Mage Solar’s Powertec Plus modules will power the Solar Demonstration Project at the University of Georgia in Athens, the company has announced.
The 19-kW solar-PV rooftop array is located on the former Visual Arts Building, which has been refurbished to be a living laboratory for the College of Environment and Design.
The college will open its doors in the fall semester. It expects the lab to be a crucial academic and research tool in the implementation and development of clean energy sources across campus.
Several other colleges, including the Terry College of Business and the College of Engineering, plan to use the project and incorporate monitoring data and other information into their curricula in order to explore the possibilities of broader solar deployment.
The first solar PV-array at the University of Georgia was made possible through the concerted efforts of students, faculty and staff. Funding for the project was secured through grants, student fees and a utility award by the school’s Facilities Management Division.
“We believe the demonstration offers a prime opportunity for students and faculty to learn more about the potential for solar energy,” says Tim Burgess, UGA’s Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration.
The academic institution has made a commitment to reduce its total energy consumption 20% by 2020 and is actively participating in the Governor’s Energy Challenge, an initiative which promotes energy efficiency and a reduction in state electricity consumption through a number of long-term programs.
UGA’s Solar Demonstration Project will generate nearly 30,000 kWh of electricity each year while saving $3,000 in energy costs at the same time. Translated into a bigger scale, campus-wide solar deployment would have the potential to create a stream of revenue for a school that has been managing serious budget cuts over the last several years.