If you’ve passed by the University of Houston lately you’ve seen the cranes and cement trucks and earthmovers. New buildings for the UH Health and Biomedical Science Center, the Bauer college of business, parking garages and residential facilities. And at the Central Utility Plant a different type of construction.
“What you have here is one of the arrays, the panels,” said Cody Matthews with Vaughn Construction. “There’s going to be another one just like it behind it.”
Crews are installing a solar array high atop the building. Eight-eight large solar panels covering more than 2,000 square feet will convert sunlight into clean energy.
“Instead of the energy coming from Centerpoint Energy, it’s going to come from these,” he said. “This is a complete frame with the inverters installed. All they have left to do is set the actual solar panels on top of the frame and wire them in to the inverter boxes.”
The solar array project is in partnership with Green Mountain Energy.
“We calculate every year our carbon footprint—how much of our energy comes from solar, wind, from non polluting sources—compared to sources that have a large carbon footprint,” said Leah Wolfthal, University Services’ program coordinator for sustainability. “Solar is a source with a low carbon footprint, and that’s really important to the university.”
When completed, the solar array will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of a 4,000 square foot office space.
“It’s part of the university’s ongoing commitment to going green, to sustainability, to the earth,” Wolfthal said.
Sustainability is part of what’s happening at the University of Houston. I’m Marisa Ramirez.
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