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New bus stop powered by solar panel array

The Solar Panel Array, a gift of Penn State's class of 2015, will act as an educational tool, dedicated to the University's sustainability efforts. The bus stop will run on solar power, and have phone charging capabilities — enough power to charge more than 300 phones a year. Image: Christie Clancy
April 12, 2018

On April 2, the culmination of plans for Penn State’s 2015 class gift came to fruition as Penn State President Eric Barron led the dedication of the Solar Panel Array, installed at a unique bus stop near Beaver Stadium.

The solar array is not only functional, providing power for real-time CATA route information and a phone charging station at the stop, but also educational, with information about the history of solar energy and easy access to the technology for academic instruction.

"To install the array at a bus stop was creative, cost-effective, and scalable, with the potential to be replicated across campus and throughout State College,” said Barron. “The location integrates the class gift into students’ everyday lives, to get students thinking and talking about renewable energy.

"In choosing the Solar Panel Array as its gift to the University,” he added, “the Class of 2015 has shown its belief in Penn State's position as a leader on some of the world’s biggest challenges.”

Lauren Nelson, 2018 Class Gift executive director, spoke on behalf of the 2015 executive committee. Nelson said the project shows how class gifts can engage the entire campus community, with student involvement in the selection, design and funding of the entire project.

"The Solar Panel Array is a wonderful example of Penn State students taking the lead in changing our world for the better,” she said.

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