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Solar Campaign

Solar Panels among Mountains


The WVU Sierra Student Coalition has made it a priority this year to advocate for solar energy. Specifically, we are calling on the University to install a 50 kilowatt capacity photovoltaic array on campus by April 2018. We believe that installing the array will be a shrewd investment in the University's reputation, not to mention the educational and environmental benefits. Here we provide information to establish the value and rationale behind our request and provide a summary of the likely price, warranty, and payback time for installing the array. We invite all current and former students, faculty members, and employees of WVU to sign our campaign petition, as well as any concerned community members. Also, for student and faculty organizations that would like to support this campaign, we provide a sign-on letter and welcome volunteers.

Get Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

View the Fact Sheet

Sign the Online Petition

Organizations that have Signed On in Support of our Campaign

  • Sierra Student Coalition
  • WVU Math Club
  • Society of Physics Students - WVU Chapter
  • WVU Astronomy Club
  • and others...
You may view the letter here. If your organization would like to sign on, please contact David Buch at

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Solar Energy?

  • It supports the free energy market: Relying more on locally produced energy allows the US to move towards energy independence and cushion our country from price fluctuations in global energy markets.
  • It keeps us competitive: Fairmont State University and American Public University in Jefferson County already have solar panels.
  • It assists local economies and creates jobs: As solar construction jobs are higher paying and cannot be outsourced, panel construction keeps money in the U.S.
  • Renewable energy is our future: Whether it takes another ten, fifty, or one hundred years, we are all set on this path.This could be our University's first step towards its eventual emissions-free future.

Why 50 kilowatts?

A 50kW Array is right on par to meet the entire energy demands of one of our more energy-thirsty buildings on campus (think the Mountainlair, the Evansdale Crossing, or the Student Rec Center). By installing a solar array with this capacity on one of these major campus focal-points, we would make it effectively self-sustaining. Being able to say that something like the Student Rec Center offsets 100% of its electricity with solar energy would be pretty cool. But that’s just our opinion.

Isn't Morgantown too cloudy for solar energy?

Nope, panels are more efficient these days than you would think. Even on days of complete cloud cover, panels can operate at about 20% of their capacity. Google Sunroof and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have both collected data that strongly suggest many Morgantown residents would see significant return on investment over 20 years by installing solar panels.

How can I get involved?

Sign the petition, forward it to your friends, bring paper copies of the petition to your classes (we can provide these). If you would like to volunteer time, contact one of us or come to our weekly meetings:

February 20, 5PM, Greenbrier Room, MountainlairMarch 6, 5PM, Greenbrier Room, Mountainlair
March 27, 5PM, Mountaineer Room, Mountainlair
April 10, 5PM, Greenbrier Room, Mountainlair
April 24, 5PM, Greenbrier Room, Mountainlair

Thoughts on Solar Energy

"Think about it this way. We’re killing people in foreign lands in order to extract 200-million-year-old sunlight. Then we burn it . . . in order to boil water to create steam to drive a turbine to generate electricity. We frack our own backyards and pollute our rivers, or we blow up our mountaintops just miles from our nation’s capital for an hour of electricity, when we could just take what’s falling free from the sky." - Danny Kennedy
"I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait till oil and coal run out before we tackle that." - Thomas Edison
"When there's a huge solar energy spill, it's simply called a 'nice day'." - Proverb