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Here Comes the Sun

In an effort to expand its use of alternative energies, Lewis & Clark is partnering with Honeywell International, a technology and manufacturing company, to supply the campus sports facility with solar power. Under the agreement, Honeywell will install solar panels on the roof of the Pamplin Sports Center and sell to the college the electricity produced by the panels. The power purchase agreement is the first of its kind for a college or university in Oregon.

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 Pamplin’s electricity needs. 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.

The project will also provide the college approximately $20,000 a year in energy savings and serve as an educational resource for faculty and 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 the project.

“This type of agreement is a financially viable way for organizations to go green,” says 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.”

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

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