The West Virginia University College of Law is about to become the first building at the University to help offset its reliance on the electrical grid with a solar panel array.
The 48-panel system will be installed this summer on the College’s roof, putting an estimated 18,000-kilowatt-hours per year back into the law school’s electrical system. A single U.S. home uses, on average, about 11,000 kWh per year.
“On the heels of our recent extensive renovation, the College’s Sustainability Committee identified solar as a real and untapped opportunity for not just the law school, but for WVU as a whole,” said Jason Walls, a land conservation attorney with WVU’s Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic.
Siemens Industry, Inc. has made a $43,800 donation to support the project, which will cost $48,000. Additional funds are being provided by WVU Sustainability.
“We are very excited after 30 years of working with WVU on mechanical projects to be able to work in the area of renewable energy,” said Stephen Campbell, Siemens account manager. “We are proud to be able to help the College of Law and the WVU community move West Virginia’s solar energy industry forward.”
Solar Holler, based in Shepherdstown designed and will install the solar array.
“We’re honored to be a part of WVU’s first solar array, and we are thankful to the College of Law for wanting to be a part of the transformation happening right now across West Virginia in the energy industry,” said Dan Conant, founder and president of Solar Holler. “Our vision is to offer solar as the most affordable source of energy to all our neighbors across Appalachia, including non-profits, churches, small businesses and educational institutions. This project at WVU Law is a marquee example of how we are doing that.”
WVU Facilities Management is assisting with the installation. After it is complete, monitors across WVU’s Morgantown campus will display real-time tracking of the power generated by the law school’s solar array.
“This project will be an exciting and interactive experience for the entire WVU community,” Walls said.
Although a start date has not been set, installation will take only a few days once the equipment is on site, according to Walls.