Solar Panel Provides Educational Tool for College Students

Honeywell today announced that Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. has awarded the company a solar project that is expected to save the school at least $200,000 in energy costs over the next 20 years. Under the agreement, Honeywell will install solar panels on the roof of the Pamplin Sports Center and sell the electricity the panels produce to the college. The power purchase agreement is the first of its kind for a college or university in Oregon.


"This project benefits the college and our community in many ways," said Thomas Hochstettler, president of Lewis & Clark College, which joined the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in its effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create carbon neutral campuses. "It supports our vision toward sustainability, offers our students the opportunity to learn about green technology, and serves as a model for what I hope are many more projects like this all over Oregon. It's a great example in which the environment wins while the education and business sectors thrive."

The panels are expected to generate more than 97,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. They will produce enough power to meet approximately 15 percent of the electricity needs for a facility like the Sports Center. And they will deliver environmental benefits as well, cutting carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 1.8 million pounds over the course of the 20-year agreement. According to figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this is equivalent to removing more than 180 cars from the road for a year.

In addition to cost and environmental benefits, the solar installation is expected to provide an educational tool that faculty can use to teach students about renewable energy and conservation. Professors and students will be able see the real-time electrical output of the solar technology through a Web portal and learn how the system operates.

Energy Trust of Oregon, a public-purpose organization that promotes the use of efficient energy technologies and renewable resources, will help fund part of the project. Honeywell also will work with Advanced Energy Systems, an Energy Trust Trade Ally based in Eugene, Ore., to install the solar panels.

"This type of agreement is a financially viable way for organizations to go green," said Kacia Brockman, solar program manager for Energy Trust of Oregon. "Lewis & Clark is leading the way for other schools and creating advocates for solar energy in the process."

The Honeywell project is the most recent example of the college's commitment to the environment. Along with being an ACUPCC signatory, Lewis & Clark faculty and students founded the recently held Focus the Nation environmental initiative, a one-day national "teach-in" aimed at bringing academia and government together to find global warming solutions. The college also meets more than 30 percent of its electrical energy requirements through a grassroots renewable energy advocacy program that funds the use of green power through voluntary student donations.

"By developing projects that have environmental and financial drivers, we will see the type of widespread adoption that will have a lasting impact on greenhouse gas emissions," said Kent Anson, vice president of Global Energy for Honeywell Building Solutions. "This solar installation will not only deliver long term value to Lewis & Clark, but also the greater Portland community."

Honeywell expects to install the solar panels and begin providing the college with electricity by August 2008.

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