AEP Energy starts installation on a 101 kW solar array for Ohio State University’s Student Life Recreation and Physical Activities Center. The university will buy the power at $.04 per kWh for eight years, at which point they will renegotiate the agreement.
As centers for learning, universities tend to be very forward thinking. They will adopt new technologies, whether cost effective or not, to research and push that technology further. This has proven to be the case with solar in the past, and while it is cost-effective now, universities are still researching new and emerging solar technologies. Many universities are also now installing solar panels as both a sustainability and a cost-saving measure.
AEP Energy today began installation of a 101 kW solar array for Ohio State University’s Student Life Recreation and Physical Activities Center. AEP Energy will fund, build, own, and operate the approximately 10,000-square-foot array, made up of 367 panels arranged in a configuration similar to Ohio State’s “Block O” logo. Installation is expected to be completed in eight weeks.
The solar array is valued at approximately $400,000, and the electricity produced by the array – estimated at 116,000 kWh annually – will be supplied to Ohio State at a rate of $.04 per kWh throughout the next eight years. After eight years, Ohio State and AEP Energy may opt to enter into a renewal agreement or allow the agreement to terminate.
“We are proud to partner with Ohio State to add solar energy to its supply mix, just as AEP Energy helped bring Ohio-generated wind energy to the campus portfolio in 2012,” said Greg Hall, president of AEP Energy. “The installation will include monitoring equipment that tracks the output of the system, supporting the university’s sustainability efforts.”
For Ohio State, the solar panel installation supports the university’s goal of energy diversification and the creation of a culture that embraces sustainability. “Ohio State is pleased to further strengthen our partnership with AEP Energy,” said Kate Bartter, interim director for Ohio State’s Office of Energy and Environment. “AEP Energy’s investment in the solar array on the Columbus campus will help Ohio State continue to reduce its carbon footprint and, more important, will provide real and meaningful data to fuel our energy education.”