HOT SPRINGS – Last Wednesday, a 2kw solar awning was installed on the facade of local retailer, Lucy and the Green Wolf. Inside, the project is complemented by energy efficient LED lighting fixtures throughout the interior.
The updating of older light fixtures to new LED technology will reduce Lucy and the Green Wolf's power consumption by 60%. The 2kw solar array will further reduce the buildings draw from the grid.
The installation project is the first step in the building becoming totally power self-sufficient and sustainable.
Lucy Stanslaw is the owner of Lucy and the Green Wolf. Her mission is: "to support and inspire sustainable living by offering goods that help reduce our negative social and environmental impact around the globe."
With her community improvement projects, Stanslaw's MO is to practice "permaculture" however possible.
"Permaculture" is a set of design principles centered around whole systems (communities, regions, countries, entire societies)—thinking, simulating, or directly utilizing the patterns and resilient features observed in natural ecosystems.
Stanslaw's recent solar efforts are her way of serving our community in better harmony—not only for our immediate community, but with our global community on actions that make a difference.
She wants to create single solutions that suite more than one need at a time, and with the most positive impact to global health.
With this new solar installation and LED conversion project, she aims at inspiring others in the community to rethink their energy consumption goals and take action.
She hopes that other business owners begin to realize that renewable technologies can help save money and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels—all while maintaining Hot Springs' celebrated historical heritage.
Stanslaw says her mission takes patience and persistence.
When making plans for the solar awning project in early 2018, she was met with a set of immediate challenges.
In the City of Hot Springs, anyone planning to make changes to the facade of their historic building must first apply for a Certificate of Historic Appropriateness from the city's Historic Preservation Commission.
The store front and building that Stanslaw owns and operates is considered a historic building and falls under the commission's oversight.
When Stanslaw first approached the commission for permission to construct her solar awning, the initial response to the proposal was no. All members except one voted the proposal down. The look of the solar awning didn't meet the commission's needs.
Without the Certificate of Historic Appropriateness, Stanslaw's solar project was at a standstill.
A breakthrough happened by chance when Stanslaw discovered Boston, Mass. area company, Sistine Solar.
Sistine Solar manufactures "Solar Skins"—a thin film that, when applied directly to the solar panels, changes their outward appearance to mimic any roofing tile or shingle.
With the option to employ the Solar Skins in her new design, Stanslaw reworked her plans to include these aesthetic changes to better adhere to the preservation commission's needs.
The project was approved by the preservation commission, granting Stanslaw the Certificate of Historic Appropriateness, clearing the road for installation to begin.
All installation work was contracted to GenPro Energy Solutions of Piedmont, SD and completed on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.
A final review of the installation will be discussed at this week's Historic Preservation Commission meeting, Wednesday April 3, 2019 at 5:00 pm.