SCC gets state award for solar panel projects


WEST BURLINGTON - Southeastern Community College was presented with the Renewable Energy category Best Development Award in 2020 by 1000 Friends of Iowa in a virtual ceremony on Friday.

The college installed solar panel carports in December 2019 on its West Burlington campus, along with panels on the roof of the Hall of Sciences and the Great River Health Systems Health Professions Center. 

“We were excited to take on this project that is a step in the right direction for the environment,” Vice President of Administrative Services Kevin Carr says. “And we estimate that the addition of solar panels will save the college $700,000 in energy costs during the next 25 years.” 

1000 Friends of Iowa is a non-profit organization focused on promoting responsible land use and sustainability in community, state, and federal development decisions.

“Iowa has many great development projects, and by celebrating them and their future-minded leaders working behind the scenes, we hope to advocate for and see an increase in the use of sustainable practices,” said Kari Carney, executive director of 1000 Friends of Iowa. “All of the nominations bring hope and encouragement to their communities.”

There were 10 recipients in eight categories. 

The judges noted that SCC gave the addition of solar panels to the school careful thought.

“Not only did they consider the money saved by installing solar panels, but they built carports to make this possible, giving students and faculty covered parking,” Carney said during the award ceremony, “This is a great example of innovation with the use of sustainable resources."

The Renewable Energy Best Development Award is granted on measurable or anticipated impact of decreased dependence on fossil fuels and reduction of CO2 emissions, implementation of renewable energy as a primary source of energy solutions, and public education and outreach.

SCC President Dr. Michael Ash thanked Red Lion Renewables and Mohrfield Electric for making the solar panel project possible.

“On behalf of the college, I am honored and humbled to accept the award,” Dr. Ash said at the ceremony. “We hope this sends a message to our students that we are serious about saving dollars and helping our environment.”

For more news or to learn about Southeastern Community College, visit

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