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MemberSeptember 23, 2021 at 7:34 am
Water bottle refill stations and recycling bins are two highly visible steps the University of North Georgia (UNG) has taken to make its five campuses more sustainable. Utilizing the solar panels on the new buildings of UNG’s Gainesville Campus is the most recent addition.
“We are reusing 62 solar panels on the roof of the Health Sciences building and adding 125 solar power panels to the system,” Adam Strzemienski, assistant director of facilities for capital planning and sustainability, said. “We are also hooking up the solar panel pedestal system behind the Film and Digital Media building.”
The solar panels on UNG’s Gainesville Campus will generate power for the newly incorporated buildings.
“When we applied the costs to repair and hook up the solar panels and install new ones, we realized that we would get a good return on our investment,” Strzemienski said. “Within nine years, the brand-new panels will pay for themselves.”
Saving money was not the sole reason UNG elected to reinvest in the solar panels. Advancing the university’s sustainability initiative was another factor, which came from the Faculty Senate and its solar committee. The Faculty Senate shares governance of UNG by working with the president and administration to recommend policy changes.
“They wanted to explore the feasibility of installing solar power,” Strzemienski said.
Solar energy is also a safe, clean and renewable energy source, Mitchem said.
“Solar power avoids the carbon pollution that contributes to climate change,” he said. “It is cheaper than the electricity rate for the building on which it is used, so it saves the university money. It is a genuine win-win solution.”
Allowing students and faculty to use the solar power tools and data was the third reason to invest in the project, Mitchem said. When Information Technology Services develops a system to display and capture the data from the solar panels, it can be accessed for instructional or research purposes.
“Faculty hope to use the technology to monitor and display how much electricity is generated, how much carbon emission is offset, and how much money is saved by utilizing the solar panels on our buildings,” Mitchem said. “This is not just an energy resource, but a practical educational tool.”
MemberSeptember 24, 2021 at 4:02 pm
We have this Solar panels on all our roof of University. These are energy efficient and save natural resources.