Friday, June 9, 2017

Solar Panels Atop LAC Soaking Up Sun

With these long days of summer and lots of sunlight, the solar panels atop Salt Lake Community College’s Lifetime Activities Center (LAC) and elsewhere on SLCC campuses are soaking up the energy and making at least parts of the College operate “in the green,” so to speak.

Aerial view of solar panels atop LAC

While solar panels are being used on a building at SLCC’s Miller Campus, two more at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus and, in the future, atop the new building at the Westpointe Campus (scheduled to open in 2018), it’s the LAC on the Redwood Campus that comes out the big winner.

In early 2015 Solar City installed more than 1,420 255-watt panels on the roof of the LAC, which in 2016 (the first full year of use) was the sole beneficiary of the 530,105 kWh of energy produced. In fact, all of the energy produced by solar panels on SLCC buildings is used on site. The initial cost of the LAC panels alone was more than $467,000, paid for with an incentive from Rocky Mountain Power and state funds.

While the return on investment is not the best with solar, SLCC officials note that the main benefit is that the panels produce clean energy without any emissions, providing a more environmentally responsible source of supplemental power while reducing overall energy costs at SLCC.

Solar panels atop the Science and Industry building are visible in this view of LAC