Smithsonian Solar 0.6 MW Ground Array

Front Royal, VA

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) was formally a U.S. Army Cavalry Remount Station and was used to train horses, mules and K-9s for military use during World War I and II.

It was later donated to the Smithsonian for research and conservation efforts for wildlife and ecosystems. Constellation contracted Conti to clear the site and engineer, construct, and commission a 600kW solar facility at the institute.

Conti worked on a site surrounded by endangered, highly endangered and extinct in the wild animals. With many animals mating and birthing seasons occurring in the spring and summer, Conti pushed to build and interconnect the project during the Winter months to minimize the impact on the neighboring animals. The team kept the project on schedule and budget despite these obstacles by closely managing vendor and subcontractor schedules, and completing the interconnection work first, instead of last, due to the mating season.

Conti self-performed the civil work, posts, racking and panel installation while managing three subcontractors throughout the project, including electrical engineers, electrical subcontractor and fencing installer.

Constellation will own and operate the array for 23 years, allowing the Smithsonian to operate their 3,100-acre facility on a lower carbon footprint and conserve their funds to allow more research and reproduction of our world’s endangered animals.

Conti kept the project on schedule and budget despite the fact that they had to work during the winter months to minimize the impact on the neighboring animals.

Project details

Client Constellation New Energy, Inc.
Duration 4/2017
Key features
  • PV Modules: Suniva 335 Watt
  • Inverters: Solectria Central Inverter
  • Mounting System: RBI Solar
  • Data Acquisition System: AlsoEnergy
  • System Size: 0.6 MW

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