National Solar Tour

Kent State is part of the American Solar Energy Society's National Solar Tour and part of the ASES local "Ohio Wish You Were Here" tour on October 2-3, 2021. Explore sites virtually. 

ASES Solar Tour Map

Kent State University Solar PV Arrays
Kent State University is a public research university with an enrollment of over 38,000 students, and 8 million square feet of building area. The Kent Campus is located on 941 acres in Kent, Ohio and is one of the largest universities in Ohio, with 11 LEED certified buildings. The University also includes seven Regional Campuses and two Satellite Campuses in northeastern Ohio and additional facilities in the region and internationally. 

Kent State went solar for Electric Utility Cost savings, to continue to establish Kent State University as leaders in sustainability and environmental stewardship, to leverage the current ITC environment that allows solar developers to offer the lowest costs per kWh, to attract like-minded students to our Research University, potentially fostering the “next big thing”, and to help our planet!

Kent State’s first solar array was a PPA installed on the roof of the Field House at the Kent Campus, which is beyond the campus grid.  At the time it was completed in the summer of 2012, it was the largest, roof-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) panel electrical system within the University System of Ohio, Kent State now owns that system. In 2020/2021 Kent State added solar arrays at six of our regional campuses (Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Geauga, Stark, Salem, Trumbull) and the Kent State College of Podiatric Medicine, increasing our solar energy capacity to 4.25 megawatts.  A Solar Power Developer engineers, procures, operates, and finances the turnkey large solar photovoltaic systems located at Kent State University's Regional Campuses: Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Geauga, Salem, Stark, and Trumbull. Kent State University is under contract with Madison Energy Investments II, LLC, for the ongoing Solar Photovoltaic Power Purchase Agreement, and Site Lease Agreement. The team installed, owns, maintains, and operates the systems in accordance with O.R.C. 3345.61, .62, .63 and 3345.65. There are four (4) ground mounted arrays, [(3) fixed mount and (1) single axis tracking], and five (5) rooftop solar PV systems at the Regional Campuses. The Podiatric Medicine array is also ground mounted, included in an Energy Conservation Project with The Brewer-Garrett Company. The university preferred a maximum 25-year total PPA contract in almost every case to maximize savings over grid supplied electric power. Melink, Third Sun Solar and Paradise Energy Solutions are the EPC contractors. The majority of the companies, workers and some materials are from Ohio.

While contributing to the environmental benefits of solar power, these Regional and Satellite Campus solar arrays are also projected to save the university about $2 million over 25 years. Every year, the solar PV arrays installed to date are projected to reduce the Kent State Carbon footprint by 4,116 Tons of CO2 – the emissions reduction equivalent to removing 802 cars from the roads or 420,121 gallons of gasoline burned!
 

Solar Sites

  • Kent Campus Fieldhouse 463 kWdc Solar Array

    Kent State’s first solar array was installed on the roof of the Field House at the Kent Campus, which is beyond the campus grid.  At the time it was completed in the summer of 2012, it was the largest, roof-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) panel electrical system within the University System of Ohio.  Working with Third Sun Solar and Wind Power, Ltd. for KSU Field House 1, LLC, a solar power developer, power production from the solar panels installed by Thompson Electric, Inc. officially began on July 20, 2012.

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  • College of Podiatric Medicine 315.2 kWdc Solar Array

    The Podiatric Medicine ground mounted fixed tilt array is part of a larger energy conservation project with The Brewer-Garrett Company completed in 2021. The solar developer/installer was Paradise Energy Solutions, LLC. The 315.2 kWdc Solar PV Array ground fixed-tilt mounting system consists of 788 solar panels and extends electrical connection to campus. The 315.2 kWdc Solar PV array serves nearly 30 percent of campus electricity. It is enough energy to power 42 homes or 52 cars and eliminate 273 tons of CO₂ per year.

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  • Ashtabula Campus 864 kWdc Solar Array

    Installation of 2,160 ground-mounted photovoltaic panels on the former site of Jammal Field at Kent State Ashtabula was completed by Third Sun Solar in 2021. The Ashtabula ground single axis tracking solar array provides 864 kilowatts (1,161,216 kilowatt hours) of clean energy each year, representing about 68 percent of campus use. It is enough energy to power 139 homes and eliminate 905 tons of CO₂ per year. The Office of the University Architect estimates that the campus will save an average of approximately $16,400 in energy costs per year and a minimum $410,300 over 25 years.

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  • Geauga Campus 322 kWdc Solar Array

    The 322 kWdc Solar PV Array, ground, fixed-tilt mounting at Kent State Geauga consists of 816 panels covering 1.27 acres on Claridon-Troy Road right next to campus. Melink Solar completed installation in 2021. The system provides 67 percent of electricity on campus. As a complementary enhancement, native pollinator prairie flowers will be planted throughout the solar array in Fall 2021, yielding both a natural beauty and a refuge for native honeybees, butterflies and other pollinators that will help restore balance to the ecosystem.

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  • East Liverpool Campus 93 kWdc Solar Array

    Kent State at East Liverpool Campus 93 kWdc Solar PV Array, non-penetrating ballasted system roof mounting consists of 232 solar panels installed by Third Sun Solar in 2021 on Puriton Hall with electricity extending to the building. The minimum 25-year solar electric cost savings to the East Liverpool Campus is expected to be about $40,400 with a reduced carbon footprint of 89 tons of carbon dioxide. This is the equivalent to removing 18 cars from roadways.

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  • Trumbull Campus 1,314 kWdc Solar PV Array

    Kent State at Trumbull Campus 1,314 kWdc Solar PV Array, ground, fixed-tilt mounting consisting of 3,328 panels was completed by Melink in 2021. The Trumbull solar array provides clean energy, representing about 65 percent of campus use. It is enough energy to power 197 homes and eliminate 1,284 tons of CO₂ per year. It is estimated that the campus will save an average of about $23,290 per year and more than $582,160 over 25 years. Pollinator prairie flowers will be planted throughout the solar array in Fall 2021, yielding both natural beauty and a refuge for native honeybees, butterflies,

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  • Salem Campus 616 kW Solar Array

    Kent State at Salem Campus 616 kW ground mounted solar array consists of 1,560 panels on a fenced-in plot of ground behind the main classroom building. Connecting to the campus electric system, the 616 kW system produces clean electricity to serve 73 percent of the electricity for the campus. This is enough electricity to power 95 homes and translates to an expected minimum cost savings of about $280,000 for the Salem Campus over the 25 years of the contract. The project will reduce the carbon footprint by 617 tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to removing 121 cars from the roads.

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  • Stark Campus 261 kW Solar Array

    Kent State University at Stark Campus: rooftop solar array, non-penetrating, ballasted is 261 kW size for all four roofs. There is also a 2.5kW research wind turbine. The solar array is featured on the Main Hall and also located on three more buildings. Kent State University at Stark Campus: Science and Nursing Building there is also rooftop domestic water heating solar thermal array, utilizing APRICUS evacuated tube solar collector headers, drain-back system.

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Kent State Solar Tour Sites

Kent State University Kent Campus Field House 463 kWdc Solar PV Array, non-penetrating metal roof mounted
Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine 315.2 kWdc Solar PV Array, ground, fixed-tilt mounting
Kent State University at Ashtabula Campus 864 kWdc Solar PV Array, ground, single axis tracking
Kent State University at Geauga Campus 322 kWdc Solar PV Array, ground, fixed-tilt mounting
Kent State University at East Liverpool Campus 93 kWdc Solar PV Array, non-penetrating ballasted system roof mounting
Kent State University at Trumbull Campus 1,314 kWdc Solar PV Array, ground, fixed-tilt mounting
Kent State University at Salem Campus 616 kW ground mounted
Kent State University at Stark Campus 261 kWdc total for all 4 roofs non-penetrating ballasted system roof mounting; 2.5 kW wind turbine