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A Talk on the Wild Side.

Rhode Island: Refuges Go Green for a Brighter Future

Shot of the visitor center
The Kettle Pond Visitor Center utilizes alternative energy sources, natural lighting and recycled materials. Photo: USFWS. Download.

In a state whose motto is “Hope,” Rhode Island national wildlife refuges are working toward a brighter future by conserving energy and reducing their carbon footprint through use of alternative energy sources, natural lighting and recycled materials.

The 14,000 square foot Kettle Pond Visitor Center building at the Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex recently installed a photovoltaic system on the roof to harness clean energy from the sun. This solar power system is projected to produce about 37,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year—about 25 percent of the center’s annual power use.

“Using energy from the sun is one of the many steps being taken on the national wildlife refuges in Rhode Island to conserve and reduce our use of energy from traditional sources of fossil fuel,” said Janis Nepshinsky, visitor services manager for the Refuge Complex.

The center also gets energy from the earth through a geothermal heating and cooling system that uses the earth’s constant underground temperature to heat and cool the building. These systems are among the most efficient heating and cooling technologies available, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.


Great article Frank, thank you. I love that these refuges in RI are using both the combination of geothermal and solar. This should be the standard for all of our national and state parks and gaming facilities. I talk about topics like this at www.facebook.com/geothermalguy and will be reposting this article there. I can speak from experience of homeowners using this same method of geothermal and solar and only seeing utility bills that amount to their utility transmission fees. If we as a community can reduce the costs of running and maintaining our public lands that will leave more money for employees and upkeep. Cudos RI! Keep up the good work!
# Posted By John | 10/1/11 10:57 AM

Solar panel technology is the only way for this country to use clean power and electricity.
# Posted By Solar energy | 5/4/13 11:21 PM
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