Oregon Veterans Home Incorporates Solar Power

September 4, 2014 By Karen Henry

energy-trust-energy-manageA new healthcare complex developed for the nursing care of military veterans will include an 85.7 kW, 336-panel rooftop solar electric system that will generate an estimated 93,000 kWh of energy annually. Energy Trust of Oregon provided $114,109 in cash incentives toward the energy-saving investments.

The 133,000-square-foot Edward C. Allworth Veterans Home, located in Lebanon, Ore., is designed to meet the standards of the State Energy Efficiency Design (SEED) program, which directs state agencies to include cost-effective energy conservation measures in new and renovated public buildings. The SEED program also requires public buildings to spend 1.5 percent of their construction budget on green energy technology.

Early in the facility’s conception, the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA) connected with Energy Trust to explore how best to incorporate renewable power and energy efficiency in the facility’s design. The solar installation is the centerpiece of the property’s energy strategy. With guidance from Energy Trust trade ally contractor Sunlight Solar Energy, ODVA opted for a roof-mounted system to take advantage of building angles and sun exposure.

A kiosk in the community center will show in real time how much electricity the solar panels produce for the 11-building, 12-acre campus.

While the electricity generated by the solar panels at the Allworth Veterans Home will help offset the energy costs, ODVA invested in several other energy-efficiency strategies that are projected to save more than 32,000 kWh of electricity and 48,000 therms of natural gas annually.

The HVAC system includes a heat recovery component, allowing the facility to capture and use heat from one area and replace it in another. A high-performance building envelope and high-performance windows prevent energy leaks, and the commercial kitchen features energy-efficient appliances to control energy use in the freezer and refrigerated areas.

The design team also made it a priority to find as many efficiencies as possible for the facility’s interior and exterior lighting without sacrificing the quality of light for residents.

Allworth Veterans Home is served by Pacific Power and NW Natural.

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