APUS Hosts Ribbon-Cutting for West Virginia's Largest Solar Array in Charles Town, WV
Charles Town, WV, April 23, 2012 — American Public University System (APUS) today hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of its new solar array, West Virginia’s largest. The opening, the most recent milestone in the school’s ongoing sustainability efforts, follows the opening of its energy-efficient Academic Center in late 2010, and precedes the planned completion later this year of its new adjacent Financial Center.
“Yesterday, people around the world celebrated the 42nd Anniversary of Earth Day by reflecting on the importance of sustainable living and embracing renewable energy,” said APUS President & CEO Dr. Wallace E. Boston. “Today, we reaffirm our commitment to promoting a more sustainable future for our students, our communities and our country."
The state-of-the-art installation includes more than 1,600 American-made solar panels on a canopy structure in the parking lot behind the Financial Center, and 15 charging stations, which will allow employees and visitors to re-charge their electric or hybrid vehicles. The new array will provide approximately half of the energy requirements of the Center, or enough electricity to power:
- 30 average-sized homes, or 480,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually;
- More than 1.9 million miles, equal to 120 commuters driving 15,000 miles per year
Dr. Boston was joined by West Virginia Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito and local government and Environmental Protection Agency officials. The dignitaries applauded APUS for its latest, and most visible, commitment to sustainability and corporate citizenship as part of the greater Charles Town and Ranson WV communities.
In addition to the electricity generated, the new solar panel carports will enable APUS to provide sheltered, more efficient parking space, while keeping the asphalt cooler and thereby eliminating the “heat island” effect. To see a time-lapse view of the array’s construction, visit http://www.mtvsolar.com/videos.php
“Integral to the APUS mission is a commitment to expanding access to affordable online higher education in a manner that supports local communities and respects the environment,” added Dr. Boston. “We’re truly excited to be part of this milestone in setting a high standard for other universities and local businesses to emulate.”
APUS is a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment – a promise to work toward reducing the online institution’s already low carbon footprint in the years to come. Its related efforts include an adaptive re-use policy, a comprehensive recycling program, usage of environmentally-friendly cleaning products and an employee carpooling program, along with the use of electric vehicles for local business travel. For more information, visit http://apus-sustainability.com/