Redmond goes Solar

0
570

The Redmond campus expects to
save 50 percent of their overall energy
costs by adding solar panels to the campus.
This estimate is based on the next 20
years, according to Gene Zinkgraf, head
of the Central Oregon Community College
construction department.
On Tuesday May 26th, the COCC
board of directors approved entering into
a contract with Sunlight Solar Energy
that will bring sustainable energy to the
Redmond Campus.
In the proposal, reviewed over the
Tuesday morning meeting, a 504-kilowatt,
photovoltaic electric regenerating
system would be ground mounted and
connected to the electrical grid.
Although COCC has been approved,
details between the college and Sunlight
Solar Energy still have to be worked out
before breaking ground.
“[This will] be a great opportunity for
COCC to continue to promote sustainability,”
according to Vice President for
Administration, Matt McCoy. “This is a
fairly powerful system. It should generate
enough to power the Redmond facilities
during its peak, though not during
the winter due to the fact that there isn’t
much sunshine and the days are shorter.”
Bringing in sustainable energy isn’t
cheap. Overall, the solar panel project
is expected to cost around $520,000
however, the cost of it has already been
covered by several grants that COCC has
received; one from Pacific Power Blue
Sky in the sum of $320,000 and second
from Energy Trust of Oregon in the sum
of $200,000. COCC, as per the proposal,
has already received notice of the grants
and thus the project will have no impact
on the COCC budget, other than an
avoided cost of energy in the Redmond
Campus.
“It will be an efficient and inexpensive
source of energy for the next 20 years,”
Zinkgraf said. “It will also provide educational
opportunities for students, faculty
and the public.”
Darren McCrea, technology project
manager for COCC agrees that “the solar
power project on our Redmond Campus
will be a great opportunity for staff
and students to become more familiar
with solar power technology while, at
the same time, allowing COCC to offset
some of the costs associated with operating
the COCC Redmond Campus.”
According to Zinkgraf “No date has
been set for installation of the array to
begin.”
Both McCoy and Zinkgraf agree the
construction will take place this summer
with full completion of the project by the
end of the year.

Brayan Gonzalez | The Broadside
(Contact: bgonzalez@cocc.edu)

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here