Augustana Solar Power

February  17, 2014

      Augustana College will soon begin operating its own solar power station. Solar panels have been installed at the Green Wing Environmental Laboratory - a field station near Dixon in Lee County Illinois.

      Biology professor, Bo Dziadyk, says Green Wing is mainly used during the summer, and the solar panels should generate enough power for most of its needs. The cost was 10,000 dollars.

      "We'll probably pay that off from energy savings in the next 6 to 8 years and that's being conservative. I think it 'll probably be less than that, maybe 5 or 6 years."

      About 40 per cent of the cost was paid for by the state of Illinois, and a program to promote renewable energy. 

      Dziadyk says besides saving money, the solar panels set a good example, showing the college is concerned about the environment. 

      "And the less we burn bio-mass sources, like wood or fossil fuels, the less carbon we put into the environment, and the less we contribute to the global temperature enhancement phenomenon."

      He also calls it an excellent teaching tool.  And when the field station is not being used, the power goes back to the electrical grid and earns the college a credit on its power bill.