ODU adds 600 solar panels to its campus rec center

Hundreds of solar panels sit atop the student recreation center at Old Dominion University.

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Old Dominion University and Dominion Virginia Power picked a sunny July day to dedicate a massive solar grid at the school.

The solar panel project now sits atop the roof of ODU’s student recreation center.

“It was just a great opportunity for us to partner, and a logical one, Dominion and Old Dominion to take a look at how we could expand solar opportunities here on campus and tie into what they’re trying to do in terms of growing that energy as well,” said ODU President John R. Broderick.

ODU is no stranger to solar power. Last year, solar panels were assembled on a rotating grid on the roof of Kaufman Hall. That project had 24 solar panels, which could power about two home. This latest array has more than 600.

Ken Barker, with Dominion Virginia Power, says ODU was a perfect partner for the project. “We’ve installed enough panels to power about thirty homes here on the roof of Old Dominion. That power will go back on our grid and we’ll use it as a demonstration of understanding how solar energy can fit into our electric grid at Dominion Virginia Power.”

Dr. Sylvain Marsillac, who oversaw the construction of last year’s project, has high hopes this new solar panel project is a stepping stone for powering America’s future energy needs. “It will be the future, you have to go through renewable energy, there’s no other way around, just because your gas and your oil will run out at a point. Fifty years or seventy years, it will run out; the sun will never run out.”

As part of Dominion’s solar partnership program, the facility will power about 31 homes during daylight hours.

Energy information from the grid is available at a lobby kiosk inside the student recreation center and in Kaufman Hall.

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