The Nature Conservancy, an international organization, is dedicated to preserving the lands and water necessary for life on Earth. They have been operating in Arizona for many years and besides their Tucson office, have 6 satellite campuses and preserves. The Nature Conservancy has long been dedicated to "walking the talk" and took a big step five years ago when they installed their first solar system.
Donated by Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and installed by Technicians for Sustainability (TFS) in 2008, the small 2.8kW system was added to again in 2010. The entire system is now 92.2kW and provides 95-100% of the electricity used by the Tucson campus, which lets the The Nature Conservancy create their own electricity and "walk the talk."
For the Tucson branch, one of their most important goals is to help conserve and preserve natural water resources. The entire facility practices water harvesting with several cisterns both above and below ground and have worked very hard to create a natural landscape, complete with native plant species and rainwater catchment basins. Even the specially designed gravel driveway helps prevent water runoff by capturing the water and encouraging it to sink into the soil and eventually, the Tucson aquifers. The solar helps with their goal as well by offsetting 6,587 gal of water each month that is used for conventional electricity generation.
In addition to their on-site energy efficiency and conservation measures, The Nature Conservancy has an electric vehicle (EV) charging station, powered by the sun.
Arizona Nature Conservancy Campuses with Solar:
- Tucson Nature Conservation Center- 92.2kW system installed by TFS in 2008 and 2010 saves 79,000 gal of water from being used to create conventional electricity annually.
- Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area- 14.6kW system installed by TFS in 2011 annually offsets almost 60,000lbs of CO2 annually.
- Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve - 12.6kWh system also installed by TFS in 2011 saves over 22,000lbs of coal from being burned each year.
- Hart Prairie Preserve in Northern Arizona