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Wesleyan Cuts the Ribbon on New Solar Panel Installation at Freeman Athletic Center Fri., Feb. 3, 2012

During a ribbon-cutting ceremony held in the front lobby of the Freeman Athletic Center Fri., Feb. 3, 2012, Wesleyan officially recognized all the effort, both internally and externally, in planning, constructing and implementing the use of a solar-panel installation at the University's athletic complex.  The system has two arrays (collections of photovoltaic (PV) panels interconnected) one on the roof of the gym, and the other in the parking lot (photo below).

solar panels
The roof mounted array consists of 330 panels, each capable of making 280 watts of electrical energy.  Total output of the roof array is 90 kilo-watts (kW.)  The parking lot array has 396 panels capable of making110 kW.  In sum, the arrays are expected to make approximately 200,000 kilo-watt hours (kWh) of electricity annually, or about 7 million kWh over their 35 year life span.

Freeman consumes about 2.8 million kWh annually, (the average home in CT consumes 700 kWh/month) with approximately 28% of that consumption happening during daylight hours.  So the system will generate approximately 7% of Freeman's annual needs for electricity, and 25% of
what Freeman consumes during daylight hours.  All the electricity generated will be consumed within the building.

Production lately has been about half of rated capacity, which is normal for this time of year.  Maximum production will be during the summer.

The panels were financed in part by a grant from the Clean Energy Investment and Finance Authority (CEFIA) .  The system is expected to reduce electrical expenses for the facility by $29,000 annually at current energy costs.  In addition, the system will allow the university to sell class I renewable energy credits.

The formal ribbon cutting was a joint effort by Wesleyan University President Michael Roth (right) and Mayor of Middletown Dan Drew (left)  (photo below).

ribbon cutting