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Trustees Approve New Solar Energy Array at Meeting

Eight-acre solar energy field to reduce electricity costs by $25,000/year

Thursday, January 18, 2018
Parkland College will soon expand on solar energy production at its main campus with an eight-acre solar array, further reducing the college's carbon footprint.

During its regular monthly session Wednesday, the Parkland College Board of Trustees approved a new Solar Energy Purchase Power Agreement (PPA), selecting SolSystems, LLC, of Washington, D.C., as provider. Under a 25-year contract with Parkland College, SolSystems will design, install, and operate a 2-megawatt solar energy field on campus property that would reduce the school's electricity costs by about $25,000 per year, with that figure increasing in future years. Parkland College Solar Field
The large-scale photovoltaic system further diversifies the college's sustainability strategies. A signatory to the Presidents’ Climate Commitment, Parkland College created a Climate Action Plan to map out the route to carbon neutrality by 2060 and established a goal of 10% of campus energy to be derived from clean (low carbon) sources by 2015. The campus has engaged in several energy efficiency and renewable energy efforts to date, including two previously installed photovoltaic arrays, LED exterior lighting, room occupancy sensors, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and two buildings designed to the LEED Silver certification level.

During his monthly report to the Board, Parkland College President Tom Ramage thanked the employees and students who came out to help Monday with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day service event, a food repacking session for the Wesley Food Pantry. He also reminded the Board about a February budget workshop and mentioned that the Board's March 21 meeting will be held at the college's Institute of Aviation, with a tour/report at 5:30 p.m. from the Aviation staff.
In other business, the trustees approved the following:
  • a new 6-credit-hour career certificate, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), to be offered through the Institute of Aviation.
  • a resolution reaffirming Parkland College's policy prohibiting sexual discrimination, harassment, and misconduct (Policy 3.01).
  • the exempt purchase of $90,948 in radio upgrade services for the Institute of Aviation from Flightstar Corporation, Savoy. The radio repair services are required to comply with upcoming FAA rules. 
  • grant requests to be made to Ameren Illinois, Champaign West Rotary Charities, and the Illinois Community College Board.

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