April 25, 2012

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Westminster College Unveils its Third Solar Installation

Press Release

April 25, 2012

Westminster College unveiled its third installed solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Westminster joined with Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky Funding Program to install this system, which sits atop the roof of the Emma Eccles Jones Conservatory Building sized at 20kW.

The college is upholding its green reputation on a national level. Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges, a publication that is partnered with the U.S. Green Building Council, recently recognized Westminster College for its commitment to sustainability and environmentally related policies. The college has been a supporter of renewable energy for the past six years in the amount of up to 10 percent of their annual power usage – this adds up to the equivalent emissions savings of taking 200 cars off the road each year and powering more than 40 typical Utah homes (more than 1,160 tons of carbon dioxide avoided). The approximate energy production of this system is 27,980 kilowatt hours per year.

This solar PV system was designed by Spectrum Engineers and VCBO Architecture, with design support from Hunt Electric’s In-House Professional Engineer and NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) Certified Solar Photovoltaic Installer. The panel installations were also performed by Hunt Electric. The PV system consists of 100 Solyndra solar modules at 200 watts each. These modules are comprised of multiple amorphous solar tubes to make up one solar module. With the tube-like construction, the irradiance from the sun is absorbed by direct and indirect (reflection off of the roof surface) irradiance. The modules are mounted flat, parallel with the roof. With this angle there is no inter-row shading so more modules can be mounted on the roof. Another key feature of this system is the ability to be a self-ballasted system. This happens due to the fact that the wind will blow through the tubes of the modules with insignificant uplift.

Westminster’s goal is to become carbon neutral by 2030. Hunt Electric was proud to be a part of this environmental project, helping provide Salt Lake City’s future students and community a higher quality of life, economics and integrity.

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