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Camp Nock-A-Mixon: Summer Fun Powered By The Sun

Camp Nock-A-Mixon has been running summer camps for kids in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, since 1939. Last year, the camp took a big step towards sustainability by installing solar systems on several of its buildings. 

We’re so proud to have built these systems! Camp Nock-A-Mixon is a pillar of our community, and we’re beyond happy to have them in our portfolio. 

This was a huge system, with several hundred panels spread across three buildings. Because this property has eleven electric meters, we had to come up with a creative solution to ensure our system offset the camp’s power! 

Project Planning

Initially, the camp’s director, Gary Glaser, only wanted solar for his home. After seeing how much of his personal power bills his new panels would offset, he asked his sales engineer to design solar systems for several of the camp’s buildings! 

Virtual Net Metering  

Camp Nock-A-Mixon is on a large property. Because they’ve been operating for almost ninety years, several new buildings have been added to the property since it first opened. 

A new electric meter is installed every time a new building is built. Camp Nock-A-Mixon operates with 11 electric meters on their property! 

One meter per building presented a unique challenge. Camp Nock-A-Mixon has certain buildings that don’t have enough roof space for a solar array that will offset their electricity. They also have buildings like their hockey rink that barely use any electricity but have ample roof space for solar. 

So if you can only use the solar you generate for one meter, and you can’t build any solar arrays on the ground because 800 kids will run around all summer, how do you offset the electricity usage of the whole property? 

Gary’s first idea was to negotiate with the power company and see if we could roll all of his 11 meters into one so that he could stop paying 11 separate power bills and offset his electricity directly. His power company denied that request. 

We then planned out a system with a different solution called Virtual Net Metering

Virtual Net Metering allows you to use the surplus electricity from one meter to offset the cost of electricity from another meter, as long as those meters are on the same property (in a two-mile radius).

Considering the usage of all 11 of those meters, we figured out that we could oversize three systems on three of their buildings and count the extra energy generated as credit towards the entire property. 

So, we designed oversized systems for three of their buildings. Eight of the 11 meters account for most of the power usage on-site, so we planned our three systems to offset them. 

Here’s how we designed them and what they look like finished: 

The Office and Canteen

We designed the system at the office with 51 400w panels. It’s a 20.4 kW system. It’s projected to pay for itself in 15 years, then go on generating power for 15 years after that as an asset to the homeowner! Over its lifetime, this system is projected to save Camp Nock-A-Mixon almost $100,000. Below, you can see the projections for the office building project.

The financial projections for the system on Camp Nock-A-Mixon’s office building.  
A photo of the office/canteen at Camp Nock-A-Mixon with their completed solar installation. 

The Facilities Maintenance Shop

The system we built at the shop was designed with 61 solar modules arranged in five strings, running through two inverters. It will offset the shop’s power needs and more. Below is the project spec sheet that shows how we designed the system.

Our spec sheet shows how we designed the maintenance shed’s system. 
The grounds maintenance shop at Camp Nock-A-Mixon with the solar array at the forefront

The Hockey Rink

The hockey rink system is huge. It consists of 290 solar panels and is projected to save Camp Nock-A-Mixon more than a million dollars over a 30-year period. 

The projected lifetime electricity savings of the hockey rink’s solar system.
The hockey rink at Camp Nock-A-Mixon with the huge solar system clearly visible.

Battery Backup  

It was especially important to Gary that we build him a battery backup system. Camp Nock-A-Mixon stores a lot of ice cream and emergency medicine in their cafeteria freezers. When we first talked to Gary, he was waiting on a generator that had been back-ordered for a year because of the post-pandemic supply chain. 

Rather than wait for that generator and be without emergency power in the interim, Gary elected to install batteries. So, we included them in our project plans! 

Project Execution

With over 800 campers enjoying Camp Nock-A-Mixon in the summer, the staff prioritizes minimal disruption. To ensure a smooth camp experience, we strategically installed the solar systems: two early in the year and one in the fall.

We rolled up our sleeves and got to work. Here’s a shot of one of our guys headed up the long ladder to the office/canteen roof:

Here’s a shot of the installation in progress on top of the office/canteen. Notice that the installers are wearing safety equipment and are properly clipped in:

The installation of the solar systems went smoothly. However, due to a manufacturer’s delay, we had to wait a bit longer than expected to install the battery backup system.

It was an honor to build a solar system for someone like Camp Nock-A-Mixon. It feels like a privilege to have helped someone who’s a local institution and a pillar of their community save money with solar!

If you have a business in Eastern Pennsylvania or New Jersey and you’re looking to offset your power bills, we’re here to help! With 19 years of experience behind us, Exact Solar is your perfect solar partner. Schedule a consultation today to see how much you could be saving! 

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