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Alden Court “Go Green” Initiative


 

The Alden Court “Go Green” Initiative is an active effort to focus on sustainable energy through means of both solar power and geothermal energy. Alden Court is one of the first nursing homes in Massachusetts to make the switch to sustainable energy sources. Through the use of these multiple different types of sustainable energy, Alden Court is able to be more energy independent in a way that reduces costs and provides a high level of energy security and resiliency. Alternative energy measures, like the ones we use, help us pursue the town of Fairhaven’s objectives of increasing renewable energy and mitigating climate change while moving towards a more sustainable future.
 

On the property of Alden Court, there are almost 900 solar panels including the beautiful solar “Smart Flowers” located in front of the building. Using enhanced robotics and automation, these Smart Flowers accurately track the sun as it moves throughout the day. As a result, they are able to generate approximately 40% more energy than traditional solar panels. The installation of these flowers in 2015 was merely the first step in converting Alden Court to be more self-sustainable in terms of energy. In addition to these “flowers”, there are traditional solar panel units on the roof, as well as behind the building, in the car park. Within the car park, we have installed a “Solar Canopy” covered with solar panels, along with multiple charging stations for electric vehicles. The installation of these panels has managed to offset roughly 73% of the power that Alden Court uses yearly through solar power; solar power has had a significant positive impact on our power consumption.
 

 Alden Court has also adopted is geothermal energy, as another form of sustainable energy, and since the installation of the geothermal heating and cooling system, Alden Court’s energy consumption has been drastically reduced. Using a network of pipes, this system uses the heat from the Earth, as opposed to the heat from the outside air, to provide the necessary heating and cooling as it is needed. Air temperatures can vary greatly from the winter to the summer, but by using this system, Alden Court is able to pull the necessary cool or warm air directly from the ground. Throughout the year, the ground maintains a constant temperature of 55°-70° beneath the frost line. This system is also more efficient at moving cool and warm air than traditional furnaces or air conditioning units, as instead of generating the air themselves, these units simply move it from the Earth to Alden Court’s interior. Using Geothermal energy, we are able to keep Alden Court both warm and cool more efficiently, keeping the residents more comfortable.
 

Through our “Go Green” Initiative, Alden Court Nursing Care & Rehabilitation Center has been able to reduce energy consumption significantly and become more energy independent and resilient as a result. Through solar and geothermal energy, we are striving to be a pioneer in sustainable energy sources among nursing homes, both in Massachusetts and throughout the country as a whole as we all strive towards the important cause of cleaner future for everyone.