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Edinboro University to unveil $1.1 million solar array powering McComb Fieldhouse

DEP Secretary Michael Krancer to help dedicate project

10/28/2011

Solar ArrayEDINBORO, Pa. – Continuing an ongoing and deep commitment to a “green” and highly sustainable campus, Edinboro University officials will be joined by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer on November 2 for a ceremonial “switch-throwing” to unveil Edinboro’s $1.16 million solar power generating system.

The massive solar array along Scot Road, capable of producing 251,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually – enough to power 23.5 average homes for an entire year – will help meet the electrical demand of Edinboro’s McComb Fieldhouse.

Considered to be one of the region’s largest systems of its kind, the solar array was energized and became operational October 26.

Edinboro University Interim President James D. Moran and other campus officials will be joined by Secretary Krancer on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. They will officially unveil the University’s latest use of technology to help reduce its overall carbon footprint.

In this latest example of the University’s commitment to sustainability, the solar array will offset some 262 tons of carbon emissions annually, as well as reduce mercury and lead compound emissions by additional tons.

Thanks to a successful application submitted by Edinboro’s Dr. Richard Lloyd to the U.S. Department of Energy (National Energy Technology Laboratory) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection for a Green Energy Works! targeted grant, the University received $474,000 as part of federal economic stimulus funding made available for eight solar projects in Pennsylvania.

Additionally, Edinboro University committed another $693,000 to the solar project for installation, racking mounts, wiring to McComb Fieldhouse and fencing.

According to Gordon Herbst, Edinboro’s Vice President for Finance and Administration, cost-recovery is expected to be 10 years or less, meaning the project will pay for itself within a decade.

Herbst credited Dr. Lloyd, of the Physics and Technology Department, for initiating the grant process which led to the successful project.

Edinboro’s Appi Alla, of the University’s Construction Department, worked with Geoffrey Bristow, manager of DEP’s Regional Office of Energy and Technology Deployment in Meadville, to bring the project to fruition.

Because all aspects of campus life at Edinboro University represent “teachable moments” for students, an educational component of the solar array project is installation of two kiosks – one inside McComb Fieldhouse and the other in the new Cooper Science building – that scientifically verify, record and display the amount of electricity being generated by the new system in real time and at the exact moment of viewing.

For the past decade, Edinboro has been in the forefront of “green” campus sustainability with a number of technology-driven energy-reduction and cost-saving projects that combined are making a significant impact on the University’s commitment to the environment and reduction of its carbon footprint.

A recent multi-million dollar public/private partnership to reduce electricity consumption and water flow, along with installation of hundreds of geothermal wells at the Highlands at Edinboro student housing project, the Cooper Science Hall expansion and renovation and the new Jeremy D. Brown Human Services Building, now combine with the latest use of solar power technology in bringing to campus clean and renewable energy sources.