Power of the sun

The installation of a 24-kilowatt solar panel system at the Horticulture Science Field Facility is one step to fulfilling the university’s commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.

By Kris Foster

The panels were installed over the summer and began operating in September, explained Kathryn Theede, energy and emissions officer with Facilities Management Division. The array will supply about 70 per cent of the yearly power needs of the horticulture facility, located south of the main campus on 14th Street, or about the same as it takes to power 3.7 homes.

The university's first large-scale photo voltaic installation was paid for by the institution's utilities electrical fund with the cost offset by a $35,000 rebate through provincial government programs. Theede said the capital costs of the project is expected to be recovered in about 14 years.

"The science field facility was an ideal site for the solar panels," said Theede. "There's the physical space and it's a sunny location. It's also a location where we buy power from Saskatoon Light and Power" so excess power generated by the panels can be fed back into that grid.

"This is a good introduction to this technology for our campus," she added.