Maharishi University goes green, installs solar energy panels

Hundreds of solar panels were installed on a land that was donated to the university. (KTVO)

Conservation and renewable energy. Fairfield’s Maharishi University inaugurated their solar panel project on Friday afternoon.

“We’re launching, just now the most advanced solar array on earth. The very sophisticated powerplant. It’s going to supply 40 percent of the electricity for the whole university,” said John Hagelin, President of Maharishi University.

The project will save the school about a quarter of a million dollars each year. The solar panels have smart technology and follow the sun throughout the day. It also has other special functions.

“It’s got an artificial intelligence learning computer that runs the positioning of all those thousands of solar panels to dodge clouds and to catch light reflected from the snow and to dump snow off the panels,” Hagelin explained.

The Maharshi university is one of the first universities to develop a renewal energy project of this magnitude.

“I am really proud of the university and the development of the education around sustainability, training students that are the future leaders that will go out into the world that develop projects like these, so we’re very, very proud of the university for this development,” said Mayor Ed Malloy, City of Fairfield.

Leaders hope more universities across the county will adopt a similar mindset and go green. They say they are willing to help.

“For me the biggest thing I could do is continue to support that investment tax credit at the federal level. That enables then the investment in these kinds of projects to make it affordable and then to moves us out of fossil fuels eventually too as a country and renewable energy is what we really have to move towards,” said Iowa Rep. Dave Loebsack.

The university still has more land to keep adding solar panels with donations, until eventually becoming 100 percent fossil fuel free.

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