by Ryan Bower, Assistant Director of Public Relations
The system has been very useful in reducing the University’s carbon footprint, while also providing a significant financial benefit.
Throughout its lifetime the solar array has produced more than 7,600 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy, which has led to an overall reduction of more than 4,500 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). That amount of CO2 is enough to offset nearly 675,000 gallons of gasoline burned.
With the average car in America producing almost 20 tons of carbon dioxide each year, Cedarville’s solar array has helped offset the annual carbon footprint of more than 750 cars.
The solar array was initially designed to be a break-even project from a financial standpoint, but the University has saved more than $64,000 in electricity costs due to the solar energy system.
Over the past 12 months, the solar panels have produced approximately 13% of the University’s total electrical power.
In addition to the environmental and financial benefits, the system has served to help further the education of Cedarville’s engineering students. Several engineering classes have studied the solar array as part of their curriculum.
Cedarville’s solar power system sits on 10 acres of land on the southwest edge of campus, and was developed and installed by Cincinnati-based Melink Corporation. Melink works with companies, government agencies and other clients, including nearly 100 colleges and universities, to develop green energy solutions.
As part of the project, Melink installed a touch-screen display outside Cedarville’s admissions office in the Stevens Student Center. The display shows visitors real-time statistics about the effectiveness of the solar power array.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.