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Solar energy program expanding to Long Campus

Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 · Volume: XLIV · Issue: 19


This is a drawing of the solar panel project planned for the roof of the School of Medicine. Illustration provided by John Amos, campus architect.
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This is a drawing of the solar panel project planned for the roof of the School of Medicine. Illustration provided by John Amos, campus architect. clear graphic

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By Rosanne Fohn

The UT Health Science Center San Antonio is expanding its solar energy program with the installation of 600 solar panels on the Long Campus. Three hundred sixty solar modules will be placed on top of the School of Medicine and 240 will form the roof of a 24-vehicle carport in Lot 2, in front of the School of Medicine.

“We expect that this will generate 131 kilowatts of electrical power and provide 100 percent of the electrical power for the Academic and Administration Building at certain times of the day,” said Darrell Maatsch, assistant vice president for strategic initiatives in the Office of the Executive Vice President for Facility Planning and Operations.

This is the second solar energy project on a Health Science Center campus. Last year, 416 solar modules were mounted atop the South Texas Research Facility (STRF) on the Greehey Academic & Research Campus. Next to the STRF in parking lot 23, 342 solar panels — each of them 66 inches by 40 inches — were installed to form the roof of a carport. “Since their installation in May, the panels have generated 112,911 kilowatt-hours of electricity. This is enough to power 122 homes for a month. By using clean solar power, we avoided generating an amount of carbon dioxide that is equivalent to driving a family sedan 172,257 miles,” Maatsch said. A website with information on the existing photovoltaic installation is at http://texassolar.kiosk-view.com/utmedical.


The UT Health Science Center Police Department will be contacting people whose reserved parking spaces will be affected by the installation of the solar-panel carport to be built  in Lot 2. Illustration provided by John Amos, campus architect.
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The UT Health Science Center Police Department will be contacting people whose reserved parking spaces will be affected by the installation of the solar-panel carport to be built in Lot 2. Illustration provided by John Amos, campus architect.clear graphic

 

Projects funded by grants and rebates
“What is really exciting about these projects is that they are helping the university reduce its electric costs and are being funded entirely by two grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act totaling $1,569,074 and rebates totaling $400,000 from CPS Energy,” Maatsch said.

A new roof is being put on a section of the School of Medicine now. The solar panels will be installed after that by Texas Solar Power Company, which installed the solar system on the Greehey Campus. The project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Carport construction
During the carport construction, approximately 30 parking spaces in Lot 2 will be unavailable. The UT Health Science Center Police Department will soon contact the people whose reserved parking spaces will be affected to give them temporary parking assignments. The carport project is expected to begin around the first of October and be completed near Thanksgiving.

 
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