2015 saw the first deployment of a solar panel array at Kenyon College. The 19kW system located on the Kenyon Farm is expected to generate upwards of 85% of the energy used by the Farm. Site evaluation and installation involved the first ever solar power independent study where students got hands-on looks at all aspects of residential solar power.
In 2016, another solar panel array was installed on The Village Inn. The new panels power the three apartments above the Village Inn and are projected to offset 80% of the power used by the residents. Eric Holdener, assistant professor of physics, and students in his “Solar Power Systems: Science, Policy and Practicum” class facilitated this undertaking along with Jerry Kelly ’96.
With plans to install another array on the new Village Market in 2017, the Solar Power Systems course in the Department of Physics is hard at work. In addition to solar power, Kenyon's commitment to renewable energy includes the following projects and initiatives:
Kenyon has joined many other businesses and institutions in the DemandSMART energy reduction program, which provides incentives for the institution to reduce its energy usage during peak times so as not to strain the energy grid.
Electric Vehicle charging stations are currently being installed at the Kenyon Inn with more to follow under the remodeled bookstore. The College has a single Global Electric Motorcar (GEM) for use by maintenance staff, with plans to expand the electric fleet by two vehicles per year. Operation costs for the small truck average a mere $0.10 per day, a significant reduction from the $10 per day required for more traditional vehicles.
Kenyon's vision for this project is to reduce waste and improve facilities. We are on target to achieve the set goals as we are seeing reductions in energy consumption and many spaces have received improved lighting/space temperature controls up-grades. Find out more about the project.
Kenyon's Library and Information Services (LBIS) is exploring many different ways to reduce the environmental impact of the school's technology infrastructure. Recently, printers in computer labs across campus were converted to double-sided printing in order to conserve paper. LBIS has begun to purchase energy-efficient equipment for all future installations and upgrades. Staff also are conducting workshops and tutorials for students and faculty about how to conserve energy in electronics and technology.
All new construction undertaken by Graham Gund Architects, including the new art facilities and North Campus residence halls, are LEED certified. This will ensure that energy efficiency remains a top priority in the building process. Find out more about the certification.
In an effort to improve water efficiency, EPA-approved water fixtures are being installed in all new construction projects and retrofitted in older buildings. The initiative includes low-flow shower nozzles and sinks, low-consumption water closets, dual-flush toilets, and waterless urinals. It is expected that the water-saving devices will become universal within a year.