HONESDALE - Recently, dedicated volunteers from the non-profit SEEDS (Sustainable Energy Education and Development Support) completed the installation of 28 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof of the Lacawac Sanctuary Visitors Center near Lake Ariel.

The Salem Township electrical inspector gave his ok on August 9th, and the system is now ready to power up as soon as PPL Electric Utilities approves the final paperwork. The 8.4-kilowatt capacity system is expected to provide nearly 90% of the annual electricity used in the building, which includes Lacawac Sanctuary’s main offices and biology research laboratory, saving them more than $1100 in yearly operating costs.

“We’re excited that SEEDS was able to make this project happen. The reduction in our carbon-footprint is great and the budgetary savings mean Lacawac Sanctuary will be able to support additional environmental research and provide more educational programs, including about solar energy,” says Craig Lukatch-Setser, President of the non-profit Lacawac Sanctuary & Field Station.

The nearly $12,000 of equipment required for the project was jointly funded by donations made to the Lacawac Foundation and SEEDS.  In June, SEEDS conducted its sixth annual Do-It-Yourself Solar PV workshop, this year including actual hands-on experience with this installation for the 30 participants.  Those participants, plus a core group from SEEDS’ “solar circle” donated their time, plus their prior experiences with their own home solar projects.

“SEEDS is strongly committed to education about renewable energy, including how it saves money while improving the quality of life in our community,” says Jack Barnett, leader of SEEDS’ solar circle. “This project was a great partnership between our organizations, furthering both our missions to improve the environment and the communities where we work, live and play.”

Manufacturing costs of solar panels have dropped by over 70% in the past few years, and installing them yourself makes generating your own power even more affordable. There are still federal tax incentives available for both homeowners and businesses. 

SEEDS thanks Gordon Smith of Renewable Energy Solutions, and Blair Buselli of Buselli Solutions for lending their expertise and experience to this project. Both serve on the SEEDS Advisory Committee and are licensed electricians and experienced solar installers in our region.

SEEDS is a non-profit 501.c.3 organization promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable living in our region. Visit www.SeedsGroup.net to join the SEEDS e-newsletter list to be notified of all upcoming forums and workshops.

More information about solar energy and installations in our area will be presented on Tuesday, September 18th at 6 p.m. at The Cooperage. SEEDS, in honor of their 10th anniversary this year, is sponsoring a panel discussion with local experts titled: Sustainability 2008 – 2018 – 2018, How far have we come and where are we headed? 

Panelists will speak about renewable energy, the design/build industry and local food. The evening, also their annual membership meeting is free and open to all.

Visit www.SeedsGroup.net for more information and to RSVP. You may also call 570-245-1256.