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View of a brick building with two rows of solar arrays attached to the roof. Building is shaded by two green trees on each side.
Going Carbon Neutral Rooftop solar arrays, an electric vehicle charging station and energy efficiency upgrades will dramatically reduce Uplands' carbon footprint. © Dorothy Hong

Newsroom

The Nature Conservancy Goes Carbon Neutral at Uplands Farm

Energy upgrades to former dairy farm will reduce more than 54 tons of carbon pollution annually.

The Nature Conservancy is pleased to announce its move toward 100% renewable energy at Uplands Farm Sanctuary, the 97-acre nature preserve that also serves as one of the organization’s Long Island offices. The ambitious project, funded by the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club, includes rooftop solar, an electric vehicle charging station, and energy efficiency upgrades that will dramatically reduce Uplands Farm’s carbon footprint, making the preserve’s offices carbon-neutral on an annual basis. The upgrades are estimated to save more than 54 tons of carbon pollution, equivalent to the emissions from over 5,000 gallons of gasoline from gasoline-powered vehicles, each year.  

The upgrades funded by Sun Club include:

  • Installing 63.9 kilowatts of rooftop solar, enough to meet Uplands' annual electricity demand.
  • Replacement of oil-fueled hot water and heating systems with electric HVAC systems in all buildings.
  • Placement of an electric vehicle charging station that enables the Conservancy to electrify its fleet and to serve visitors who drive electric vehicles.

“The Nature Conservancy is pleased to have Green Mountain Energy Sun Club’s support as we completely transition our largest office on Long Island to clean energy,” said Bill Ulfelder, executive director at The Nature Conservancy in New York. “These improvements are important steps in both reducing pollution that causes climate change, and The Nature Conservancy being a part of New York’s clean energy transformation, which is good for our economy. We are already feeling the impacts of a changing climate here in New York and around the world. By building a clean energy economy, we can tackle climate change, improve public health, and create good-paying jobs all over the state.”

The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club was founded in 2002 by Green Mountain Energy, the nation’s longest-serving renewable energy retailer with a mission to change the way power is made. Over the past 18 years, the Sun Club has supported nonprofit organizations seeking to enhance their own sustainability goals while reinforcing Green Mountain’s mission to use the power of consumer choice to change the way power is made. The success of Sun Club is greatly dependent on the generous support of Green Mountain Energy, its employees and its customers. 

“At Green Mountain Energy, we share The Nature Conservancy’s dedication to conservation, environmental education, and reducing carbon emissions, and we’re honored to play a part in the Conservancy’s move toward a zero-carbon footprint,” said Mark Parsons, vice president and general manager at Green Mountain Energy. “We are excited to support the installation of an electric vehicle charging station as part of the upgrades at Uplands Farm Sanctuary as this aligns with our agenda to promote vehicle electrification powered by renewable energy.  ”

Uplands Farm Sanctuary functioned as a working dairy farm prior to 1962, and the buildings on the property once served as farm structures. Uplands showcases environmental protection and conservation solutions to thousands of visitors annually. In addition to demonstrating renewable energy solutions, the campus also boasts an innovative wastewater wetland, which uses plants and soil to treat wastewater and reduce nitrogen pollution; the system came online at the site in March 2019.

The sustainable upgrades are part of the Conservancy’s continued efforts to tackle climate change in New York and around the world. The chronic flooding, stronger storms, and intense heat waves caused by climate change are already impacting communities statewide. The shift to renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, is key to climate stability. The Conservancy is striving to achieve a low-carbon future through broad-scale policy change at the state and federal levels while developing and modeling solutions locally, such as those at the Uplands Farm Sanctuary.

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About Green Mountain Energy Sun Club 

Green Mountain Energy is changing the way power is made and advancing sustainable communities through the work of the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. Since its founding in 2002, the Sun Club® had donated more than $10 million to more than 122 non-profit organizations across Texas and the Northeast. The Sun Club collaborates with non-profit organizations on projects that focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, resource conservation and environmental stewardship. To learn more about (Green Mountain Energy and) the Sun Club or to apply for a Sun Club grant, visit gmesunclub.org

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories: 37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.