FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2007
VILLANOVA, PA. – The Villanova University College of Engineering will unveil a new Solar Electric System atop its Center for Engineering Education and Research (CEER) on Friday, Nov. 16 at 3:30 p.m. Special guest, State Senator Connie Williams, who represents the 17th Senatorial District, will speak at the official unveiling. Other attendees will include Villanova University President, the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A. and Gary Gabriele, Dean of the Villanova University College of Engineering, as well as representatives from Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center.
“The installation of the solar panels will play an important role in enhancing undergraduate and graduate research and teaching,” said Gabriele. “The panels also complement the College of Engineering’s already substantial presence in work on environmental sustainability.”
Villanova’s Solar Electric System is comprised of 24 180-watt crystalline silicon solar panels which are installed atop Villanova's engineering building – the Center for Engineering Education and Research (CEER). The output from the five-foot by two-foot solar panels is conditioned to provide high quality AC power for the building using an inverter. The panels will provide up to 4,000 watts of power to offset utility-supplied power for the CEER building.
The event will include a display which shows the amount of power generated by the Solar Electric System, weather information and the amount of carbon dioxide being offset by the solar panels. This Solar Electric System is the University’s first renewable energy source to provide clean, pollution-free power on campus.
Funded by a $15,000 matching-grant provided by The Sustainable Energy Fund of Central Eastern Pennsylvania ((SEF) and supported by Pennsylvania Power and Light, the project will help train Villanova students in the design and installation of solar electric systems. Five Villanova electrical engineering students were involved in the initial phase of the project.
Villanova University is one of only six colleges and universities supported by the Solar Scholars Program. Solar Scholars™ is an innovative solar energy educational program created by the Sustainable Energy Fund of Central Eastern Pennsylvania (SEF), designed to provide college students and faculty a unique hands-on exposure to the application of solar technology as a renewable energy source. Other members of the six-college coalition in this solar-energy initiative include Penn State University, Bucknell University, Clarion University, Messiah College and Mercyhurst College.
“The SEF is proud to assist Villanova University in the implementation of this unique renewable energy training program,” said Jennifer Hopkins, President of SEF. “Solar Scholars was a very competitive grant competition, and Villanova’s existing sustainability focus contributed to winning this award."
Villanova is firmly committed to issues of environmental sustainability. Last May, the University’s president, Father Donohue, signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. The ACUPCC is dedicated to the critical research and education needed to end global warming. Two buildings on campus, a new College of Nursing and a new School of Law, are being built according to LEED-certified specifications. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—LEED—Green Building Rating System, developed by the United States Green Building Council, provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction.
Villanova University is a co-educational Roman Catholic institution founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. The University offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs through four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova Law School. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For more information see www.villanova.edu.
The College of Engineering, consistent with the mission of Villanova University, is dedicated to the education of engineers who are technically competent, liberally educated, and ethically motivated. The College emphasizes undergraduate instruction and encourages research and scholarly activities in all of its departments. High quality research develops the faculty’s intellectual skills and contributes to society’s reservoir of knowledge. Graduate engineering programs within the College provide opportunities for advanced study, professional development, and participation in research. For the second straight year, the College was ranked ninth in the country by U.S. News and World Report for engineering schools that award primarily bachelor’s degrees.