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Kent State University Kent Campus Field House 463 kWdc Solar PV Array, non-penetrating metal roof mounted
October 2, 2021 - January 15, 2022
Kent State’s first solar array was installed on the roof of the Field House at the Kent Campus, which is beyond the campus grid. At the time it was completed in the summer of 2012, it was the largest, roof-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) panel electrical system within the University System of Ohio. Working with Third Sun Solar and Wind Power, Ltd. for KSU Field House 1, LLC, a solar power developer, power production from the solar panels installed by Thompson Electric, Inc. officially began on July 20, 2012. Electricity from the solar panels provides about one-third of the electricity required for the combined Field House and Dix Stadium facilities; since the two facilities are electrically interconnected, both benefit from the solar panel project. This project became a model for other Kent State solar PV systems. The non-penetrating metal roof mounted 463 kW system is made up of 1,716 multi-crystalline silicone panels, occupies almost an acre of the south facing roof. The solar PV array reduces our carbon dioxide equivalent impact on the earth by 390 tons each year.
Kent State University is a public research university with an enrollment of over 38,000 students, and 8 million square feet of building area. The Kent Campus is located on 941 acres in Kent, Ohio and is one of the largest universities in Ohio, with 11 LEED certified buildings. The University also includes seven Regional Campuses and two Satellite Campuses in northeastern Ohio and additional facilities in the region and internationally.
Kent State went solar for Electric Utility Cost savings, to continue to establish Kent State University as leaders in Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship, to leverage the current ITC environment that allows solar developers to offer the lowest costs per kWh and to attract like-minded students to our Research University, potentially fostering the “next big thing” to help our planet!
Kent State’s first solar array was a PPA installed on the roof of the Field House at the Kent Campus, which is beyond the campus grid. At the time it was completed in the summer of 2012, it was the largest, roof-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) panel electrical system within the University System of Ohio, Kent State now owns that system. In 2020/2021 Kent State added solar arrays at six of our regional campuses (Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Geauga, Stark, Salem, Trumbull) and the Kent State College of Podiatric Medicine, increasing our solar energy capacity to 4.25 megawatts. A Solar Power Developer engineers, procures, operates, and finances the turnkey large solar photovoltaic systems located at Kent State University’s Regional Campuses: Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Geauga, Salem, Stark, and Trumbull. Kent State University is under contract with Madison Energy Investments II, LLC, for the ongoing Solar Photovoltaic Power Purchase Agreement, and Site Lease Agreement. The team installed, owns, maintains, and operates the systems in accordance with O.R.C. 3345.61, .62, .63 and 3345.65. There are four (4) ground mounted arrays, [(3) fixed mount and (1) single axis tracking], and five (5) rooftop solar PV systems at the Regional Campuses. The Podiatric Medicine array is also ground mounted, included in an Energy Conservation Project with The Brewer-Garrett Company. The university preferred a maximum 25-year total PPA contract in almost every case to maximize savings over grid supplied electric power. Melink, Third Sun Solar and Paradise Energy Solutions are the EPC contractors. The majority of the companies, workers and some materials are from Ohio.
While contributing to the environmental benefits of solar power, these Regional and Satellite Campus solar arrays are also projected to save the university about $2 million over 25 years. Every year, the solar PV arrays installed to date are projected to reduce the Kent State Carbon footprint by 4,116 Tons of CO2 – the emissions reduction equivalent to removing 802 cars from the roads or 420,121 gallons of gasoline burned!