Kent State University is turning to solar power, installing more than 1,700 solar panels on top of the university's field house.
It will generate about 500,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year, which is about one-third of the power used by both the field house and the nearby Dix Stadium. The solar panel system would be enough to power 50 average homes.
“Everybody is looking at their budgets and finding ways to cut costs, maintenance and etc,” said project manager Rob Phillips. “Solar is designed to be maintenance-free. These panels are warranted for 20 years.”
The solar panels will eliminate an average of 779,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year, which is roughly equivalent to removing 70 cars from the road per year.
Currently, Kent State does not own the solar panel system, but will purchase all the electricity produced. The university also has the option to purchase the system after seven years.
It’s possible to install solar panels on an average sized home, but it can be a large investment, according to Phillips.
“A group of panels for a home can be as little as $12,000 to $15,000,” said Phillips. “An average family of four may need 40 panels, so it varies. On a higher end, it may be $40,000.”
The university's first renewable energy project is scheduled to be completed in early July.
On the Web: www.kent.edu