Earlier this month, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Energy announced a $900,000 grant to Southern Illinois University - Carbondale for a 150kW solar generating project on campus containing 310 kWh of storage.
The initiative is the first of its kind by the agency, and serves multiple purposes. Students on campus will be able to use it as a model in the classroom. The project will have solar powered long-term evolution communication modules that will power phone communication for the campus and community police and fire departments in the event of a power emergency. The system will show that solar is a realistic small-scale power source to use as backup.
“The SIU Solar + Storage project will provide energy savings and emergency communications resiliency for the campus and Carbondale community as well as enhance educational opportunities for the University’s College of Engineering,” said Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director John J. Kim in an Illinois Sustainable Technology Center press release. “[We look] forward to watching the project evolve as students engage with the technology from different perspectives.”
The agency plans to use this investment as a model for future potential projects in the university setting.