Solar Power at the Pavilion

Photovoltaic Demonstration Project

solar panels at Pavilion

Michigan State University Unveils 10 Kw Solar PhotoVoltaic System

"Thanks in large part to a grant from the Energy Office of the state of Michigan's Department of Consumer and Industry Services, Michigan State University has installed it's first solar photovoltaic (PV) system at its Pavilion on its East Lansing campus. The system, capable of producing 10kw of electricity will help light the interior of this 171,415 sq ft building that hosts hundreds of events throughout the year."

"We are hoping to see how well this system performs in our climate in hopes that we will find other applications for this technology in the years to come," said Lynda Boomer, university engineer responsible for this project. "Our co-generating Power Plant is being pressed to meet demand created by additional buildings and activities on campus" responded Bob Ellerhorst, director of utilities and waste management for MSU. "Any new sources of electricity will be helpful, especially those that will reduce our consumption of fossil fuels."

"The PV system was manufactured by Shell Solar in California. A display in the Pavilion describes the project, demonstrates how the system captures the solar radiation and converts it to electricity. There is also a meter that registers the output of the system at any particular time. Terry Link, director of the of Office of Campus Sustainability, hopes that the project will have multiple benefits. "The many visitors to the Pavilion from around the state will see that solar electricity is possible here in mid Michigan. It will also be a tool from which our students and faculty can study possible applications for other projects using this type of technology. It's really a teaching-learning tool as much as it is a provider of electricity for our campus," Link stated. "The university is looking at ways to both conserve energy as well as finding new and more environmentally friendly ways to produce it. This is a terrific opportunity to enhance our knowledge on both the operations and academic side."

Facts in Brief



Size 2.5 feet by 5 feet

72 modules, 900 square foot array

Sunny Boy Inverters


Converts the DC output of the modules to AC for grid connection.

Sunny Boy Control Plus

Monitors the Inverters and provides metering output in kWHRs


Sunwize Technologies

1155 Flatbush Road
Kingston, NY 12401

Grant $100,000

Total Project Cost $140,000


Irish Construction - General Contractor

Superior Electric - Electrical Contractor


Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber

Michigan State University