At 10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 21, The Catholic University of America (CUA) will dedicate the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) panel system in the District of Columbia, which features more than 2,600 solar panels generating in excess of 830,000 kilowatt-hours of clean electricity per year, including a canopy of 714 panels over more than 70 parking spaces.
The university will celebrate this achievement with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the O’Boyle Hall parking lot, where the canopy is located. Representatives from the university, Washington Gas Energy Systems, Standard Solar, Inc., and the District of Columbia government will be in attendance. The ceremony will include a demonstration of how an electric car could be hooked up to the solar-powered charging station in the parking lot.
“The Catholic University of America is proud to once again partner with Washington Gas Energy Systems and Standard Solar on the installation of these solar panels,” says Cathy Wood, Vice President for Finance and Treasurer. “As a reflection of the University’s Catholic mission, we are committed to creating a sustainable campus and serving as an example of environmental stewardship.”
Along with the O’Boyle parking lot canopy, additional solar panels were installed this summer on the roofs of the Raymond A. DuFour Athletic Center, Pangborn Hall and the Grounds Maintenance Complex. In 2009, installations were placed on the DuFour Center and Aquinas, Gibbons and Flather halls. In the three years since the University began using solar power, it has nearly tripled the amount of clean energy it produces.
The solar panels were installed by Standard Solar of Rockville, Maryland, and the system is owned and operated by McLean, Virginia-based Washington Gas Energy Systems as part of a 20-year power purchasing agreement with CUA, signed in 2009.
“Standard Solar's work with Catholic University, helping it make tremendous strides toward energy independence, has been extremely rewarding,” says Scott Wiater, Standard Solar President. “We applaud the efforts of the university's administration, faculty, staff and student body for their pledge of sustainability.”