Ada, OH /PRNewswire/ - GEM Energy, of the Rudolph Libbe Group in Walbridge, Ohio, is starting construction on the second phase of Ohio Northern University's solar initiative with a 1-megawatt solar array. The first phase, a 2-megawatt array, was completed in early 2017.
Together, the two solar arrays will generate a total 15 percent of ONU's electricity needs, reducing the university's carbon footprint by over 3,300 tons, equal to 315 average households.
Under a 25-year power purchase agreement, ONU will purchase electricity directly from both solar arrays without needing to invest capital in design, construction and maintenance.
The Phase II array will utilize SMA string inverters and will add another 3,034 solar panels to the 18,000 panels in the Phase I array. The second solar array, like the first, will include a single-axis tracker that moves panels to follow the sun, allowing maximum solar harvest. The two solar arrays will be located on adjacent ONU-owned properties southwest of campus.
GEM Energy, which also developed the Phase I array, will design, construct, operate and maintain the Phase II ground-mounted solar array. GEM Energy's partner companies, Rudolph Libbe Inc. and GEM Inc., will perform site and electrical work, and install the trackers. Construction on the new array will be complete in late April 2018.
ONU will include both solar arrays in its renewable energy curriculum. The program is led by GEM Energy and includes student involvement.
"The Phase I solar array project has been a success in increasing the University's overall sustainability efforts, and we are glad to enhance that success by expanding the size of the solar array with this Phase II project," Ohio Northern UniversityPresident Daniel A. DiBiasio said. "This effort has helped reduce energy costs and broaden the University's commitment to renewable energy."
"Ohio Northern is an experienced and committed champion of clean energy projects. We were honored to help the university reach its goals with the first solar array, and we're pleased that Ohio Northern considers us a trusted partner on a second solar project with them," said Jason Slattery, GEM Energy's director of solar.
ONU's current sustainable initiatives
GEM Energy provides comprehensive services and technologies to improve customer business performance and reduce facility operation costs. GEM Energy's expertise encompasses engineering, procurement, construction, operations and maintenance. Services include combined heat and power (CHP) systems, HVAC and plumbing, facility management, utility procurement, solar development and building automation controls. Facilities served are commercial, industrial, institutional and mission critical.
GEM Energy is part of the Rudolph Libbe Group (RLG), a one-stop provider of construction services that range from site selection and financing to ongoing facility management. The full-service contractor, comprised of Rudolph Libbe Inc., GEM Inc., GEM Energy, Lehman Daman and Rudolph Libbe Properties, operates as one team. RLG is headquartered in Toledo with offices in Cleveland, Columbus and Lima, Ohio; Ithaca, New York and Plymouth, Michigan. For additional information, visit RLGBuilds.com and @RLGbuilds. www.gemenergy.com.
SOURCE: GEM EnergyCopyright 2017 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved