Island Senior: Mullis Center Upgrade For A Green Future

Posted August 9, 2021 at 5:48 am by

Installing Solar Pan­els at the Mullis Cen­ter — Con­tributed Photo

For near­ly four years now the Mullis Cen­ter has been work­ing hard to imple­ment rec­om­men­da­tions made by Sus­tain­able Connection’s ener­gy audit to improve our building’s effi­cien­cy, reduce ener­gy costs, and cre­ate a health­i­er environment.

In 2018 our project began by switch­ing to LED light­ing, installing low flow aer­a­tors through­out the build­ing, installing Ultra-High Effi­cien­cy toi­lets, and installing an EV charger.

In 2019 we pur­chased the Leaf, an elec­tric vehi­cle pro­vid­ing ener­gy effi­cient trans­porta­tion includ­ing the crit­i­cal deliv­ery of Meals on Wheels.

Our fail­ing HVAC sys­tem was then replaced and duct­work, a vapor bar­ri­er, and addi­tion­al insu­la­tion under­neath the build­ing, all address both ener­gy con­ser­va­tion and the qual­i­ty of air inside the build­ing. We expect some of this work to be com­plet­ed this year.

Last year we repaired the roof with a reflec­tive PVC coat­ing. Besides resolv­ing the ini­tial issue of leaks this project had the addi­tion­al bonus of help­ing con­trol the tem­per­a­ture while reduc­ing ener­gy use.

You might say the crown­ing glo­ry of the green­ing of the Mullis Cen­ter is the solar elec­tric part of the project designed and installed by Rain­shad­ow Solar & Ener­gy Solu­tions. Solar ener­gy gen­er­at­ed on our roof flows back to the OPALCO pow­er grid. Accord­ing to the manager’s report from the last two dis­trict meet­ings, “Our OPALCO pow­er usage/bill was reduced by near­ly 80%.  In June we only used 2/3 of what we pro­duced and as a result have a cred­it to use lat­er in the year.

This spring we col­lab­o­rat­ed with Fish for Teeth, Med­ical Teams Inter­na­tion­al, and Smile Mobile/Arcora Foun­da­tion, to install a sus­tain­able, clean, qui­et, and cost-effec­tive pow­er source to replace the diesel gen­er­at­ed pow­er typ­i­cal­ly used by the den­tal vans.

Fri­day Har­bor Elec­tric gen­er­ous­ly donat­ed mate­ri­als and labor to install the new per­ma­nent pow­er sup­ply. Now the den­tal vans have a reli­able place to plug in when they come to serve our com­mu­ni­ty. The Mullis Cen­ter is hap­py to cov­er the pow­er costs for these valu­able com­mu­ni­ty services.

As we all know only too well at this point in the pan­dem­ic online tech­nol­o­gy is but anoth­er form of crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture. To that end we are cur­rent­ly work­ing toward an upgrade of our computer/online tech­nol­o­gy and onsite audio/video tools. This will help us meet the needs for online meet­ings, class­es, and oth­er gath­er­ings for our staff, vol­un­teers, mem­bers, and all who use our facility.

Sup­port­ing this broad scale endeav­or have been gen­er­ous bequests and ongo­ing fundrais­ing. Look for us in August at the San Juan Coun­ty Fair where we will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Com­mu­ni­ty Foun­da­tion Vir­tu­al Fair Fundrais­er.

Be a part of this bold step into a pos­i­tive future for our com­mu­ni­ty by mak­ing a gift this Fair time, August 18 — 22. Of our $7500 fundrais­ing goal the Com­mu­ni­ty Foun­da­tionwill match the first $1,000 raised!

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One comment...

  1. What an inspir­ing sto­ry of mod­ern­iza­tion with ener­gy con­ser­va­tion and the future in mind! Kudos to the Board and staff as well as col­lab­o­ra­tors for these impres­sive changes at Mullis Center.

    Good Stuff!

    Comment by Steve Ulvi on August 10, 2021 at 7:55 am

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