The new campus student social space known as “The Barn,” became the first building on campus to feature solar electric PV cells on July 28. Like all new construction on campus, the Barn was designed to meet, at a minimum, LEED Certification standards. The space will be utilized for campus concerts, parties, student activities and other events after it opens officially on September 1.

The 3.7 kW solar pv system, installed by Volt Energy, consists of 16 panels that are expected to produce 4825 kW-h of clean solar energy per year for the next three decades. Though the panels alone cannot power the building, they will offset the fossil fuel-generated energy consumed by lights and fans in the venue, particularly during the sunny North Carolina summer months.

The panels were ranked among the top three solar panels on the market by the Livestrong Foundation in June.

Over the lifespan of the system, the 16 panels will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 78 tons of CO2 over the lifespan of the unit. 3,136 trees would have to be planted to equal the greenhouse gas reduction of this one system, according to Volt Energy.

Want to know more?

  • Read background on The Barn here.
  • View a brochure on solar energy and The Barn here.
  • Learn about our other green buildings here.

By Caitlin Brooks, Wake Forest Fellow