CLC shifts to a eco-friendly source of energy

Christian Welton

Over the summer, the College of Lake County decided to move towards a greener and cleaner energy source – solar power. Fresh Coast Solar installed a total number of 5,000 solar panels at CLC’s Grayslake campus.

The solar panels were installed on two acres of land on the west side of the campus and placed on the roofs of six different buildings.

Fresh Coast Solar installs solar panels at the College of Lake County, Photo courtesy of The Chicago Tribune

The college now receives about 20 percent of its electricity from these solar installations alone.

This addition was most likely due to the Future Energy Jobs Act (Senate Bill 2814) passed in 2016. Potentially one of the most significant legislative pieces regarding energy ever to pass the Illinois General Assembly, this act requires Illinois electric utilities to launch some of the most ambitious plans for customer electricity savings.

The FEJA has allowed the college to avoid upfront costs for the installation and save around $32,000 a year by buying greener power. After 20 years, the college will then be done with payments, and own the solar panels completely.

David Husemoller

David Husemoller

“Electrical bills stack up in the summertime, and that’s when you get the most energy from the sun.  Businesses benefit from having an interest like that,” said David Husemoller, CLC’s sustainability manager.

CLC plans to display the new changes on Saturday, September 25 on a tour led by the Illinois Solar Education Association. The tour will take place from 11am – 3pm and will have guides, some of who will be actual students at CLC and will not only show off the panels, but also give lessons regarding solar energy.  The tour will be on the west side of the campus off Willow Way; it will be a great opportunity to see the work that has been done firsthand.

The Illinois Solar Tour will allow people from across the state to visit different locations using solar energy, one of those places being CLC.  According to the Illinois Solar Education Association, the tour is known as “the largest grassroots solar event in history”.  There will be more than 160,000 participants who will visit 5,500 buildings in 3,200 communities across the US on the tour day. This movement towards more solar energy will be looked upon as a monumental advancement for CLC in regards to a green and eco-friendly environment.

“Solar energy is much cleaner and greener than traditional sources of electricity…growing solar energy on campus will help us meet our climate goals and leave a greener legacy for future generations,” says Husemoller.