March 23rd, 2011
Messiah College has contracted with Edwin L. Heim Company to install 112 solar panels on the roofs of a complex of student residence halls on the college’s Grantham campus to create the region’s largest solar thermal system. Construction will begin in mid-May and be completed by October. The panels will be installed on the roofs of the three residence halls—Miller, Hess and Grantham—that comprise Messiah’s North Complex. All the domestic hot water needs of those residences—totaling 113,000 square feet and about 470 students—will be met by this extensive, energy efficient solar collection system.
This new solar thermal system will offset greenhouse gases equivalent to planting 3,600 trees a year or taking 130 cars off the road each year. These offsets are significant in helping Messiah reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and meeting the standards of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment of which Messiah President Kim S. Phipps is a signatory.
This solar thermal project is not the first solar project on Messiah’s campus. In 2008, Messiah dedicated the Clifford L. Jones Solar Scholars Pavilion, a four-array system designed and built by students in Messiah’s Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research. The pavilion powers a computer lab in Frey Academic Building and serves as an educational lab for students and visitors to the on-campus Oakes Museum. For a more comprehensive list of the college’s sustainability initiatives, please visit Green@Messiah at messiah.edu/sustainability.