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For a backcountry lodge, the Inn is forward-thinking when it comes to conservation practices.


 
 

From the earliest architect’s sketches to today, everything about the Inn is designed to ensure that we’re good stewards of Mother Nature’s precious resources. The Inn was constructed on stilts to lessen our footprint on the mountaintop and we use recycled barrels to collect rainwater to irrigate our native plants and trees.

Being a non-profit, we also have to be good stewards when it comes to finding ways to lower our operating costs. Photovoltaic solar panels lowers our total electricity usage and the hot water at the bathhouse comes from a solar-thermal systems to lower our fuel costs as well as the Inn’s carbon footprint. Odor-free composting toilets help save more than 250,000 gallons of valuable drinking water every year.

One of our most popular stops on our nightly tour of the Inn is our worm beds, and vermiculture is one of our most valuable teaching tools. Instead of sending our organic waste to a landfill, the staff recycles it back into the soil using red wiggler worms — who can eat half their body weight a day in organic material. The beds compost everything from kitchen scraps to office paper, producing hundreds of pounds of valuable organic fertilizer.

Protecting Georgia’s natural resources is the core of our mission, but we believe everyone can do their part as well.People don’t necessarily come here for an education in nature and conservation, but we try to make sure they leave with one.

 
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We’re excited to announce our largest solar initiative since opening in November 1998 - dubbed appropriately “Above The Grid.”

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Although we’ve updated and added to our passive solar thermal water heating systems, we haven’t increased our photovoltaic capacity in fifteen years.

This new 53.72 kW(DC) photovoltaic solar system addition, installed by Radiance Solar, is significantly increasing our solar electric power at the Hike Inn, providing up to 69% of our annual electric energy needs.

A bi-directional meter was installed and the Above the Grid photovoltaic system was connected to the grid on July 27, 2017. Any extra solar energy produced the Hike Inn does not use enters into the grid for use down mountain. 

Guests have interactive opportunities to use and learn about solar energy during their stay and on our daily facility tour at 5:00pm.

We are able to monitor system production performance through SolarEdge monitoring platform.

Look here for monthly solar production updates:

January - 4.56 MWh (daily average 146.98 kWh)

     2017 Lifetime Energy - 28.31 MWh (daily average 153.86 kWh)                                                  

     2017 Lifetime Energy - 28.31 MWh (daily average 153.86 kWh)                                                  

For more information on our Above the Grid solar project please visit Hike Inn News from our monthly newsletter 'FooteNotes' :  

January - Announcing New Solar Initiative in 2017

July - Above the Grid Solar Installation Begins!

August - Above the Grid Began on the Trail

September - Above the Grid Catching the Summer Sun

2017 - Year of the Sun!

All of this would not be possible without the generous financial support of a grant from All Points North Foundation and the commitment of our Len Foote Hike Inn Board of Directors. 

 
Hike Inn 2017 solar initiative  "Above the Grid " installed by Radiance Solar.  Generation capacity 53.72 kW (DC).

Hike Inn 2017 solar initiative  "Above the Grid " installed by Radiance Solar.  Generation capacity 53.72 kW (DC).

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