WIUM Tristates Public Radio

SCC Looking to Expand Solar

Nov 1, 2019

Southeastern Community College has installed multiple solar arrays in the past year at its campus in Keokuk. It now plans to do the same in West Burlington.

SCC President Michael Ash said the current proposal calls for solar panels to be installed at several locations on the West Burlington campus.

  • The roof of the Hall of Sciences
  • The roof of the Health Professions Center
  • Parking Lot for the Hall of Sciences/Health Professions Center

Ash said panels will also be installed to power the two on-campus residence halls, which are owned and maintained by a private developer. He said the locations were selected because the buildings are brand new so they can take advantage of the energy generated by the solar panels.

Ash said the project will not cost SCC any money because it will partner with Mohrfeld Electric. The Fort Madison company also worked with SCC to install the solar panels in Keokuk.

Ash said Mohrfeld Electric and its subsidiary, Sunshine Power, will install, own, and maintain the panels for 20 years. The college will purchase the energy generated by the panels.

Ash said the proposed agreement calls for a maximum rate hike each year of 2.5%, which he said provides cost stability for SCC compared to its current electric supplier.

“We then know a little more closely what our costs will be related to energy,” said Ash. “Even at that increased rate of 2.5%, we are able to save a good amount of money compared to what we have been paying to Alliant Energy.”

Ash said the estimated cost saving to the college is $700,000 over the next 20 years. He said that’s money that can instead be spent on student education.

The goal is for the panels to be installed and operational in the spring.