EAST LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Construction is underway on a new solar array project that is more than a cost saving effort on campus.
It true that the solar array panels could save the university $10 million over 25 years and help keep tuition in check because of the added energy savings.
But people who park in the five different lots across campus will have shade in the summer and less snow cover in the winter because of the solar panels.
The structures will cover most of the parking spaces in each lot and provide partial protection from inclement weather for most cars including taller vehicles, such as RVs, for weekend tailgating.
There will be no parking spots lost after construction in complete.
Arrays are a collection of solar panels that are linked together and can act as an additional energy source.
It is expected that the alternative energy structures will provide power to the campus during daytime hours and could generate about 5 percent of the electricity used on campus annually.
“The obvious advantage of this project for our students, faculty and staff is cleaner air due to the emissions-free generation of electricity,” said Wolfgang Bauer, a University Distinguished Professor in physics who is assisting with the project.
Three lots located south of the railroad tracks on campus will be the first to undergo construction.
Work on the remaining parking areas will follow, with all lots projected to be completed by the end of the year.
During construction, portions of each lot will remain open for parking.