LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – A new solar farm just recently went online at Eastern Kentucky University, providing clean renewable energy to some campus buildings.
The solar farm on the corner of Kit Carson Drive and Lancaster Avenue is one of the latest additions to EKU’s campus, but it’s expected to do more than just bring renewable energy to the college.
Thanks to donations by EKU alumni Gary Booth, the university was able to build the new solar farm, which just went online in December.
With the new solar arrays, EKU will be able to generate about 450,000 kilowatt-hours a year, which is the equivalent of enough energy to power roughly 40 homes for a year.
While this power will help provide a portion of clean energy to their campus, it will also provide a learning opportunity for professors and students.
“Something like a solar farm where you take light and then convert it into USABLE electricity using some very specific atoms and molecules, the chemistry of that is really important and something that a lot of people have worked hard to understand,” said Judy Jenkins, Associate Professor of Chemistry at EKU. “It puts a sort of observable face on the theory and the concepts that we teach in class.”
Eventually, they hope to put a sign along Lancaster Avenue that shows just how much solar energy is being produced in real-time to help spark conversation across the county about renewable energy.
With this solar farm, along with the existing solar panels around campus, EKU now has the largest solar capabilities of any public college in Kentucky.