The Student Connection
The Student Connection

The Student Connection

HU Part of 'Solar Pathways Program' Initiative

Solar Panels

Solar Panels

The Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV) has been awarded more than $807,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. The Initiative will help Hampton University and the other 14 CICV members, all private nonprofit colleges in Virginia, develop comprehensive plans for implementing solar power on their campuses through the Solar Pathways Program.

"The DOE Solar Pathways Program is a great partnership opportunity for Hampton University," said Eric Sheppard, Dean of the HU School of Engineering and Technology. "We will work with the Council of Independent Colleges of Virginia and its contractor to make an assessment of the viability of photovoltaics on the HU campus. This effort fits well with Dr. Harvey's vision for a living and learning demonstration site on the campus as well as HU's 'Going Green' initiatives."

The three-year program will help the colleges navigate the complex legal, regulatory, and technical challenges associated with installing solar systems, leverage group purchasing power to achieve price reductions for hardware and installation services, and create a learning network accessible by other organizations considering solar power. Consulting services will be provided to CICV by Optony, Inc., a global consulting firm focused on solar energy.

"Hampton University is the only university amongst the 15 involved in this program with engineering and architecture programs, so our students will get to participate in the photovoltaics assessment process," said Sheppard. "This is a campus-wide multidisciplinary project that will involve the Buildings and Grounds department, engineering, architecture, marine and environmental science, and other units."

The ultimate goal is to create and implement a replicable plan for participating institutions to deploy solar electricity within five years. This project has the potential to substantially increase the total amount of solar power now produced within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Program objectives also aim to break down procedural, administrative, financial and legal barriers in the participating institutions' localities to aid in the implementation of solar power in those communities.

Matthew White '10