University of Richmond

 

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Bisun panels on the Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness

In May, 2016 Secure Futures LLC completed a solar power generation system on the campus of the University of Richmond (UR) in Richmond, Virginia. Totaling 205 kW, the array was installed on the roof of the Weinstein Recreation and Wellness Center.

The UR project is home to the first commercial application of SolarWorld USA bi-sun solar panels, which increase efficiency by taking advantage of solar radiation from both direct sunlight on the front and ambient light from the back. Employing various roof and solar panel types, the array was designed to be a research and development tool for both UR students and faculty and SolarWorld Americas Inc.  The project was also the first commercial-scale power purchase agreement (PPA) in the state of Virginia since a pilot program in Dominion Virginia Power’s territory began in 2013.

 

 

Press coverage of the array may be found here.

Secure Futures LLC, through a project company of local investor, Richmond Solar, LLC, purchased and owns the solar panels on the UR campus. UR hosts the solar facility, and buys electricity generated from the panels at a predetermined price through a power purchase agreement. The project was financed by sponsorship equity from SolarWorld Americas Inc. and an individual, a bridge loan from Community Capital Bank of Virginia, and permanent financing from M&T Bank.

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Click on the following link to see live data monitoring – including power generation and environmental impact –  for the 205kW solar array on the Weinstein Recreation and Wellness Center.

University of Richmond:
https://apps.alsoenergy.com/kiosk/37628?dashkey=2a5669735065322f4343554b772b71513d&tag=907419

 

The solar system was installed by Shockoe Solar LLC in the spring of 2016. The company is based in Richmond, Virginia.imgres

The project consists of 749 mono facial and bifacial solar panels manufactured by SolarWorld Americans Inc, in Hillsboro Oregon. This was the first project in the United States to make use of SolarWorld’s Sunmodule Bisun panel technology – which are projected to generate up to 25% more energy, when compared to the standard mono-facial modules. The Bisun panels can generate electricity from direct exposure to solar radiation as well as reflected sunlight on the back of the panel.

SolarWorld USA Bisun solar panels

SolarWorld USA Bisun solar panels

The project consists of two fixed tilt Unirac solar arrays located on the Weinstein Recreation and Wellness Center. The array system compares performance of standard modules using advanced p-type mono-PERC (passivated emitter rear contact) cell architecture and Bisun modules using the same cell architecture. In addition, both types of modules will be installed on top of both a gravel roof and a roof of vinyl-like white material TPO (thermoplastic olefin) to produce further performance data comparisons. Both arrays can be seen from the walkway of the Robins Center.

Aerial view of the 205kW solar array at the University of Richmond

Aerial view of the 205kW solar array at the University of Richmond

Secure Futures LLC monitors the system’s daily production online and conducts annual performance testing and maintenance on site.

The nameplate capacity of the solar modules is 204.8 kW DC. The project is comprised of both Bisun modules and monocrystalline SolarWorld USA panels.

 

Sustainability has and continues to be a core value of the University of Richmond. The university has taken measures to increase recycling efforts, increase campus gardens, and most recently President Ronald A. Crutcher signed the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge. The University of Richmond is one of the leading Universities in Virginia that is working towards reducing its carbon footprint, with the goal of a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020, and complete carbon neutrality by 2050.

University of Richmond president Ronald Crutcher and Virginia Governor Terry McCauliffe cut the ribbon at the UR solar commissioning ceremony.

University of Richmond president Ronald Crutcher and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe cut the ribbon at the UR solar commissioning ceremony.

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Jesse ReistUniversity of Richmond