Last month we flipped the switch on Arkansas State University – Newport’s first solar array. At 739 kilowatts with 2,112 solar panels, it is the largest solar system installed at an Arkansas college campus.
The system will generate about 1,050,000 kilowatt-hours each year, saving the Newport campus about $90,000 annually. The system consists of SunPower panels and is expected to operate for 30+ years.
The university made the investment as part of an effort to improve efficiency and reduce costs for students.
“Over its lifetime, the solar system has the potential to generate about $2.5 million,” says Adam Adair, Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration. “The savings will make a substantial impact that will help reduce rising costs to student’s tuition and fees,” Adair explains.
However, the environmental benefits of ASUN’s solar generation are substantial as well. In one year, the solar system reduces carbon emissions equal to planting 600 acres of trees. Over 25 years, the carbon reduction is equal to planting over 15,000 acres of trees or removing 2,700 cars off the road!
In addition to the solar installation, ASUN underwent other major energy renovations, including LED lighting, new HVAC equipment and building control upgrades. With the help of Johnson Controls and LightWave Solar, ASUN is now operating at higher energy efficiencies and with lower costs.
Students and administrators, as well as the public, can view up-to-the minute solar production here: Arkansas State University’s solar website.
TV news coverage of ASUN’s solar project can be viewed here: College switches to solar power to save money.