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Solar-bration celebrates new solar power system

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Oct 22, 2021

College of Lake County (CLC) celebrated the work put into increasing the solar power at the Grayslake Campus Wednesday, Oct. 20 at the Solar-bration.

During the pandemic, CLC added solar panels to the roofs of campus buildings in addition to a solar field on the ground. Prior to this installation, the only building on campus capturing solar power was the LEED platinum-rated science building. The 1.9-megawatt system made up of nearly 5,000 solar panels will help to partially power all buildings on campus.

Ribbon cutting at the Solar-brationDuring the celebration, the college honored the partners who helped in the completion of the process to make the campus greener. Representatives of government officials were also in attendance to recognize the college’s accomplishments.

“The collaborative contributions of all of these individuals and organizations will result in a reduced electricity cost with 16 percent of electricity for CLC,” said CLC President Dr. Lori Suddick. “This is a valuable return on investment for the Lake County community fiscally and environmentally, with a projected savings of approximately $50,000 a year.”

CLC is recognized as a local and national leader in sustainability, and solar energy is just one way the college plans to reach carbon neutrality by the year 2042.

"Around the country as I go to various meetings, we are recognized as one of the leaders in sustainability,” said Board of Trustees Chair Amanda Howland. “The green energy network Illinois put together has put us on the map. We're talked about all over the country.”

Even after the completion of the project, CLC will continue to pursue more ways of being sustainable on campus.

“Illinois is on a great journey of climate and sustainability efforts,” Suddick said. “We appreciate all the advocacy happening to help support organizations like ours in partnership with community agencies to make progress.”

Sustainability supports student access by providing CLC students with exposure to state-of-the-art green technologies, engaging students in systems and critical thinking exercises and preparing students for careers in a changing economy.

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.