RCE Grand Rapids-2015

1. Project Title: 
Grand Valley State University Solar Garden
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
Other (please clarify) : 
Renewable Energy
3. Project partner contact information : 
Grand Valley State University (GVSU)
On site development and construction
Main Contact: 
Norman Christopher, Director, Office of Sustainability Practices
4. Project type
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

GVSU has partnered with Consumer’s Energy in the design, development, and construction of a 3 mega-watt solar photovoltaic power plant on the GVSU Allendale, Michigan campus. Known as the Solar Garden, the distributed grid renewable energy facility will encompass up to 14 acres. GVSU will purchase approximately 8% of its energy requirements from this facility over a 25 year timeframe and realize savings of approximately $50,000 per year. Industrial customers as well as residential homeowners can purchase half kilowatt “solar blocks” as well with enrollments starting in the late fall of 2015. Additional monies have been set aside for the development of energy related ESD courses for both students on campus and community stakeholders. The plant will be operational in the spring of 2016.

6. Project status
On Going
Ground breaking at GVSU took place in October 2015. At this time the Solar Garden project will be the largest of its kind in the state of Michigan. Monies have been received in October for the development of energy related ESD curriculum as well as demonstration equipment and panels that can be used for class project work in the future. The data from the Solar Garden will be used in 12+ existing courses as a senior or capstone project as well as a data collection hub for new courses and curriculum such as Renewable Energy Management and Modeling. Other options include professional learning workshops in conjunction with Michigan Science Standards.
8. Tagging
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