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Solar panels recently installed on Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship as part of a gift from Evergy Inc. are helping Northwest save energy costs. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Solar panels recently installed on Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship as part of a gift from Evergy Inc. are helping Northwest save energy costs. (Photo by Todd Weddle/Northwest Missouri State University)

Aug. 11, 2021

Northwest enhances solar energy usage, savings through Evergy partnership


Northwest Missouri State University is saving on its energy costs and reducing carbon dioxide emissions through a network of solar panels and the support of a regional energy company.

Evergy Inc., which delivers electrical service to the Northwest campus, recently provided the University with an $80,000 gift for the installation of a 25KW grid-connected photovoltaic solar electric generating system at the University’s Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The 100-panel grid spanning the roof of the facility’s westernmost wing allows Northwest to track energy savings and efficiencies as well as solar production. In two months of use, the system has saved Northwest approximately $775 in energy costs.

“We are grateful for the generous gift from Evergy,” Dan Haslag, Northwest’s assistant vice president of facility services, said. “The installation of this solar array builds on the University’s ongoing energy conservation and sustainability initiatives.”  

Evergy installed the solar panels on the roof of the Hubbard Center, which is the home of Northwest’s School of Agricultural Sciences in addition to containing classrooms, laboratories and offices serving the Department of Natural Sciences.

“Evergy is proud of the Bearcats that work for us, and this is a way to give back on their behalf,” said Jason Klindt, Evergy’s senior director for government affairs and economic development, who also is a Northwest alumnus and a member of the University’s Board of Regents. “This is not a one-time gift but a gift that will save Northwest money every time the sun is shining in Maryville.”

The new system at the Hubbard Center complements an 18.75KW solar array on the roof of the B.D. Owens Library and a smaller system on the Jon T. Rickman Electronic Campus Support Center. Combined, the solar panel systems have saved Northwest nearly $3,500 in energy costs and reduced CO2 emissions by more than 80,000 pounds.

Northwest boasts a legacy of embracing alternative energy and sustainability initiatives that dates back to 1982 when the University established a biomass energy system that relies on wood chips to heat and cool the campus.

Today, 85 percent of all campus energy consumption is produced in its central plant in the form of steam, using alternative fuels. The University has realized $16 million in energy savings through alternative fuel energy production in comparison to the exclusive use of fossil fuels, allowing it to reallocate funding to instructional programs and campus upgrades.

In 2017, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities recognized Northwest with its Excellence and Innovation Award for Sustainability and Sustainable Development to highlight the University’s comprehensive sustainability system, which includes programs and services related to energy management, recycling, education and partnerships.

Additionally, Northwest’s recycling program has been recognized three times by the Missouri State Recycling Program. As of 2019, recycling revenue has exceeded $160,000, saving close to $100,000 in landfill costs.

For more information about sustainability at Northwest, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/services/sustainability/


Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704