A small ceremony on Friday, Aug. 7, celebrated the operation of newly installed solar panels on the rooftop of Emory University’s 1599 Building on Clifton Road. This is the first of 16 installations that will include more than 15,000 solar panels across Emory’s Atlanta campus that will be installed over the next 12 months.
In total, these panels are expected to generate approximately 10 percent of Emory’s peak energy requirements and reduce the university’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by about 4,300 metric tons. These improvements will help the university achieve a 45% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 (compared to 2010 levels) and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
The installations also support Atlanta’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2035 – which includes Emory’s properties within the Atlanta city limits.
Emory has awarded Cherry Street Energy a 20-year agreement to install 5.5 megawatts (MW) of solar generation across campus. The partnership with Cherry Street Energy also furthers Emory’s commitment to economic inclusion, as the installations of solar panels at Emory are being implemented through a workforce development program, Shine On. Shine On helps workers get the experience and training needed to build a career in solar installation. The solar installations at Emory are providing workers who were unemployed due to the pandemic the opportunity to learn skills necessary to work with cutting-edge solar technologies.