The college will celebrate the installation of its solar panel systems Thursday, December 9, at Eastview Campus. Dubbed “The ACC Energy Project,” the college’s rooftop panels combine to represent the largest solar array in Austin.
“We are committed to becoming a leader in sustainable practices,” says Andy Kim, the college’s director of environmental stewardship. “This is a major step forward in that goal.”
The solar panel systems produce enough power annually to provide electricity for nearly 50 homes – saving the college about $44,000 each year.
The project was primarily funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the federal stimulus.
“ACC is committed to saving taxpayer dollars through grants and partnerships,” says Kim. “In fact, we hope to win funding to create another solar array at ACC Round Rock Campus.”
The stimulus provided $1.6 million – administered through the State Energy Conservation Office – for the systems, with construction beginning over the summer.
“By generating renewable energy on-site through the solar installations, ACC will be able to meet electricity needs at two campuses while helping reduce tax dollars spent on electricity costs,” said Lisa Elledge, stimulus program manager at the State Energy Conservation Office.
One hallmark of stimulus projects is their ability to create and sustain local jobs. At its height, the ACC Energy Project provided five jobs and sustained another 48 at Jamail & Smith Construction, the project contractor, and Texas Solar Power Company, the subcontractor.
“We are honored to play a key role in this important solar project for Austin Community College,” says Greg Smith, executive vice president for Jamail & Smith Construction. “Completing the largest solar array project in Austin marks an important milestone for our continued commitment to sustainability.”
The public is invited to the dedication of the ACC Energy Project 10 a.m. on December 9, outside Building 8000 at Eastview Campus. The event will include refreshments and an up-close look at solar panels. It’s something those close to the project say you won’t want to miss.
“We’ve rolled out a host of efforts that minimize ACC’s impact on the environment,” says Kim. “But the ACC Energy Project is definitely one of the most impressive.”
posted in: ACC Newsroom, Banner Stories