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Luther College Adds Solar Power With Department of Energy Award

Iowa's Luther College is nearing completion on a solar photovoltaic (PV) installation made possible in part by a $750,000 Department of Energy (DOE) award.

Part of an institutional plan to reduce carbon output in half by 2015, the project is scheduled for completion at the end of May and features two 68-foot-long 240-watt PV panels and underground power lines. Electricity from the system will power the school's Baker Commons, which "serves as a gathering space for students and college guests and includes a main lounge, bathrooms, a staging kitchen and laundry facilities for students living in the adjacent Baker Village townhouses, which accommodate more than 100 students," according to information released by the school.

Manufactured by SolarWorld USA, designed by Werner Electric, and installed by Perry Novak Electric, the $86,000 was paid for by DOE money and matching funds the college received in donations specifically for renewable energy. Following approval, Alliant Energy may provide up to $20,000 to further reduce the cost to the school.

Additional DOE funding went to the installation of more efficient toilets and windows and HVAC improvements to buildings that house approximately one third of the school's 2,500 students.

More information about Luther College is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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