The latest investments in NC State research facilities are soaking up the sun atop the Partners I building on the university’s Centennial Campus.
Nearly 100 solar panels generating approximately 29,000 kwh of electricity annually were installed in April and are expected to produce energy for at least 25 years. Strata Solar donated the panels to NC State to support the university’s renewable energy and smart grid research.
Though the solar panels produce enough electricity to power nearly three average U.S. homes for a year, the primary purpose behind the installation is to build energy infrastructure and capacity for Centennial Campus.
“This [solar installation] is helping set the stage for the future smart grid on Centennial Campus,” said Michael Harwood, Associate Vice Chancellor for the Centennial Campus Development Office.
Smart grid technology will supply Centennial Campus with more efficient and reliable energy, as well as provide additional research opportunities in the field of energy and energy efficiency.
“Strata Solar is honored to contribute toward NC State’s mission of a renewable energy infrastructure,” said Blair Schooff, Strata Solar’s Senior Vice President of Development and Utility Relations. “We believe Centennial Campus will serve as a model of sustainability in North Carolina and beyond. It is our great pleasure to assist the University as it strives toward such admirable goals.”
NC State — particularly its Centennial Campus — is a hub for energy research and innovation, serving as host location for nationally-funded energy initiatives such as FREEDM Systems Center and PowerAmerica.
The next renewable energy project on Centennial Campus will be the installation of an outdoor sculptural solar energy system that charges electronics for users. The project is coordinated by the Park Scholars Class of 2015 and funded in part by NC State’s student Sustainability Fund.