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Joliet Junior College has officially elevated its sustainability footprint, announcing today the completion and activation of its 1.3 megawatt (MW) onsite solar system at Main Campus. The solar array, which consists of 3,542 solar panels, was installed by national solar developer Pivot Energy and will save the college more than $1.6 million in electricity expenses over 25 years.
Over the life of the solar system, it is estimated to produce 61,836,250 kWh of clean and reliable electricity, enough energy to power more than 5,000 Illinois homes. JJC is expected to offset its total energy consumption by 22.5%, making the campus one of the greenest in the state.
The panels were provided by retired Joliet oncologist Dr. Sarode Pundaleeka with Sunlarge Industries. Over the first 10 years, JJC will pay a reduced rate for the energy generated by the panels, after which they will be donated to the college.
"JJC has consistently invested in sustainable practices since our first college campus was completed in the early 1970s," Dr. Judy Mitchell, JJC's president, said. "Not only are we grateful for Dr. Pundeleeka's investment in our institution and sustainable values, but we are ready to take this to the next level, supporting renewable energy and building academic and training opportunities around it."
“Joliet Junior College’s longstanding commitment to sustainability is impressive. Thanks to the gracious Dr. Pundaleeka, the college is able to realize cost-savings from day one without any upfront capital needed to pay for the system, and showcase to its student body what good environmental stewardship looks like,” said Liz Reddington, director of project development at Pivot Energy.
Pundaleeka hopes the solar array will inspire future generations to pursue careers in clean energy and convey the importance of sustainability to all campus visitors.
“It is phenomenal to see this project completed. This gives a very distinct and progressive look to the campus,” Pundaleeka said. “JJC will be in sound economic state without the escalating energy costs.”
Since 2000, JJC has completed over 50 sustainability projects, including opening multiple LEED certified buildings. In addition to the solar project, a pollinator habitat mixture will be planted around the panels using native grasses and forbs, which will support bee and butterfly habitats and aid in drought and stormwater mitigation.
For media inquiries, contact JJC Communications and Media Coordinator Scott Harvey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Joliet Junior College
Located in the south Chicago suburbs, JJC is the nation’s first public community college, with six campuses and education centers that serve approximately 27,000 students annually. JJC’s nine academic pathways offer customized, affordable certificate and associate degree options for immediate career placement or seamless transfer capabilities. JJC students also benefit from a collective $13 million in state and federal grants, and scholarship assistance in excess of $750,000 each year. Learn more at www.jjc.edu.
About Pivot Energy
Pivot Energy is a Denver-based solar energy company that is focused on helping accelerate the rapid transition taking place in the energy industry to a grid that is more decentralized and cleaner. Pivot offers a distributed energy platform that includes a range of services and software aimed at serving the full commercial solar ecosystem, including retail customers, project developers, system operators, utilities, and financiers. The company develops, finances, builds, and manages community and commercial solar projects around the country. Pivot operates on a triple bottom line basis, measuring success by the positive impact to people, planet, and profit. Learn more at www.pivotenergy.net.