The installation of Virginia Tech’s first major solar photovoltaic power system, to be located on the top level of the Perry Street Parking Garage on the Blacksburg campus, is under way.
Structural steel and base plates to be used to support solar panels placed above the fifth level ramps were installed over the winter break. Installation of the solar panels will follow this month.
Once completed, the photovoltaic system will include encompass 480 solar panels covering approximately 16,000 square feet. It is expected to generate 100 kilowatts of solar-generated electricity annually, approximately 136,000 kilowatt-hours annually, or approximately 13 percent of the annual energy use of the parking garage.
The $1.2 million project, scheduled to be completed later this spring, was funded through a grant received by the Commonwealth from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.
“Because of this funding, we have a great opportunity to take our sustainability efforts to a higher level,” said Steve Mouras, director of transportation and parking services at Virginia Tech. “It’s great to see projects that will benefit the university and the surrounding community move forward.”
The project is among the many initiatives that support Virginia Tech’s Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment and Sustainability Plan. The plan, adopted by the university in 2009, aims to reduce global warming emissions in everyday campus operations.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.