Ashland University’s library goes green

By Glenn Battishill

The tallest building on campus just got a little taller with the addition of 44 solar panels mounted on the roof.

Ashland University decided to give solar power a try because of the improvements made in solar technology in recent years.

“Solar energy is beginning to become more feasible financially and physically,” Rick Ewing, vice president of facilities management and planning, said. “This is a good first step to get into solar energy.”

Ashland University contacted a Cleveland-based renewable energy company called Yellowlite to de- sign the panels.

The design engineer, Ali Buttar, created a 3D design for the panels and the project was green lit by Ashland. Buttar explained that due to the relative simplicity of the panel, the panels will last decades.

“The panels have no moving parts, which means that it never wears down,” Buttar said.

The panels are laminated for protection against weather and other objects, and Buttar says they come with a 25-year warranty.

Ewing reported that the panels cost $95,000 but they are expected to pay for themselves over the course of the next ten years. Ewing also said that the solar panels have been submitted to the state of Ohio for tax credit consideration.

The panels will help supply power to the library by generating 10.34 kilowatts, which will cut back on the amount of energy the library will take from the Ashland power grid.

“We are currently integrating the panels into the power grid,” Ewing said. “In the future, we hope to have a live read out on our webpage that displays how much energy the panels have generated.”

If the solar panels turn out to be a success, Ashland’s future could be much greener.