The latest addition to the Museum’s green arsenal is a brand new 360kW solar canopy installed over a large portion of the newly renovated main parking lot. The canopy provides some protection from the elements, but more importantly nearly doubles the amount of renewable energy produced by the existing 200 kW solar array on the roof of the main Museum. On a sunny day it is estimated that 50% of the electrical demand for the 250,000 sq. ft. building is provided by the sun. The lighting in the new parking lot is provided by new LED fixtures, which provide greater illumination while using less electricity.
The solar array on the roof of the main Museum building was completed in two phases. In spring 2011, more than 1,400 solar panels joined the 1,450 installed in 2008, now covering 60% of the building and making the 202 kilowatt system on the roof one of the larger solar panel installations in the state of Ohio.
The Museum’s rooftop solar panel project was implemented largely through local resources. The panels were manufactured by First Solar (Perrysburg, Ohio) and installed by Advanced Distributed Generation, LLC (Toledo, Ohio). The power inverter was manufactured by Nextronics (Toledo). The project was funded, in part, by a grant from the Ohio Department of Development’s Office of Energy Efficiency and a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.