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Chewonki Sustainability Interactive Timeline
Transcript of Chewonki Sustainability Interactive Timeline
Biodiesel Production Begins
Curriculum Series Launched with the Renewable Energy Poster
In collaboration with local artist C. Michael Lewis, Chewonki develops the first of what will become a multi-year curriculum series. The Renewable Energy poster seeks to educate the ways in which society can harness power sustainably.
Photovoltaic Array on Gatehouse
The 2 kW solar photovoltaic array on the south-facing side of the Gatehouse represented Chewonki's first professionally-installed renewable energy infrastructure. This unit has been functioning trouble-free since its installation in 1997.
The Chewonki Center for Environmental Education (CEE) was constructed to the most stringent environmental standards of its time. With a passive solar aspect and super-insulated ceilings and walls the CEE was a model of efficiency and energy conservation. The 9,000 square foot building was designed to be a teaching tool, demonstrating sun tubes, a 2.5kW solar photovoltaic array, and sustainably-sourced construction materials.
Construction Completed on Center for Environmental Education
Chewonki wins the Biomass Regional Award
An indirect-heated, closed loop glycol system was installed on the south-facing side of the Farmhouse, our main administrative building.
Solid Waste Management Guide Published
Peter Arnold was hired in 1999 as Chewonki's first Sustainability Coordinator. Only a handful of organizations across the country were as forward-thinking about the role that sustainability would play in education and campus infrastructure.
Chewonki's Waste Management Guide was one of the organization's first forays into printed curriculum dealing with sustainability issues. Printed and given to teachers and schools free of charge, this solid waste guide contained lessons, stories, and activities for teachers and students to reduce their solid waste.
Solar Sail Begins
Chewonki's first wilderness trip, which focused on sustainability issues, begins with the donation of a 47-foot catamaran, the Grand Chat. Participants engage in sustainability education while sailing around the coast of Maine.
After collecting waste vegetable oil from restaurants, the oil feedstock was brought to our newly assembled greenhouse, where, through a process called transesterfication, it was converted into biodiesel. The biodiesel was then used to run our diesel vans, trucks, and tractors.
Gordy Hall Constructed
In 2007, Maine Coast Semester students, under the leadership of Willard Morgan, conduct first carbon inventory of Chewonki.
Renewable Hydrogen System
Clean Water Poster
Year-Round Sustainability Assistant, Tom Twist, is hired.
Carbon Capture and Storage Conference Held
Spring Sustainability Conference
Kronosport Solar Canopy Built
Tidal Power on the Sheepscot River in Wiscasset
Sustainable Food Poster
Climate Champion Award
Solar Air heater
Green Choice Award
Gordy Hall off the Grid
Electric Thermal Storage Unit
eMonitor Data Logger
Geothermal Heat Pump for CEE
2nd Geothermal Heat Pump
Zero Waste Poster & Middle School Challenge
First Solar Array
The Past, Present, & Future of Chewonki Sustainability
Chewonki Produces Strategic Sustainability Plan
Chewonki begins project-based sustainability class
Students Install Solar Hot Water Panels
on Staff Housing
Wood-Fired District Heating
High-efficiency wood boiler for Dining Hall
Impact: 12.88 MT CO2
Percentage of Chewonki's total CO2: 2.7%
Lifetime Savings: $227,040
Electric Pickup Truck for Maintenance
Built as a student project
Carbon Reduction: 3.65 MT CO2
Percentage: 0.8% of Chewonki total CO2
Total Lifetime Savings: $53,320
Solar Power Purchase Agreement for CEE
Carbon Reduction: 16.5 MT CO2
Percentage: 3.5% Chewonki's total CO2
Lifetime savings: $275,655
Solar Power Purchase Agreement for Allen Center
Carbon Reduction: 16.5 MT CO2
Percentage Reduction: 3.5%
of Chewonki's total CO2
Total Lifetime Savings: $275,655
Solar Power Purchase Agreement for Gatehouse
Carbon Reduction: 51.98MT CO2
Percentage Reduction: 11.1%
of Chewonki's total CO2
Lifetime Savings: $868,300
Insulation of Warren & Gatehouse,
two main campus residences
Students engage in sustainability projects, such as building and installing a solar hot water system, creating an electrically-run bicycle, installing photovoltaic panels on their dorm, and conducting energy audits around campus.
Solar Heat and Power & Concentrating Solar Arrays Installed on Dining Hall
Gordy Hall, a passive-solar cabin, was built by semester students in 2006. It was constructed to be a model of efficiency and energy conservation, using super-thick walls insulated with shredded blue jeans. The cabin is heated entirely with wood.
Chewonki's renewable hydrogen system was the first of its kind in the nation and functions as a backup generator for one of our largest buildings, the Center for Environmental Education.
Sustainability Coordinator Position Created
The first of its kind in midcoast Maine, the Sustainable Energy Conference allowed access by the public to some of the best technicians and thinkers in the field of renewable energy.
Chewonki begins exploring the idea of tidal power, a nascent technology. Current velocity, marine habitat, and benthic (bottom) studies are performed on a site upstream from the Chewonki penninsula to determine whether or not the site is suitable for a tidal turbine.
With a grant from Efficiency Maine, Chewonki installs its first geothermal heat pump in the Center for Environmental Education building. It will heat Chapin Hall, our auditorium.
Chewonki installs a 6.6 kW Scirocco wind turbine atop a 100-foot tower on a hill overlooking our farm. The turbine will power our largest dorm, the Warren, for a full year.
In the spirit of infrastructure commissioning and documentation, as well as energy efficiency and conservation, Chewonki installs several data loggers on campus, in order to monitor our energy use and production.
Using a small solar array and a bike-powered generator, the Maine Coast Semester students in Gordy Hall are able to sever their connection with the electricity grid, and live "off the grid."
The Center for Environmental Education more than doubles its geothermal capacity with the installation of a second geothermal heat pump, whose closed-loop wells are buried beneath our parking lot.
Maine middle school students undertake Chewonki's Zero Waste Challenge, submitting plans to move their schools toward zero waste. Students established a baseline and did research with their maintenance teams and cafeteria staff to find out how solid waste is currently handled. Schools with the best presentations are awarded prize money in order to implement their plans.
Constructed from scratch with student-only labor, these solar hot water panels are installed on the rooftop and perform flawlessly.
We are currently researching several options for a high-efficiency wood boiler to replace our 30-plus year old furnace, which is nearing the end of its useful life. By installing a higher-capacity boiler, we will be able to pick up the heating loads for the nearby Allen Center and the Farmhouse.
What is a Solar Power Purchase Agreement? It is essentially like a lease for solar panels. A third party owns, installs, and maintains the solar panels on your roof, and the solar panels are treated like a financial investment. The investor or third party recoups their capital investment by tax rebates and incentives, as well as your monthly electrical bill, which is paid instead to the owner of the solar panels. After seven years or so, the investor will often sell the panels to you at a reduced price. For nonprofits, this is a nice way to take advantage of otherwise inaccessible tax incentives, and they can often leverage their money to the tune of 20 cents on the dollar.
A student-built electric pickup truck would allow maintenance staff to move tools and construction materials around without burning gasoline or diesel. It would also be vastly cheaper to operate - only a dollar's worth of electricity would fill up the battery "tank."
Chewonki's strategic sustainability plan helps plot our way forward - pinpointing which technologies we will pursue, how much they will reduce our carbon footprint, and when we will get them. The current strategic sustainability plan, if followed, will reduce our stationary source emissions by 70%, and reducing our overall footprint by 20% by 2020.
Carbon Reduction: 7.5 MT CO2Percentage: 1.6% of Chewonki total CO2
Lifetime Savings: $332,200
To navigate through the timeline, use the forward and back arrows at the bottom of your screen.
Projected CO2 Reduction Goals
Solar Hot Water Array on the Farmhouse
Chewonki Creates a Green Revolving Fund
A green revolving fund is an internal fund that provides money for sustainability projects. A sustainability project will have a payback based on fuel or electricity savings, and that payback is used to replenish the green revolving fund. Once the fund is replenished, it can be used again to fund another sustainability project.
In addition to touching on things that have already happened, this timeline also covers things that we plan to do here at Chewonki. These future projects have a cost associated with them, but they also have a payback in terms of energy and CO2 savings. Where possible, we have listed these figures next to the proposed project.