Solar Power Coming to Penn State Schuylkill

  Thanks to a grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund in Allentown, Pa, Penn State Schuylkill will soon be generating green energy. The campus was recently notified that it will be receiving a $15,000 grant to install a photo-voltaic solar array on campus, which is expected to generate up to 3 kW of electricity.

The grant is the result of the foundation's Summer Scholars Program, which was held this summer at Dickinson College in Carlilse, PA. Faculty members Mike Gallis and Tom Cleary, and electrician Mike Russell attended the week-long program which provided training on PV systems.

Following the training program, the campus was eligible to submit a proposal for one of 12 competitive grants to install a PV array on campus, to be used as an educational tool, as well as to generate green, renewable energy. The grant requires a project team to oversee the system installation and monitor performance. Mr. Cleary and Dr. Gallis are serving as co-investigators of the research project, along with Mr. Russell, Cheryl Holland, Director of Business Services, and Mr. Jeffery Thyng, a student majoring in the IST program. Jeff will develop the web page which will be tied into the system and allow the public to view system operation.

The planned site for the solar array is on the northeast corner of the Nittany II residence hall. The system will be connected to one of the apartments to supplement the utility power.

In addition to the funding from the SEF, the campus is required to provide at least $6000 in local funds, which the administration has committed to providing. The project team appreciates the support of Chancellor Keith Hillkirk and DAA Steve Couch.

The Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) is a private non-profit organization that promotes energy efficiency, renewable energy and education initiatives in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with a focus on eastern and central PA. By offering financial incentives that promote sound energy strategies, SEF can help municipalities, school districts, farmers, manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and other businesses save energy and reduce costs. Visit its website at