If there’s any place that understands the impacts of climate change first-hand, it’s the Katrina-flooded Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. With the help of a new solar system, a 9th Ward community center and skate park is taking a very visible step toward addressing the global environmental challenge.
The community is now celebrating having the “greenest skate park in the world.”
The Lower Ninth Ward Village’s skate park and solar tracker were commissioned at a celebration September 26, which included representatives of Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation and Grammy winning rapper Lil Wayne, a skater himself.
Make It Right builds healthy homes and buildings for communities in need. As part of making the project as environmentally responsible as possible, Make It Right sought to include the most efficient solar electric system it could.
Working with Joule Solar Energy, a local Louisiana-owned company, they chose the pole-mounted dual-axis AllSun Tracker system. The tracker system is an industry leader and uses GPS and wireless technology to follow the sun throughout the day boosting energy production. It was heralded at the event as the first solar tracking installation of its kind in the region.
The 6kW solar tracker will produce over 10,000 kWh per year and supply the energy for the community center and skate park’s lighting, fans, and computers.
“The solar tracker provides the park affordable, clean energy. Lower power bills help keep the park sustainable for the entire community,” said Pierre Moses, Make It Right Solar’s program director.
Joule Solar Energy’s Ross Reilly and Julian Thomas, added “We were particularly excited to be involved in this unique project. Our goal is to provide cost-effective solar investments to our customers and this tracker, with its boost in energy production, makes good economic sense. We are pleased to know our work furthers the development of renewable energy, encourages environmental awareness, and takes us one step closer to energy independence.”
Joule Solar Energy, a new AllSun Tracker partner, has installed more than 1.4 MW of solar systems throughout the Gulf South, creating sustainable savings for homes and businesses.
“We are thrilled to have an AllSun Tracker both providing a source of affordable renewable energy and a symbol of sustainability in a Ward hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina. It’s a great symbol of hope for the future for addressing climate change,” said David Blittersdorf, CEO of AllEarth Renewables.
The AllSun Tracker is manufactured by AllEarth Renewables of Williston, Vt., which uses innovative technology to boost solar energy production by up to 45 percent over roof-top installations. The ground-mounted solar systems are designed for homes, businesses, non-profits, and commercial-scale installations.
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