The yield from the panels – an expected efficiency of 5,400 MWh/year – will supply the KVI Center for Advanced Radiation Technology (KVI-CART), which is located to the north of the solar field. The centre contains large machines that need massive amounts of energy, such as the AGOR particle accelerator, which speeds up atoms to half the speed of light.
‘All these machines will now be powered by green energy’, says RUG spokesperson Jorien Bakker. In addition to the solar field, a windmill has been in place next to the KVI-CART for some time, which also generates power. More solar panels may be added in the future. ‘We certainly have the space for it.’
The 1,700 panels were installed by the Groningen climate technique companies ITBB and ENIE. They have been partially funded with government subsidies and partially with RUG money. ‘It’s a great investment in sustainable energy, which we will be earning back in approximately ten years’, says Board of Directors vice president Jan de Jeu.
Right now, the solar field is still simply called ‘solar field’, but this needs to change. The RUG’s Green Office will be holding a contest to get the field a new name. All students and employees can enter. So if you have a great idea for a name for a field containing nearly two thousand solar panels, now is your chance.