Geothermal, Solar, Wind Power

Cincinnati Powers Up Two Buildings with Solar Electricity

Two new structures in Cincinnati now display prominent elements of “green” buildings with completed solar electric installations by Dovetail Solar & Wind. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and the Melink Corporation headquarters both stand to benefit from saving energy and cutting costs, as well as doing their part in reducing GHG emissions.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden engaged Dovetail to install a 19.3-kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) array on the Zoo’s new Harold C. Schott Educational Center building. The 31,000-square-foot Education Center, which is currently under construction, will be a dynamic facility that integrates the wonder of exploring a rainforest habitat with educating children and adults. The zoo’s solar PV system installed by Dovetail uses 168 units of Evergreen Solar Inc.’s 115-watt PV modules installed on the south-facing roof. The DC power produced by this large array is converted into 208-volt AC power by five PV-powered 4600 grid-tie inverters, and feeds into the building’s standard electrical system. It will reduce the external electrical power required to operate the building. Any excess power that is generated by the solar system will automatically route to the utility power grid. This non-polluting, renewable energy system will avoid approximately 68,000 pounds of global warming CO2. In the second project, Dovetail added an 11-kW solar PV array to the new 30,000 square-foot headquarters of the Melink Corporation in Milford, Ohio, just east of Cincinnati. Initial review indicates the building will earn a LEED ‘gold’ certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The solar PV system installed by Dovetail on the roof of the building is one of numerous green building features incorporated into this state of the art facility, which also features a geothermal variable-speed pump and other energy efficient features. The Melink solar system installed by Dovetail is composed of 64 Sharp Electronics Corp. 170-watt PV modules installed on ballasted racks on the building’s roof. The DC power produced by this 10.9-kW array is converted into 208-volt AC power by two PV-powered 4600 inverters and feeds into the building’s standard electrical system. Net metering will ensure that any excess power generated by the solar system on weekends will automatically route to the electric utility power grid. This non-polluting, renewable energy system will keep approximately 40,000 pounds of global warming CO2 from being produced annually.