LLCC-Litchfield and LLCC-Jacksonville harnessing the power of the sun

Rooftop solar panels at LLCC-LitchfieldLLCC is working with WindSolarUSA and Senergy Electric to install rooftop solar panels at its Litchfield and Jacksonville locations. The installation at LLCC-Litchfield is nearly complete, and the project at LLCC-Jacksonville begins today, Aug. 5. The solar panels are expected to offset 95 percent of LLCC’s electrical consumption at Litchfield and 75 percent of its electrical consumption at Jacksonville.

“The benefits of investing in these alternative energy projects include energy cost savings, carbon emission reduction and support of the college’s long-standing commitment to sustainable practices,” explains Tim Ervin, LLCC director of construction and environmental health and safety.

LLCC’s solar installations are part of the Illinois Power Agency’s Adjustable Block Program, a state program providing incentives for solar photovoltaic systems. Illinois has committed to produce 25 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025. The renewable energy credits provided back to the grid by the solar panels LLCC is hosting will help the state meet its renewable energy requirement.

“In addition to the energy savings, as a part of the state program, the college will see program incentive payments of more than $100,000 per site over a period of five years to help cover the cost of installation,” adds Ervin.

The installation at LLCC-Litchfield includes a 124.5 kW system with 415 modules on the south slopes of the administration as well as arts and technology buildings. Contractors will be installing a 156.4 kW system with 434 modules on the roof at LLCC-Jacksonville. The work is scheduled to be completed by mid-September.

The solar installations will have module-level monitoring, allowing for real-time observation of each solar panel’s performance for maintenance and use as an educational tool in classrooms.