April 1, 2015
Source: Jillian Kenny, Intern, Office of Sustainability Initiatives

Emory Makes Progress on the Campus Installation of Two Solar Projects

Installation on the Emory campus is well underway for two solar projects that were selected in May of 2014 by the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative (GPASI). The two projects, with a combined energy capacity of 255 kilowatts, are being installed on the rooftops of 1762 Clifton and the North Decatur Building. Installation at 1762 Clifton, which is almost complete, has taken approximately one month. The North Decatur Building project, which is the smaller of the two, will begin soon.

GPASI is a solar energy purchase program designed to spur growth within the solar community of Georgia. The program allows entities like Emory, to partner with a solar developer to produce renewable solar energy. In this case, Emory is the host of rooftop space for Hannah Solar, the solar developer responsible for the associated costs. Hannah Solar will then sell the solar power generated from these campus buildings directly back to Georgia Power. In turn, Georgia Power will sell this power at a premium to customers desiring electricity from a renewable source.

Although the panels are not providing solar energy directly to these buildings, Emory does receive a renewable energy credit created as a result of the solar power generated, which helps the university offset its total carbon footprint. Brent Zern, Assistant Director of Environmental, Safety and Maintenance Programs at Emory, highlights that the solar projects will also engage the community, the amount of power generated will be monitored and publicized, and Hannah Solar has committed to making the projects available for educational purposes.

“The educational value of having solar on campus is as meaningful as the carbon reduction that they provide,” says Ciannat Howett, Director of Sustainability Initiatives at Emory.

By hosting these solar projects, Emory is increasing the community’s awareness of solar energy and getting one step closer to fulfilling its Climate Action Plan. The university hopes to increase its solar footprint in the future, either as the owner or through similar local offset programs.

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