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New solar field unveiled at UT Health Science Campus

Innovative green technology, new to the University of Toledo's Health Science Campus, was unveiled this morning.
Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 6:04 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It’s a project that was years in the making, made possible by the partnership between the University of Toledo and First Solar, and the generosity of students.

“They’re learning, they’re participating in research, they’re learning what it’s like to work with industry, and they’re doing something to help the environment,” Dr. Gregory Postel, Interim President with the University of Toledo said.

It’s a project that fulfills so many goals for the University of Toledo: innovation, education, and environmental friendliness. Leaders say the solar field will generate enough power to sustain 60 houses a year and will save UT about $30,000 a year in electricity costs.

“This is a big deal,” said Dr. Postel. “Universities always have various expertise, things they’re very well known for. For the University of Toledo, that’s a long list, but one of the things near the top of the list is solar energy.”

And students were involved in the project from start to end. Students like Hannah Lapoint, a senior Environmental Science major.

LaPoint explains, “I got to learn so much. I’m not an engineer by trade, so this was something that, I know zero information about it but I’m so excited to learn. And now, I’m just so happy to see it finished.”

She worked alongside a number of faculty members, including Michael Green, UT’s Director of Sustainability and Energy Efficiency. He says f the project’s cost, “All in, it’s about $550,000. Then the $200,000 from First Solar, and the other $350,000 is from the students over the past three years.”

Green says it’s that generosity from the students and their contributions to the UToledo Student Green Fund that made this project possible.

He says, “I don’t think I can say ‘thank you’ big enough to the students of the university. Five dollars is not a huge contribution but has made a significant impact on the university.”

LaPoint adds, “You guys are the real reason that we’re here.”

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