After nearly eight months of preparation and the installation of 2,994 solar panels, Furman University’s new $1.7 million solar facility has gone online and is supplying electrical power to the campus.
The farm is the largest solar installation on a college campus in South Carolina. It sprawls across six acres of land near the main campus entrance on Poinsett Highway. The university announced its plans to construct the facility in August 2016.
The 743-kW solar photovoltaic (PV) array is also set up for net metering, which means any excess power it generates can be sold back to Duke Energy. It’s estimated the reduced energy costs will bring a return on Furman’s investment in eight years.
“Furman takes its environmental responsibilities seriously and we’re proud to be a leader in our sustainability programs and renewable energy systems,” said Furman President Elizabeth Davis in a release from the college.
Duke Energy contributed to the project by providing Furman with a $997,000 solar rebate, one of the company’s largest to date. The company launched its rebate program in October 2015 to assist South Carolina customers with the cost of installing solar.
Furman contracted with Power Secure Solar, a North Carolina-based company with a local office in Greenville to oversee the solar installation.