Denison is partnering with AEP to build a solar array which will provide two megawatts of energy to replace 15 percent of the college's energy use and significantly reduce its carbon footprint.
The solar array presents an opportunity to educate our students and the community about solar power. Faculty and students will be able to pull data from the array for scientific study and a small component of the array would be accessible by faculty and students for lab and coursework.
A site was chosen in the Biological Reserve for the array, after careful consideration and consultation with members of our faculty in the biological sciences and environmental studies, which utilize the Biological Reserve as an outdoor laboratory. We also have met with members of our faculty in the geological sciences. These faculty members have stated that our proposal will not be a disruption to the scholarly work that is done there.
The amount of land required for the array is about 10 acres. The location of the proposed array is in a section of the Biological Reserve that was, until the recent past, an open field, the top soil of which had been removed for use in nearby playing fields. The area has growing in it plants and shrubs, some of which are non-native and invasive, and young trees. Though the array will be built at least 100 feet from property lines, the college also will plant a buffer of shrubs and evergreen trees to shield neighbors from view of the array.
Construction will take into account ground water drainage and should have no effect on underground ecosystems of water quality.
AEP Energy will lease the property and own and maintain the solar panels. AEP will be responsible for managing the electrical output in a most sustainable manner.