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Longwood is pleased to announce the commissioning of a 1.5MW solar field! On May 27, 2011, this solar production facility began generating electricity. The field will produce about 2 million kilowatt hours per year, which is the electrical equivalent of powering 181 average homes. It is expected to offset our energy consumption by nearly 28% and can reduce our annual carbon dioxide emissions by 1,367 tons.
Visitors can learn about our solar program through a “flowery” demonstration system in the Idea Garden.
• Longwood Gardens has made an institutional commitment to install 3 MW (megawatts) of solar energy by 2018. Once completed, it will provide 100% of Longwood’s electrical needs on a sunny day.
• Phase 1 (1.2 MW) of the solar project is installed, and an additional 0.3 MW will be installed in the coming weeks, for a total output of 1.5 MW.
• The project is being funded in part with a $1.3 million grant, PA Green Energy Works! using federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, and a $500,000 Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) grant. In addition, EcogySolar and Longwood Gardens provided additional funding.
• Longwood Gardens’ 1.5 MW solar field will provide 2 million kWh (kilowatt hours) per year representing 28% of Longwood’s current annual electrical energy need.
• Phase 1 will be grid-tied and produce enough electricity to offset the usage from approximately 138 average PA homes.
• 90% of this 10.7-acre solar project was made in the USA.
• Motech Americas in Newark, Delaware supplied the fixed-tilt solar modules on 10.7 acres of Longwood property in Phase 1.
• Longwood Gardens is partnering with two leading solar energy firms, groSolar and EcogySolar to initiate Phase 1 through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). With the PPA, EcogySolar owns the solar equipment and will sell the power produced to Longwood Gardens.
• The completed solar field will be one of the largest examples of clean emission-free energy in the region; and will reduce Longwood’s annual carbon dioxide emissions by 1,367 tons.
• Longwood is committed to maintaining the beauty of the landscape and will plant a variety of native meadow grasses and other plant material in the solar field for aesthetic purposes.
• Longwood Gardens recently established its Eco-footprint, which has provided a quantitative measure of Longwood’s environmental and energy inputs/outputs. We will use the Eco-footprint measures to develop strategies to reduce demand-side energy consumption, reduce waste and enhance water conservation.
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A team of Longwood Volunteers gathers horticultural highlights from the Outdoor Gardens and Conservatory. Download a pdf of their top picks for the week, including photos and locations.
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Journey to the wild, remote flood plains of South America and to the great gardens of Europe and North America to discover Victoria, the waterlily queen.
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When you visit our Idea Garden you will discover something new: our first-ever Trial Garden on view for our guests. This square space houses more than 250 cultivars within 10 genera: Clematis, Dahlia, Paeonia, Capsicum, Agastache, Salvia, Pentas, Lantana, Colocasia, and Canna.
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Enjoy family-fun activities, an outdoor concert, and behind-the-scenes experiences.
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