewable, solar power had been a dream of the garden’s founders and staff since the ADCG’s inception five years ago. Thanks to a grant to CEBE from the Maine Community Foundation and additional funds through CEBE’s recent fundraising, that dream is now a reality.

The new ADCG solar power system is actually two “stand alone” systems. The larger of the two arrays contains 240 watts of solar panels charging four batteries with a total of 980 amp hours of capacity. Electricity is delivered by a 1,500 watt sine wave inverter to run power tools and lighting. The second system is comprised of a 100 watt panel and controller dedicated to pumping water to a raised irrigation tank and runs on DC, or direct current.

The tour of the project will be led by CEBE’s Shawn Kane, who, along with Jesse Cottingham, installed the system of their own design. Technical code compliance assistance was provided by Master Electrician Ronnie Grover of ADS Electric in Norway.

Installation was assisted by local solar advocate Fred Garbo and ADCG Coordinator Rocky Crockett, along with the ADCG Youth Leadership Program crew. Jeff Polland of JP Electric in Oxford donated materials and technical assistance.

Garden Coordinator Rocky Crockett reports that the system has already increased the sustainability of the garden, saved him and his crew time and reduced the ADCG’s carbon footprint.

This is through eliminating the need for trucking in water, as well as for making trips to his home or running a gasoline-powered generator to run power tools for the ongoing construction projects at the garden.

Anyone interested in small-scale, off-grid solar power and the potential for renewable energy is invited.

For more information, contact CEBE at [email protected] or call 739-2101.

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