Centre College dedicated the installation of its first solar panel array with a ceremony held on Wednesday, Oct. 25.
Raising funds for the project was a grassroots effort led by senior Zach Schmucker and recent graduate Caitlin Yockey, who were instrumental in securing a $10,000 grant from Pepsico Recycling’s Zero Impact Fund (ZIF). Centre is one of only eight schools selected nationally to receive funding through ZIF, a program designed to help bring campus eco-innovations to life.
The ZIF funds alone would have supported the installation of 15-20 panels. But after the award was announced in March, additional contributions to the project came from Centre’s Student Government Association, the President’s Office and a GiveCampus crowdfunding campaign organized by the staff of the College’s Alumni Affairs Office. These added funds provided the means to expand the project to 60 panels, with eventual planned growth to 120.
The current panels, installed in July, have nearly 20 kW of capacity.
Speakers at the event included Centre’s President John A. Roush, and Preston Miles, professor of chemistry and director of the President’s Climate Commitment Advisory Committee. Solar Energy Solutions, the company that installed the array, was represented by general manager Matthew Partymiller, who also gave a lecture that evening titled, “Renewable Energy in Kentucky and Beyond.”
“At present sizing, the array will reduce CO2 by 600 tons over its life,” Partymiller says. “The SO2, NO2 and particulate matter reductions are significant as well and impact public health.”
Centre College is committed to recycling and energy reduction initiatives, greenhouse gas mitigation policies and programs, and construction projects that result in beautifully functional, environmentally friendly buildings.
Above: Zach Schmucker ’18 does the ceremonial “plugging into the sun” during The Chowan Solar Panel array dedication on October 25, 2017.
by Cindy Long
November 3, 2017