Construction of a 2 MW solar array that supplies electricity to Ohio Northern University was completed in September of 2016 and commissioned, January of 2017. Because ONU was so pleased with the project success and the array’s output, the university again contracted with GEM Energy to construct an additional 1 MW solar field adjacent to the current site. The new array was 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:

  • The array includes a single-axis tracker that moves panels to follow the sun, allowing maximum solar harvest
  • 12 acre ground array – Phase I – 2 MW; Phase II – 1 MW
  • The solar field generates 15 percent of ONU’s annual electricity needs
  •  ONU will include the solar array in its renewable energy curriculum. The program is led by GEM Energy and includes pilot student teams.

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