HONESDALE—The Stourbridge Project (TSP) and the Clean Energy Co-op are celebrating several joint renewable energy project partnerships with an open house next Tuesday night, July 30, from 4 to 6 p.m.
Attendees will get the chance to learn a little about commercial solar projects and see what innovations and opportunities are available at TSP, located at 648 Park Street, all while enjoying refreshments from The Anthill Farm, Nature's Grace and Here & Now Brewing Co.
The big project at hand, is the installation of over 100 solar panels on TSP roof, expected to generate enough energy to power 55 percent of the electricity at the 1928 Stourbridge Elementary building.
Jack Barnett, President of the Clean Energy Co-op approached the Wayne County Commissioners in April to request their partnership on a grant application to complete the project, and received their support.
In a later press release, Barnett stated, “We believe it’s time to transition to renewable, clean energy, and we couldn’t be happier to be working with the Wayne County Commissioners as we continue towards this goal.”
Barnett explained in a later interview that Clean Energy Co-op is in the process of raising funds to match the grant and will formally apply for it in September.
If all goes well, the hope is to have the panels installed by the end of December.
Explaining the project suits well the entrepreneurial, forward-thinking aspects present at TSP, Executive Director Susan Shaffer noted in a press release it “...embodies technology and community, and utilizing renewable energy is an investment in the future.”
In a later interview, Shaffer noted TSP is looking to install a solar power informational kiosk within the building to let patrons learn about the panels and how they're assisting operations.
Shaffer stated she is seeking public input on what shape this kiosk could take. Member of the public are invited to weigh in at the event on Tuesday or email her: email@example.com.
Other clean energy projects Shaffer plans to showcase at Tuesday's event include a solar-powered light on the building sign by Route 6 and the installation of an electric-car charging station at the north end of the building.
The charging station is funded in part through a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) rebate program.
“I'm really excited for that,” said Shaffer, noting the fees collected from the station will help offset any maintenance costs associated with it and its corresponding cell phone app will help direct new visitors to TSP while their car is charging.
Barnett explained the Co-op's other project being celebrated on Tuesday is the construction of a 22.7 kilowatt ground-mount solar array at the Von Oechsler Farm in Damascus.
“We look forward to making progress on both these projects,” said Barnett.
Since its formation in 2014, the Clean Energy Co-op has completed three prior solar projects and invested $237, 000 into renewable energy in Wayne County.
These projects, located atop The Cooperage Project (Honesdale), The Anthill Farm (Dyberry Township) and Willow Wisp Organic Farm (Damascus) have generated a total of 234 megawatt-hours of electricity, which is enough to run 23 average Pennsylvania homes for one year.
Discover The Stourbridge Project
In addition to celebrating the development of several solar projects, event attendees can also explore the many entrepreneurial endeavors taking place at TSP.
Shaffer will be hosting tours of the facility's co-working space, business incubator and prototyping lab.
Those present will be introduced to the facility's computers, broadband internet accessibility, open worktables, private conference rooms, media lab, 3-D printer, CNC machine, Glowforge laser printer and other assets.
All are welcome to attend the free event next Tuesday to learn about both TSP and the Clean Energy Co-op.
Those unable to attend can learn more about the respective organizations online at www.stourbridgeproject.com, and www.cleanenergy.coop.
TSP can be reached by phone at 570-253-5334 and the Co-op's number is 570-543-2667.
TSP is open to the public Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Membership passes are also available for a monthly fee.
The Clean Energy Co-op is always looking for additional community support, said Barnett. Memberships are available for a one-time fee of $100, though a discounted one-time $50 fee is currently available.
Membership applications can be found on the Co-op's website listed above.
—Information from a release was used in this story.