A new solar array will start producing more than 2 megawatts of solar energy for the campus later this fall, thanks to a partnership with Third Sun Solar, AEP OnSite Partners and Denison University.
“The solar array will reduce our carbon footprint by about 15 percent, and will provide about 10 percent of Denison's energy," said Jeremy King, sustainability coordinator at Denison. "We have a lengthy and successful history with Third Sun Solar. Having Third Sun Solar and AEP OnSite Partners involved a project of this size helps with scholarly work and create hands on, real world opportunities for students in various disciplines. They are great organizations from which to learn.”
Geoff Greenfield, co-founder of Third Sun Solar, said the Athens-based solar energy provider is installing the array on a compromised area of the Biological Reserve near the Denison campus in Granville. The majority of the construction will be completed in the next few months, with the system fully operational before the end 2017. When completed, the solar energy produced will offset approximately 15 percent of Denison’s electrical energy consumption.
“This project at a university like Denison not only allows for a reduction in the university’s carbon footprint, but also educates students on alternative energy and just how viable it has become in 2017,” Greenfield said. “As tomorrow’s leaders experience solar energy in use today, they will take this knowledge with them out into the world, helping to accelerate the deployment of solar elsewhere.”
Greenfield said Third Sun Solar and Denison successfully built a smaller solar project in the past. This latest and larger solar project is structured differently. Instead of using the University’s capital to build the project, the University will host the power plant and purchase the energy it produces over time.
Greenfield adds that the project is quite innovative, using tracking technology that allows the solar modules to follow the sun across the sky from east to west, increasing the amount of energy the system can harvest. Greenfield said that the Denison array would be Third Sun Solar’s largest installed tracking project to date.
It is also the first time Third Sun Solar has worked with AEP OnSite Partners. AEP OnSite Partners will own and maintain the solar panels and be responsible for managing the electrical output of the system.
“The solar installation at Denison University demonstrates the innovative ways that AEP OnSite Partners can work with universities and other businesses to add clean, distributed energy to their resource mix,” said Joel Jansen, chief operating officer, AEP Onsite Partners.
About Third Sun Solar:
Third Sun Solar is a full-service clean energy company serving homeowners, businesses, institutions and government entities across the Midwest. It is a licensed electrical and general contractor that has installed more than 800 projects and 12,000 kWs of solar energy systems in 14 states since our start in 2000. Additionally, Third Sun Solar is a woman-owned, certified B-Corporation with the mission to accelerate the shift to clean energy. Its team of solar consultants, designers, financing experts and NABCEP-certified installers work to make solar easy by delivering high performance and long lasting solar solutions using its optimized design process.
About AEP OnSite Partners:
AEP OnSite Partners is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP), one of the nation’s largest electric utility companies. AEP OnSite Partners works directly with customers, developers and government officials to deliver energy asset solutions based upon market knowledge, innovative application of technology and deal-structuring capabilities. AEP OnSite Partners targets opportunities in distributed solar, combined heat and power, energy storage, waste heat recovery, energy efficiency, peaking generation and other energy solutions that create value for customers.