Ohio Northern University Solar Development
Construction of a 2 MW solar array that supplies electricity to Ohio Northern University began in September of 2016 and was commissioned in January of 2017. ONU has contracted again with GEM Energy to construct an additional 1 MW solar field adjacent to the current site. The new array will be commissioned in the spring of 2018.
As the turnkey developer, GEM Energy secured the project financing under a negotiated Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) structure, and designed, constructed, operates and maintains the solar array. Under the 25-year PPA, ONU benefits with a no-out-of-pocket solution where no university capital was required for the array’s construction, nor for its ongoing maintenance.
Project specifics include:
- Over 18,000 thin-film panels from First Solar
- The array includes a single-axis tracker that moves panels to follow the sun, allowing maximum solar harvest
- The solar field generates about 10 percent of ONU’s annual electricity needs which is an emissions reduction of 2,202 tons, equal to 215 average households
- ONU has included the solar array in its renewable energy curriculum. The new program is led by GEM Energy and includes pilot student teams.