School is back and for the first time, Chemeketa Community College students have the opportunity to use the state-of-the-art Ag Hub. The finishing touches were put on the agriculture complex earlier this month and some of the many features include a greenhouse, outdoor pavilion and photovoltaic panels that supply energy and make the Ag Hub a Net Zero Building.
The goal of the Net Zero Agricultural Complex project was to transform the 14,500 square foot Academic Building within Chemeketa’s Agricultural Complex into a Net Zero Energy building. In March, Portland General Electric awarded the college $117,000 to install photovoltaic panels.
Adding photovoltaic panels to the Ag Hub marks a significant milestone toward Chemeketa’s goal of achieving net climate neutrality and supports the college’s promise to the community to act “with personal and institutional accountability for the responsible use of environmental, financial, and human resources.”
The solar panels were installed and functional during the summer this year. While the college will pay for power during winter months with low solar energy production, extra power produced during summer months will be credited back to the college and make the costs nearly zero.
With this grant awarded and the installation now complete, the Ag Hub is the college’s first Net Zero structure.