UU and Melink Partner to Construct Solar Panels on Campus
First University in Region to Install Solar for Electricity
URBANA, OHIO (September 24, 2012) - Urbana University is going to be purchasing clean, renewable energy from the sun effective this November! Construction has begun on a 500 Kilowatt solar array to be installed near their athletic field. This installation will provide tangible inspiration to its faculty, students, and stakeholders on the importance of walking-the-talk on sustainability.
The official groundbreaking ceremony took place on Monday, September 24, 2012 with representatives present from the University Board of Trustees, Administration, faculty, and student-body; Melink Corporation, TMI Electric, Yellow Springs Renewable Energy, and the City of Urbana. Many other faculty, staff, and students were present to witness the University’s commitment to renewable energy.
“We at Urbana University are committed to leading by example when it comes to sustainability,” said Stephen Jones, president of Urbana University. “This includes everything from the operation and maintenance of our buildings and grounds, the educational offerings to our students, and the generation of onsite power to make all the other things we do possible.”
The solar array will be ground-mounted and consist of 2,128 individual solar photo-voltaic panels manufactured by REC Solar. It will provide approximately 15% of the school’s energy needs and save up to $2 million over the system’s 30 year expected life.
“Melink is proud to serve as the developer for this solar PV project and wants to recognize Urbana University’s leadership in making it possible,” said Steve Melink, president of Melink Corporation. “It will move other schools and universities toward renewable energy systems, and continue our industry’s growth in Ohio and across the Midwest.”
A power purchase agreement will allow Urbana University to get the system installed without paying for it upfront. PNC Bank and then Melink will initially own the system and sell power to the University, with a purchase option at the end of 10 years. Melink has unique experience in developing these long term financial structures.
The following representatives from UU, Melink and other partners, and the City of Urbana celebrate the installation of a solar PV array with a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, September 24, 2012. (l-r), Kerry Bruegger (City of Urbana Administrator and UU Alumnus), The Honorable William Bean (Mayor for City of Urbana and UU Alumnus), Chuck Sweeting (UU board member), Taylor Cayot (UU Presidential Scholar student), Dr. Tingting Cai (UU Professor), Dr. Stephen Jones (UU President), Steve Melink (President of Melink), Donna Jones (CFO for Melink), Rich Bailey (CSO for Melink), Mark Gillespie (TMI Electric), and Paul Wren (Yellow Springs Renewable Energy)