UToledo to host
Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for New Solar Array on Health Science
August 20, 2020: A new 2.3-acre, 337-kilowatt solar array on
Health Science Campus is expected to save The University of
Toledo nearly $30,000 a year while increasing the amount of
renewable energy powering the University.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the HSC Tech Park Solar Field will
be 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25 at its location off of Arlington
Avenue along Main Technology Drive near the Facilities Support
Building. Parking is in lot 44E.
“The solar field project is complete and we are working with a
local utility provider to get the field operational and tied
into the grid,” Jason Toth, senior associate vice president for
administration, said. “This work represents a unique
collaboration between students, faculty, an outside donor and
UToledo to support sustainability on our campus.”
First Solar, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of solar
cells and a company with deep ties to UToledo, donated 365
kilowatts of its Series 5 modules valued at $192,000 to the
University in 2017. Approximately 10% of the donated modules are
being reserved for maintenance.
A senior design team made up of UToledo students studying
mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering worked with
UToledo Facilities and Construction to identify the site and
prepared construction engineering drawings with assistance from
JDRM Engineering. The UToledo Student Green Fund approved
spending $350,000 to cover the costs to install the array. The
construction contract was awarded to Solscient Energy LLC after
a public bidding of the project.
The projected electrical production over the 25-year life of the
system will be more than $700,000, enough to power about 60
“The University of Toledo continues to reduce its carbon
footprint and strengthen its commitment to a clean energy
future,” said Dr. Randy Ellingson, professor in the Department
of Physics and Astronomy. “Thanks to First Solar's generous
donation of modules and UToledo working to keeping costs down,
the array will produce some of the lowest cost solar energy in
the state of Ohio. We are excited to connect our students to
these solar projects. They gain valuable experience with this
fast-growing energy technology that generates nearly carbon-free
electricity directly from sunlight.”
Based on avoided combustion of fossil fuels, the array will
prevent the release of approximately 6 million kilograms of
carbon dioxide while generating approximately 10.5 gigawatt
hours of clean electricity for Health Science Campus.
A portion of the value of the electricity generated will go to a
UToledo fund for use on future renewable energy projects.
Building on its more than 30-year history advancing solar
technology to power the world using clean energy, UToledo
researchers are pushing the performance of solar cells to levels
never before reached.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded UToledo $4.5
million to develop the next-generation solar panel by bringing a
new, ultra-high efficiency material called perovskites to the
The U.S. Air Force also awarded UToledo physicists $7.4 million
to develop solar technology that is lightweight, flexible,
highly efficient and durable in space so it can provide power
for space vehicles using sunlight.
Plus, the U.S. Department of Energy last year awarded UToledo
physicists $750,000 to improve the production of hydrogen as
fuel, using clean energy – solar power – to split the water
molecule and create clean energy – hydrogen fuel.
These activities involve collaboration with U.S. Department of
Energy national laboratories, U.S. companies and universities,
and enable the UToledo Wright Center for Photovoltaics
Innovation and Commercialization to continue strong
international leadership in the field of solar electricity
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