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Energy-Saving Solar Array Marks Three-Year Anniversary


Cost-cutting solar panels catch the sun alongside The Victorian House on Tuesday.
Cost-cutting solar panels catch the sun alongside The Victorian House on Tuesday.

The sun played hide-and-seek over Penn College’s main campus Tuesday, but the solar panels mounted three years ago to help power The Victorian House silently, yet steadily continued along a “green” path to decreased utility bills. Wayne E. Gebhart, assistant professor of electrical technologies/occupations – among the faculty members whose students raised the solar array in March 2010 – said the panels have created 11,614 kilowatts of energy (an average of 322 kw per month) over the period, reduced carbon emissions by  8,130 kilograms (17,923 pounds) and saved $4,995 ($1,665 a year) through power generation: “Like a savings account working every day,” he said. The college community can keep tabs through Sunny Portal, an online compilation of relevant statistics. The solar array was erected with the addition of the School of Construction and Design Technologies’ renewable energy technologies major, which was further bolstered with the recent installation of a wind turbine along Route 15 near the Schneebeli Earth Science Center entrance.

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