New BHSU residence hall getting an upgrade

Published: Jun. 15, 2018 at 5:29 PM MDT
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Black Hills State University is near completion on a project that will help the university and be better for the environment. Jon Wilson takes you to Spearfish for the story.

Vice President of Energy Production at GenPro Energy Solutions, Molly Brown says, "What Black Hills State is trying to do is just offset some of their electricity costs that they get from Black Hills Energy to help with that sustainability goal."

Bordeaux Hall, the newest residence hall on campus is already getting a makeover, one that will save the university money as long as the sun shines. You can't tell from here, but approximately two hundred panels are now on the roof of the building.

Brown says, "The panels are up on the top of that white section, and it's a completely flat roof up there, and so we do what's called a ballasted system. It's trays that are designed specifically to hold solar panels, and you don't have to penetrate the roof that way, so there's less chance for any type of damage to the roof membrane or leaking with that type of system."

The installation is nearly complete, with the end of next week being the target goal to be done with the project.

Brown says, "This is a 69 kW solar energy system that is designed to produce electricity to offset about 20% of this specific facility's consumption."

And with sustainability as a priority for the university, this may be the first of multiple projects here at Black Hills State.

Brown says, "Eventually Black Hills State wants to go 100% renewable, and so we're starting with baby steps, and this is the first of that baby step."