UW Oshkosh is going solar

Posted on September 2, 2010. Filed under: Solar |

From an article by Jaime Hunt in The Northwestern, Oshkosh:

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is installing its first solar energy systems to provide the campus with electricity and hot water. This is the first wave of solar power installations that will soon be commonplace on the campus.

A photovoltaic array has been installed on a popular walkway adjacent to the campus tennis courts. The 2.9-kilowatt system slowly adjusts position to track the sun as it moves from east to west and as it rises and falls in the sky. The system was installed by Appleton Solar and funded as a State of Wisconsin Energy Conservation Project with support from Focus on Energy and Wisconsin Public Service.

Water will be heated by 120 solar panels being installed on the rooftops of four buildings to serve a wide range of needs. Blackhawk Commons will generate hot water for food service and dishwashers. Hot water for showers will be provided in Taylor Hall. Albee Hall solar collectors will heat an indoor swimming pool. The campus Heating Plant will pre-heat water used to generate steam and heat campus buildings. These solar systems will replace natural gas or coal-based heat.

The Solar Thermal Energy Systems are being installed and maintained by H&H Energy Services of Madison. Funding is through a State Solar Energy Agreement that allows the systems to be owned privately by Regenesis Power of California, who will then sell the heat to UW Oshkosh at a set cost. Focus on Energy is also providing financial incentives.

New construction and refurbishment projects at UW Oshkosh are planning to add more solar power in the future.

“University buildings have long lives, so it makes sense to build them with solar power upgrades in mind and to install the systems that are affordable today,” said Michael Lizotte, UW Oshkosh director of sustainability.


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