Georgetown plans to install solar panels on six campus buildings, creating 1.5 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year. The installation will take place this summer and into the fall as part of the university’s ongoing efforts to implement sustainability measures.
An announcement of the plan was made through an email to the student body on April 21, the day before Earth Day. The panels will be placed on the ICC, Regents Hall, the Davis Performing Arts Center, Alumni Square, McDonough Gymnasium, and the Leo O’Donovan Dining Hall.
According to Office of Sustainability director Audrey Stewart, the project was advised by student groups and faculty members during the beginning phases to get it off the ground.
“Georgetown is integrating sustainability into its academic core mission, its investments, and community engagement,” Stewart said. “We’re doing programs that are good for people, good for the planet, and good for economics.”
The company installing the panels, Community Renewable Energy, will own the panels and the credit benefits and market incentives of the solar power. The panels and their maintenance will be cost-free for the university, with the only expense being the price of the energy used. According to the university’s press release, it will save Georgetown over $3 million.
Because this project will be generating revenue, excess funds will go toward a community fund for bringing renewable energy to low-income neighborhoods. Georgetown plans to provide low-cost energy to these communities through the new system.
There are already solar panels on the Magis Row townhouses and on the ICC, although the solar panels on the ICC are no longer functioning.
According to Planning and Facilities Management vice president Robin Morey, the project also includes rebuilding part of the roof of the ICC, and the entire installation may take until December of this year.
“This is a win-win for both the University and our local communities, driven by our Catholic and Jesuit heritage and commitment the common good,” Morey wrote in an email to the Georgetown community. “The project allows us to leverage the economics of solar to address critical deferred maintenance needs on campus while advancing our sustainability and common good mission.”