Augustana College has installed nearly 3,500 solar panels in the past year, after a student-initiated task force recommended the project to reduce the carbon footprint.
College leaders expect the panels to save $35,000-$40,000 a year in energy costs and provide 10-11% of energy needs for the campus.
Solar panels have been installed on the roofs of the Carver PE Center, Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts, Westerlin Residence Hall and PepsiCo Recreation Center. The new Peter J. Lindberg, M.D., Center for Health and Human Performance also will have the panels when construction finishes this summer.
President Steve Bahls credits a campus task force of students, faculty and staff for a renewed focus on alternative energy sources.
The college partnered with Keystone Power Holdings, a renewable energy company based in Paoli, Pa. The agreement will be a 25-year lease in which Augustana buys electricity at a fixed price while Keystone retains ownership and maintenance responsibilities.