Wake Tech Unveils Rooftop Solar Array
Rooftop Panels Will Provide Energy and Funding for Student Scholarships
RALEIGH, N.C. (March 7, 2013) - Wake Tech is on the grid – with a new solar array demonstrating the college’s longstanding commitment to students and to environmental responsibility. More than 1300 solar panels have been installed on the roof of Wake Tech’s Public Safety Education Campus, on Chapanoke Road in Raleigh. The panels will generate renewable electricity – more than 500,000 kilowatt hours each year – that Progress Energy has agreed to purchase for a fixed price over the next 20 years, as part of its SunSense program. The project is expected to generate more than $300,000 over the next two decades for student scholarships through the Wake Tech Foundation.
“This is a truly innovative initiative,” says Wake Tech President Dr. Stephen C. Scott, “and Wake Tech is proud to be a part of it. We’re committed first and foremost to our students and their success, but we have also made a serious commitment to leading the way in sustainability initiatives and environmentally responsible growth.” Dr. Scott is one of more than 670 college presidents and chancellors who have signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), committing their institutions to climate-neutral operations.
Mort Congleton, Executive Director of the Wake Tech Foundation, describes the arrangement as a true win-win: “This is a solid revenue source for the Foundation, allowing us to build the scholarship funds that help so many students realize the dream of a college education.”
The solar panels will annually generate energy equivalent to a little more than half the power the Public Safety Education Campus typically consumes. Solar power is clean, unlike conventional power sources that put 350 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year to generate an equivalent amount of electricity.
The project was developed by ENlight Solar, LLC of Chapel Hill, and lease financing was provided by Wells Fargo.
“Wells Fargo is pleased to partner with Wake Tech on this important initiative,” said Jack Clayton, Regional President for Wells Fargo. “We take pride in having supported Wake Tech for the past four years through the Wells Fargo Entrepreneurial program. Sustainability is an important corporate priority for Wells Fargo and we are delighted to work with Wake Tech on this renewable energy effort, which will ultimately result in increased scholarships for deserving students. Our goal is to help build strong and vibrant communities, improve the quality of life, and make a positive difference.”
“ENlight is very pleased to have provided this flagship renewable energy project to North Carolina’s largest community college,” says Phil Nyborg, CEO of ENlight Solar, LLC of Chapel Hill. “We’re proud to be a part of the example that Wake Tech is setting for our educational community and our state about the benefits of clean, renewable, solar power.”
The array is owned and operated by Wake Tech Innovations, a subsidiary of the Wake Tech Foundation. Engineering and construction was provided by PowerSecure Solar of Wake Forest, who will also provide maintenance services on the array.