The University of Richmond in Richmond, VA, is planning to install solar panels on the roof of the school's recreation center.
The 204-kilowatt array of photovoltaic panels atop the Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness will enable the university to generate an additional 226,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, the university says in a news release. That is equivalent to the annual electricity needs for one campus residence hall and will offset the emission of more than 344,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.
Secure Futures, a solar energy developer in Staunton, VA, will begin installing the array in July 2015. The company will install, maintain and own the solar array – and benefit from the associated tax benefits – and will sell the electricity generated by the array to the University of Richmond at a set rate over a 20-year period.
“In addition to helping the university address its significant commitment to environmental sustainability, our agreement with Secure Futures will allow us to reduce our utility expenses and may pave the way for other similar projects,” says David Hale, the university's vice president for business and finance.
In an effort to meet the American Colleges and Universities President’s Climate Commitment, the University of Richmond is striving to reduce campus carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2020, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
The solar panels will enhance the Weinstein Center's status as one of the more environmentally friendly facilities on the University of Richmond campus. The center has received LEED gold certification for its sustainable design elements.