BHSU to hold solar open house Saturday

Black Hills State University will host a Solar Open House as part of the 2018 National Solar Tour from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Courtesy photo 

SPEARFISH — Have you ever considered installing solar panels on your home, cabin, or business? Black Hills State University (BHSU) staff will share insights from a recent on-campus solar installation during a Solar Open House to be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in front of Bordeaux Residence Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Cory Johnson, energy manager and master electrician at BHSU, said the Solar Open House is a great opportunity to see solar panels up close and experts will be on hand to answer questions.

“If someone is thinking of doing solar on their home or even out in the woods because they can’t get power in a remote location, stop by our open house for information. I’ll show you what the panels look like on Bordeaux Hall and where the connections are hooked up,” Johnson said.

Molly Brown, vice president of energy production at GenPro Energy Solutions, the company that developed and installed the BHSU solar panels, will also be present at the open house to share her knowledge and answer questions.

“BHSU is taking strong leadership in sustainability,” she said. “We admire what they have accomplished in the last decade, and are very excited about their overall future sustainability goals.”

BHSU made history this year as the first university in South Dakota to install solar panels on a building. Installation on Bordeaux Residence Hall was completed this summer.

In just two months since installation was completed, the solar panels at BHSU have produced 30.7 MWh of energy, which is equivalent to:

• Reducing gasoline consumption by 2,381 gallons

• Recycling 7.59 tons of waste destined for a landfill

• Carbon offset gained by planting 543 trees

• Amount of energy consumed for one year by nearly two homes

• Reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 23.3 tons

This will be the first winter since the solar panels at BHSU have been installed. Johnson expects the panels to still produce a great amount of energy, even in the South Dakota winter.

“If it snows on the panels, even a small amount of light will quickly melt the snow because they’re at a 15-degree angle. It doesn’t have to be a hot, sunny day to produce a lot of electricity,” Johnson said.

This solar open house is part of the 2018 National Solar Tour, a collective effort of solar open houses and local solar tours across the country.

Online RSVPs for the BHSU Solar Open House are recommended at http://bit.ly/solaropenhouse-456

For more information, contact Johnson at 642-6244 or cory.johnson@BHSU.edu, or Erika Young, marketing and external affairs manager with GenPro Energy Solutions at 341-9920 or erika@genproenergy.com.

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