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Highland flips the switch for partial solar power on campus

Embracing electrical power with solar energy, Highland Community College will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, May 28 at 3 p.m. to launch recently completed solar array panels to supply the majority of energy to the Ray and Betty Stamm Health Science Nursing Wing.

Prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony, speakers will include Tim Hood, president of Highland Community College, Jim Endress, Board of Trustees Chair, faculty and administrative staff. Topics will include goals of the project from Highland’s investment, educational opportunities and a recruitment tool in Environmental Science, Engineering, and Electrical degrees/certificates.

Jill Janssen, Vice President of Administrative Services, stated, “We’ve been planning this project for some time and to see this dream become a reality is inspiring and will benefit generations to come. This system is going to be a valuable tool in lowering our energy cost and to help educate others on the sustainability of this renewable energy source, the sun.”

Eagle Point Solar installed the 99kW DC solar array panels to the east side of campus. The project included several panels to be used for instructional purposes, as well as a software monitoring system and display panel. Presentations proceeding the ribbon cutting will include a real-time view of energy saving. Refreshments will be served.

The project is funded by a combination of state incentives, ComEd rebates, and Protection, Health and Safety funds. It is estimated that the annual energy savings will be about $9,500. Over the life of the system, 2,730 tons of carbon dioxide will be eliminated from our footprint, which is equivalent of planting 63,000 trees, reducing driving by 5,460,000 miles, or recycling 8,627 tons of waste.

“Our objective was to design, engineer and install a practical, effective and sustainable solution which serves the energy needs of Highland Community College,” stated Jim Pullen, Eagle Point Solar General Manager. “We are confident this project achieves both and we are grateful for the partnership in making this a reality.”