*WINNER* Solar Energy for Bridgestone Nature Reserve at Chestnut Mountain
This project explores solar power generation systems as a potential renewable energy source for The Nature Conservancy's facility at Bridgestone Nature Reserve at Chestnut Mountain as a part of their goal to achieve carbon neutrality on the property. Initial research focused on the general function and composition of small-scale systems. Based on the energy usage listed on the energy audit provided by the Tennessee Valley Authority, the facility would require a 6-kWh photovoltaic (PV) system. A cost analysis revealed that the average cost of purchasing and installing this size system in Tennessee was $14,000. Energy storage options include sealed lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries; however, cost analyses were not performed for storage options because The Nature Conservancy concluded that they do not plan to go off-grid. A reference sheet was constructed detailing this data and identifying potential installation companies for The Nature Conservancy to consult regarding quotes for the project. The next steps for the project will be obtaining quotes for the PV system, finalizing the decision of which company to hire, composing a case for support to raise funds for the project, and purchasing and installing the solar panel system.