The greenhouse will be located next to SPSU’s Engineering Technology Center. Two sets of new solar panels have already been installed to power it, thanks to a joint effort among SPSU, Marietta Power & Water and Electric Cities of Georgia.
The project is expected to be complete before classes start on Aug. 15.
ECG was awarded a grant funded by the 2009 American Recovery and Investment Act on behalf of Marietta Power & Water and other municipal utility participants in Georgia, utility spokesman Barry Echols said. He said Marietta Power & Water used a portion of the grant money, $54,000, for the solar panels.
“The project objectives are to evaluate solar technology as a future source of power and to provide educational benefits for students and Marietta Power & Water customers,” Echols said.
The greenhouse and solar panels will provide SPSU students studying environmental science, biotechnology, electrical engineering technology and the Alternative Energy Center opportunities to collaborate, said Dr. Tom Nelson, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.
“Also, it gives us the opportunity for some outreach programs so that we, for instance, could bring school groups in to teach about the environment, plants and that kind of thing,” he said.
The grant funded installation of six panels on campus. Four panels on the ETC roof will generate 10 kilowatt-hours, the equivalent of 170 light bulbs, for the greenhouse. The other two panels, located next to the greenhouse, will generate half that amount, according to SPSU.
Together, they will provide the structure with lights, winter heat and electricity. The panels — 7½ feet wide and 42 feet long — are capable of supplying all the electrical power the greenhouse will need during daylight hours.