Solar panel to bring new light

By Brigitte Zumaya

Staff Writer


Photo by Brigitte Zumaya | Workers install solar panels on Brookhaven campus.
Photo by Brigitte Zumaya | Workers install solar panels on Brookhaven campus.


Brookhaven College is becoming a greener environment. Organizers created a new project using renewable energy on campus by building solar panels.

“I’m delighted and eager to see the solar project completed on our campus,” Melanie Gamble, Director of Brookhaven College Geotechnology Institute said. “Not only will the panels generate some interesting dialogue, our institute will create some classroom materials for our K-12 teacher outreach programs. With the endless power of the sun and converting it into clean, unrestricted electricity, our institute should have some interesting workshops ahead.”

According to, solar panels are devices that convert energy from the sun into electricity. Some scientists refer to them as photovoltaics, meaning “light-electricity.” A solar panel is a collection of solar cells designed to capture energy from the sun. A large number of small solar cells spread over a large area can work together to provide enough power for everything from cars to houses and buildings.

Native Renewable Systems built Brookhaven’s solar panels. The installation took approximately 30 days. The project began Oct. 1 and was finished Nov. 15, Gamble said.

The solar panels are located at the edge of the north side of the soccer field, adjacent to the P5 parking lot. The committee agreed with this location because of a number of benefits: the area is always in the sun, is more visible to the public and is creating additional shaded areas for students or visitors to watching activities on the field, Gamble said.

“This project is a realization of a proposal that was submitted by the Brookhaven Geotechnology Institute to Green Mountain Energy this last year,” Doris Rousey, Executive Dean of Educational Partnerships said. “We received an award of $60,000 to build the solar arrays to not only provide a green energy on our campus, but also an educational platform to teach our students, community and K-12 teachers about solar power.”

The plans include solar cell phone charging stations on campus. Their location is still undetermined, Gamble said.

“I think the solar panels are very beneficial to both the school and the surrounding community,” student Laura Blowey said. “The panels will be good for the school, continuing the message to stay green, while in the long run, the solar panels will pay for themselves in cost, the community will get a modern-day view for going green, and Brookhaven will be a role model for the surrounding community.”

An official dedication of the solar panels on campus is scheduled for the spring.