This semester marked the official start of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s 2.4-megawatt solar array generating energy, which continues to set UW-Platteville apart as a leader in sustainability. The solar array became active in August, and university officials say that during its first few operational months, it’s making good progress towards the institution’s sustainability goals.
“We can see that the electrical generation of the new solar array is within the parameters of its design,” said Alan Burr, the university’s sustainability coordinator.
The solar array feeds directly into the main electricity meter connected to all university buildings, generating electricity in real time, rather than sending it back to the grid. This provides the greatest financial benefit to the university.
UW-Platteville received state approval for the solar array in February 2021 and construction began shortly after. The array spans five acres in the university’s Memorial Park and includes 5,516 panels. The entire array is designed to produce 3,334,274 kWh of electricity a year given an average number of sunny days. In the first three full months of production – September, October, and November – the array’s electrical production is right on track with the estimate provided by the designers. In addition to energy savings, the solar array will provide valuable hands-on opportunities for students, as faculty across a variety of disciplines incorporate it into projects and curricula.
For more information on UW-Platteville’s sustainability planning, visit www.uwplatt.edu/department/sustainability.