“AEP bore the cost of installation in return for a 25-year guarantee that Denison would purchase all the electricity that the panels produce. Based on our past several years of usage, the panels will provide approximately 15% of our annual consumption and roughly 50% of our peak load on the sunny, summer days when the solar production is at it highest, so we’re very con dent that we will not be paying AEP for electricity that we won’t consume,” said David English, VP of Finance and Management.
Not only will this reduce Denison’s carbon footprint, as the school has published stating, but it will also have no effect on the accompanying environment, underground water ecosystems or learning done by students in the geoscience department.
In fact, students and teachers can pull data from the solar panels for analysis, but not all are excited about the placement.
“I think the Bioreserve should be that, a biology reservation. These panels mess with the whole atmosphere there and I think it was a bad place to put it,” said Charlie Bassett ‘20, an environmental studies major from Edina, Minnesota. Unfortunately, moving toward a more sustainable community can be expensive. Lucky for Denison, the bill isn’t exactly theirs to pay.
“The primary reasons we entered into the agreement with AEP are to replace fossil-fuel generated electricity with sustainably-produced electricity and that the contract with AEP has a very small inflation factor incorporated in it. Our price next year will be roughly the market price for electricity, but over the next 20 years we predict that the solar panels will end up as a lower-cost source of electricity,” said English.
Denison’s new additions are a good sign for the school’s community. This shows the school will continue to grow a sustainable environment.