Luther College to dedicate new solar arrays on Earth Day

As part of Luther College’s Earth Day celebrations, the college will dedicate three solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays, capable of producing 820 kilowatts of electricity, at 4 p.m. Friday, April 22, at the college's solar field site on Pole Line Road.

With this addition, Luther once again hosts the most solar photovoltaic capacity in the state of Iowa at 1,100 kW.

The community is invited to attend the dedication ceremony and the reception that follows. Rep. Rod Blum will be among the speakers at the event.

The new 820 kW solar array was financed through a third-party solar power purchase agreement with a local Iowa corporation, Oneota Solar, LLC. The project is an example of an innovative and forward-thinking partnership that will benefit the local economy and the college. Under the terms of the agreement, Luther will pay a fixed price per kilowatt-hour for 10 years, and then will purchase the facility from Oneota Solar, LLC, and operate the arrays for the long term. Luther expects to save at least $1 million in electricity costs over the 20-year life of the system.

This solar energy project is part of Luther's aggressive goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. With the addition of the new solar arrays in late 2015, Luther has cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent – 30 percent via investments in energy efficiency and 20 percent via investments in wind and solar power. 

Parking is limited, so attendees are encouraged to walk from campus or take a shuttle to the solar field site. Luther vans will leave from both the municipal swimming pool lot and Dahl Centennial Union at 3:25 and 3:40 p.m.

In the event of heavy rain, the dedication and reception will be held in Peace Dining Room/Hammarskjold Lounge, second floor, Dahl Centennial Union.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,400, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.

Luther College solar array