Renu Energy Solutions, a locally-owned and operated solar installer in North Carolina and South Carolina, completed a solar installation at the greenhouse of Johnson C. Smith University’s (JCSU) Sustainability Village, an innovative living-learning prototype for students in Charlotte, NC.
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The Renu Energy Solutions team has installed a solar array to power the new 8,600 square foot greenhouse, featuring a hydroponic garden and aquaponic facility built to serve as a teaching tool for university students and address a lack of food access in Northwest Charlotte.
The greenhouse array, composed of 56 modules, is 17.92 kW DC. The installation is expected to go live later this year and provide an estimated 23,750 kWh of energy its first year, offsetting equivalent to 18.5 metric tons of CO2. When fully installed, the Renu and JSCU teams anticipate the new solar installation will produce nearly 100% of the energy needed to power the greenhouse.
The project, made possible by Charlotte Motor Speedway and incentives by Duke Energy Incentives, is part of a broader initiative by JCSU to foster teaching of sustainable development, community food systems and alternative lifestyles that lead to a greener community.
“It is a privilege to partner with JCSU and demonstrate our commitment to support clean energy development within the Charlotte community,” said Matthew Culley, Senior Consultant at Renu Energy Solutions. “By generating clean, reliable energy on-site directly where it is consumed, Renu hopes to encourage further renewable energy growth in educational institutions.”
“The purpose behind Sustainability Village is to create a living lab experience to promote experiential training, research and community engagement opportunities for our students,” said Dr. Mark Dugo, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Director of The Center for Renewable Energy & Sustainability at JCSU. “Through facilitating our efforts to power our greenhouse entirely from clean energy, Renu has supported us in exemplifying what sustainability looks like to the greater community.”
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