Marshfield boasts energy efficiency with new solar array
MARSHFIELD – With the solar array up and running, the town of Marshfield has reached its goal to be as energy efficient as possible.
In the past few years, the town has taken steps to make the Old Schoolhouse Common a beacon of energy efficiency. The building houses the town clerk’s office, zoning and planning, the Jaquith Public Library, the historical society and the Twin Valley Senior Center.
Chaimanr of the town’s energy and climate change committee Rich Phillips said the improvements started by plugging up any leaks in the building where heat could escape. That work was able to reduce air leakage from the building by 80 percent and reduced the amount of heating oil the building used from 4,300 gallons to 2,500 gallons per year.
“The air leakage now is pretty close to what a new house would have been 10 years ago and its a 1920 building,” he said.
After that, the building’s insulation was replaced and more insulation was added to the outside of the building to keep energy from escaping from the concrete foundation, Phillips said. Those improvements reduced the fuel the building used by a couple hundred gallons more.
To save even more money and energy, the building’s oil burning furnace was replaced by a wood pellet burning furnace, which Phillips said reduced the cost of heating the building an additional 30 to 40 percent.
The town also replaced all the lights in the building with light emitting diodes or LEDs.
But the final piece of the puzzle was the solar array that would feed electricity to the building. Three tracking solar panels were installed early this winter and Phillips said they have just gone online in the past two weeks.
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