(April 23, 2009)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

College Converts Solar Power to Electricity with New Array

SHREVEPORT, La. —Centenary’s first solar array went into action today when students, faculty and staff members gathered for the official ribbon cutting ceremony on the rooftop of the Magale Memorial Library.

"This marks the culmination of year-long process of building awareness and raising money for the system," said Dr. Jeanne Hamming, Assistant Professor of English and Environmental Fellow for the College.

The solar panels which have been installed on the roof of library, and will help power the building, save money, decrease Centenary’s impact on the environment, encourage more sustainable living practices, and promote scholarship.

"This system will help the College in their sustainability efforts by saving money and helping the environment by not burning as much coal or releasing harmful C02 into the atmosphere," said Matt Roberts, from One Planet Solar. Roberts worked closely with the faculty at Centenary to bring solar energy to the campus, and has generously donated more than half of the cost of the array to the College.

A 1.51 kilowatt solar array system was installed on the rooftop that includes seven 216- watt modules that can produce more than 300 kilowatt-hours of electricity each month. According to Roberts, the electricity produced could power 11 desktop computers with printers for 10 hours or 22 20-watt fluorescent lights for 18 hours.

Besides saving money and the environment, the solar arrays will also be used as a teaching tool, said Hamming. "The faculty wanted an array that could be used by professors in math, chemistry, physics and environmental studies for teaching demonstrations."

According to Hamming, the chemistry department will use the array to teach about electron transfer and semiconductors; the physics department will build smaller versions of the solar arrays as part of their engineering courses; and the math department will model savings and calculate the proper angles and placement for systems in a real-world application.

The installation represents a joint effort by the Centenary Environmental Association and the Centenary Chemistry Club, and two student organizations. Portions of the funding for the array came from Centenary’s Student Government Association and from student fund raising, as well as a grant received from the Associated Colleges of the South.


About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and is regularly rated as one of the top colleges in the South. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.

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