Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – As students return to Syracuse University next week, they’ll notice new solar panels on South Campus.
The university has installed 240 solar panels on top of 20 of its student apartment buildings at Skytop.
People may think solar panels can’t be useful in a place like Syracuse, but the university says there are multiple benefits to the project.
"The stigmatism associated with Syracuse is cloudy days. Nobody really thinks that solar has an opportunity to succeed here so hopefully with a project like this we'll be able to educate people that solar is an option that they can look at," said Nate Prior, the Associate Director for Energy Conservation at Syracuse University.
The school says the 40 systems will save them the equivalent of energy used by 42 houses each year.
The solar panels not only save energy, but also save money and reduce carbon emissions
University officials say the project will also be used to educate students about harnessing the power of the sun, as 160 apartments will be directly impacted by the project.
"This is a solar thermal install not a solar PV install, so basically we're using the sun's energy to heat water, which is then used by the students anytime they turn on their faucet," said Prior.
The school will be closely watching how the project is working through a monitoring system that tracks data and hope to have a website soon for students to observe.
The solar panels are putting into action the universities goal of being climate neutral by 2040.