Renewable energy through the power of the sun

Denison currently receives 15% of its energy from solar energy. Our largest solar array, comprised of 6750 panels located on a 10-acre degraded field in the college’s BioReserve, provides 2.3 megawatts of energy. This array, along with a smaller “teaching” array located behind Denison’s Red Barn Recycling Station, became active in 2017. The BioReserve array also is home to Ohio’s first solar array pollinator habitat, with more than 1 million pollinator-friendly plants.

These solar arrays have reduced our carbon footprint by 10%, a healthy step forward toward Denison’s commitment of carbon neutrality by 2030. Denison now boasts nine solar arrays and we continue to add them across campus. Solar is one way that we make our commitment to sustainability and carbon neutrality more visible to the community.

Historic landmarks in solar energy

Denison was an early adopter of solar power. In the early 1980s, a couple of small solar arrays were added to the Denison Homestead. One of the arrays powers a pump that provides drinking water for the 12 students living there and the other array powers lights and a refrigerator in the cabins. A major renovation and addition at the Homestead saw the installation of a 10.14kW array in 2013.

In 2007, a 6.44kW array was installed on the roof of the Library. This array was one of the first to be installed at a college in Ohio.

The Polly Anderson Field Station at the Denison Biological Reserve has a geothermal heating and cooling system and in 2014, a 7.84kW solar array was added to the roof of that building.

Solar Monitoring:

Denison continues to explore ways to source all of its electricity needs from renewable sources. Be it through Power Purchase Agreements, Renewable Energy Supply Contracts or the deployment of more on campus solar, Denison is committed to its carbon neutral goal and reducing its reliance on carbon intensive energy sources.