Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege pulls the plug on wind tur­bine, fo­cuses on so­lar

Kent County News - - NEWS -

WYE MILLS — Based on the suc­cess of its so­lar en­ergy pro­gram over the past year, Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege is de­com­mis­sion­ing its wind tur­bine on the north­east cor­ner of its cam­pus in Wye Mills and plans to in­vest fu­ture re­sources in re­new­able en­ergy pro­duced by the sun.

Since in­stalling a 6-acre so­lar ar­ray and pho­to­voltaic park­ing canopy on the south side of its prop­erty in 2016, Ch­e­sa­peake has pro­duced enough power in one year to off­set about 45 per­cent of the col­lege’s en­ergy de­mand, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease.

“So­lar en­ergy has pro­pelled our re­new­able en­ergy pro­duc­tion,” said Stuart Bounds, Ch­e­sa­peake’s in­terim pres­i­dent. “In the first year, the ar­ray pro­duced 2.25 mil­lion kilo­watts of elec­tric­ity at a cost of $106,000. This rep­re­sents a sav­ings of $85,000 off of grid prices. We an­tic­i­pate sim­i­lar sav­ings on util­ity bills over the next 19 years, which doesn’t in­clude any ad­di­tional so­lar in­stal­la­tions con­structed.”

Ch­e­sa­peake also is in­cor­po­rat­ing so­lar en­ergy into its cur­ricu­lum. This fall, the col­lege is of­fer­ing work­force classes in so­lar pho­to­voltaic elec­tric­ity and elec­tric ve- hi­cle tech­nol­ogy.

“Our vi­sion is for the col­lege to be a liv­ing lab­o­ra­tory for study­ing re­new­able en­ergy and sus­tain­abil­ity,” Bounds said.

Ch­e­sa­peake’s wind tur­bine, in­stalled in 2011, marked the be­gin­ning of the col­lege’s sus­tain­abil­ity ef­forts and en­ergy-sav­ings mea­sures on cam­pus that now in­clude so­lar en­ergy.

In Fe­bru­ary, the tur­bine’s gen­er­a­tor suf­fered cat­a­strophic fail­ure. Most likely caused by a power surge, re­pair es­ti­mates are be­tween $20,000 and $25,000, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease.

“The tur­bine was a cat­a­lyst in cre­at­ing a cul­ture of en­ergy con­ser­va­tion at Ch­e­sa­peake,” Bounds said. “But we de­ter­mined that the re­pair cost was too ex­pen­sive and our re­sources could more ef­fec­tively be in- vested in so­lar power, which will re­sult in greater en­ergy sav­ings on cam­pus.”

Plans are to sell the tur­bine on the sec­ondary mar­ket.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

With the so­lar pan­els shown here in­stalled in a park­ing lot on cam­pus, Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege is de­com­mis­sion­ing its wind tur­bine.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.