Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Leaving No Carbon Footprint Camping in Maine

Check out Paradise Park Resort Campground in Old Orchard Beach

Green Energy Times staff

In 2018, Michael Holley, a partner in the Paradise Park Resort Campground and member of the Chamber of Commerce of Old Orchard Beach, Maine, contacted ReVision Energy about converting the Chamber of Commerce building to achieve zero-carbon emissions. By May of 2019, that job was actually done. The building was operating on heat pumps, both for heating and cooling and for hot water, and it was powered by a solar array on its roof.

The solar array turned out to be very successful. It supplies 105% of the electricity needed for the building, which is heated electrically. Holley emphasized this, saying, “So I’m proud to say that through our efforts, the Old Orchard Beach Chamber of Commerce is 100% carbon- neutral.”

Holley has gone further, however, applying the experience to the Paradise Park Resort. This is not a trivial operation. He told us, “We’re a full-service RV resort, including RV sites, ten sites and rental units featuring heated pools and hot tubs. … It’s a 45-acre facility here in Old Orchard. We have 240 total campsites. Sixty of them are seasonal campers. Their units stay here year-round. We have fifteen rental units, cabins and RV park model type rentals, and we have approximately 5010 sites.”

Work started, and proceeded by increments. He started with 99 panels installed on the roof of a shop, taking that facility close to 100% carbon-neutral, using the energy from its solar array and wood pellets. That combination provided for hot water to heat a pool and the two hot tubs. Holley made it clear that one aspect of this that he is proud of is the support it gives to local forestry through its use of wood pellets.

A couple of years went by, and the work went on. Holley and others in his organization started looking into the possibility of a large expansion of their solar energy system. They determined that it would make sense to have a ground-mounted array, and they started the process of getting that installation under way. “We’re proud to say that in December of 2021, our ground mounted solar array went online, [with] 600 panels there.”

This was a big step, and it paid off. Now, even with all its power needs, the Paradise Park Resort gets 80% of its electricity supplied from its own renewable energy sources. Holley said there are “no-guilt” pleasures to be had at the resort, because, in his words, “You can come spend a week at Paradise Park, enjoy heated pools and hot tubs and air-conditioned rental accommodations, and have … virtually no carbon footprint.”

One of the great things that Holley points out about all of this is that the environmental benefits of Paradise Park’s change to renewable energy is bringing the business economic benefits, producing good economic value.

But the benefits of low pollution and low carbon emissions go rather far beyond that. And they do this in ways that the people who use the facility can see and enjoy. “You can go fishing; you can watch turtles. We have a heron that comes fishing,” Holley said. “There’s a plethora of wildlife. So, I think it’s a great example [showing that] humanity and nature can coexist and have paradise together.”

Paradise Park resort and campground is in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Its website is

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