Thursday, September 4, 2014

Campus solar panels ordered

The Saint Mary’s student-organized solar panel initiative was successful in raising approximately $14,000, enough to order a 3.8 kilowatt system for campus.

In order to take advantage of a Made in Minnesota Solar Panel Rebate, the project was downsized, but student organizers are excited for the project to begin.

“I think it’s a good start to decreasing our carbon footprint, and classes will be able to understand the value of solar panels and other green initiatives,” said senior Conner Ellinghuysen, one of the initiative’s organizers. “One of the great things about this project is that it has the potential to connect many disciplines of the university, from business to science classes.

“This is just the start,” Ellinghuysen said. “We will have the ability to expand on the system in the future.”

The solar panels will be installed in October. A location is yet to be determined. The system will reduce the university’s carbon footprint, save the university money, and provide educational experiences for students.

The system expected to produce over 4,700 kilowatts per year on average, or about 50 percent of the average household usage. It will also save 4 tons of carbon emission each year.