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Metal flowers in the yard

by: Wyatt McConhie

solar panels 1 leah oathout

Five solar panels were installed by the Vo-Tech building.
Photo by Leah Oathout

While walking around one might notice solar panels placed throughout campus. A recent interview with Ray Rieck, the Vice President of Business Services at Lake Land College, may help shed light on the solar panel situation.

Rieck explained that the panels are fairly new and were just completed around spring.  As the day goes on, the panels track and move with the sun in order to absorb the highest amount of energy they can manage.  Located near the Zero Energy Building (ZEB) are three panels that power the building.  Researchers will keep data over the course of a year in order to see if the systems are working as they were intended.

Rieck said that these panels are saving around $300,000 a year.  However, the auxiliary buildings – such as the police department, the John Deere building, the maintenance building and Phase One of the West Building – are not using the solar panels.

These panels play a big part in Lake Land’s green energy campus along with the wind turbines and geothermal energy.  The panels that were previously located on the tops of buildings were corrected for their inefficient space use.  Workers have created a taller and wider building more convenient for Lake Land’s maintenance crew. Instead of crawling over bars and lying down to work, they can simply walk through to find the problem and fix it without hassle.  The panels are yet another fantastic green addition to Lake Land’s campus.


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