October 6, 2011

Solar Array Will Significantly Reduce Energy Costs

College Solar Energy Project Taking Shape

Solar panels gleam in the winter sun
Solar panels gleam in the winter sun

Western Nevada College is making progress on a solar energy project that is expected to save the college as much as $28,000 each year in electricity costs. Black Rock Solar of Reno, a non-profit corporation that seeks to expand the use of renewable energy, is working with WNC to install a solar panel system on the Carson City campus.

The 200-kilowatt array is being constructed on the western side of the 200-acre campus, behind the Aspen Building. The site is surrounded on three sides by undeveloped college property.

Upon completion of the project, WNC will receive an incentive payment of $940,000 from NV Energy to support the project. According to Marnee Benson, deputy director of Black Rock Solar, the project provides a $950,000 value at no cost to the college. "Black Rock Solar is delighted that our array - one of the largest yet built for a Nevada school - will save Western Nevada College and its students hundreds of thousands of dollars over the coming years, at the same time assisting the school in meeting its goal of energy sustainability," she said.

"This collaboration offers many benefits to the college," said WNC Vice President of Finance & Administrative Services Dan Neverett. "Economically, it makes sense for today and for the future. It allows the college to lower energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," while decreasing the college's demand for energy. In this way, it also helps the college to meet the financial challenges resulting from reduced state funding to higher education.

"We're pleased that NV Energy's SolarGenerations program makes solar power investments affordable for WNC and other educational institutions in Nevada," said Mary Simmons, vice president of external affairs for NV Energy. "Since 2004, a total of 149 schools statewide have reduced their power bills and carbon emissions with photovoltaic solar panels," she said.

Neverett said the project directly supports the college's ongoing sustainability efforts. WNC President Carol Lucey signed a national climate commitment in 2009 that commits the college to increasing energy sustainability and making WNC carbon neutral.

"This project demonstrates that we have and will continue to actively explore opportunities which support alternative energy generation and use," Neverett said.

Photo Caption: A groundbreaking ceremony at Western Nevada College Wednesday for the solar array project included, L-R, Black Rock Solar Construction Manager Tom Thompson, WNC President Carol Lucey, WNC Facilities Management Director David Rollings, and Black Rock Solar System Designer Joe Pizur.

Links

Photo Gallery
Photos (Click to Enlarge)
Going Solar - A groundbreaking ceremony at Western Nevada College Wednesday for the solar array… Ready to Pour Concrete Solar Array Concrete Pour
Going Solar - A groundbreaking ceremony at Western Nevada College Wednesday for the solar array project included, L-R, Black Rock Solar Construction Manager Tom Thompson, WNC President Carol Lucey, WNC Facilities Management Director David Rollings, and Black Rock Solar System Designer Joe Pizur.Ready to Pour ConcreteSolar Array Concrete Pour
Building the Framework for the Solar Array Clearing the Site  
Building the Framework for the Solar ArrayClearing the Site  
For additional information, please contact:
WNC Information and Marketing Services
2201 W. College Parkway
Carson City, NV 89703
Phone: 775-445-3234
Fax: 775-445-3198
E-mail: info_desk@wnc.edu


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