University’s solar power supply nears completion
By Rick Dandes
SELINSGROVE — A huge solar array that will eventually produce enough power to provide a third of Susquehanna University’s electrical needs is now three months from completion, said construction officials on the site Thursday afternoon.
Members of the press were given a tour of the 14-acre site, on which 12,204 solar 325-watt solar modules will be mounted.
When complete, the array will be the largest university-sponsored solar array in Pennsylvania.
The facility will be completed in May of this year, said Andy Hershberger, project manager, SGC Power, developer of the project.
The tour of the project included a look at the mounting structures on which the solar panels will be mounted and a look at the first section of modules that have already been installed.
Susquehanna University entered into an agreement with WGL Energy Systems, to develop the 3.9 mega-watt ground-mounted solar array. Susquehanna University owns the property, located on the Yoder tract of land west of the University’s main campus; WGL will own the array.
Susquehanna will purchase that electricity from WGL Energy.
“Susquehanna University is proud to support the development of one of the largest solar projects in Pennsylvania,” said Jonathan D. Green, president, Susquehanna University. “This is a major step forward in the university’s commitment to implementing earth-friendly initiatives that are at the heart of responsible living in our interdependent world.”
The solar array is estimated to produce more than 5,300-megawatt hours per year of electricity, enough to power all of the campus’ residence halls and avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking approximately 787 cars off the road each year.
In 2014, the campus coal plant was shut down and replaced with high-efficiency natural gas heating, boosting energy efficiency by more than 40 percent. The campus now uses 21 percent less energy to heat its buildings, which results in a 45 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
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