GEM Energy constructing solar array at Ohio’s Penta Career Center with First Solar Series 6 panels

two shovels in the sand

Construction begins this spring in Perrysburg, Ohio, on a $2 million solar array that will provide nearly 60 percent of the electricity needs for Penta Career Center, a career technical high school serving 1,400 students in northwest Ohio. The fixed-tilt, ground-mount array will be located on six acres at the southernmost point of Penta Career Center’s property, visible from I-75.

GEM Energy, of the Rudolph Libbe Group, is the design/build contractor and tradespeople from two other Rudolph Libbe Group companies, GEM Inc. and Rudolph Libbe Inc., will construct the array with 3,100 Series 6 panels manufactured by First Solar.

AEP OnSite Partners will own the array and sell power to Penta Career Center through a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), which will save the school utility operating costs over 30 years. Once the project is complete in August 2020, GEM Energy will provide preventive maintenance, monitor daily power output over the life of the power purchasing agreement and perform quarterly inspections of the array.

The project will produce 1.76 million kilowatt hours of power, equal to the energy needed to power 142 average homes. The system will allow remote monitoring so classrooms can use an internet connection to access the output data for project-based learning.

GEM Energy’s expertise encompasses engineering, procurement, construction, operations and maintenance. Services include combined heat and power (CHP) systems, HVAC and plumbing, facility management, utility procurement, solar development, building automation controls and energy efficiency solutions.

— Solar Builder magazine


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