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Solar Array Installed by Dominion Virginia Power Unveiled on Roof of ODU's Student Recreation Center

Old Dominion University's Student Recreation Center will continue to play its role as a central hub of the ODU campus, providing recreation, fitness and classroom space to thousands of people every day.

But the building on the west side of the ODU campus will now also provide a vital service to the company, thanks to an innovative partnership with Dominion Virginia Power.

Last May, Dominion Virginia Power selected ODU to be the first participant in the company's Solar Partnership Program. More than 600 solar panels were installed on the roof of the Student Recreation Center, and will generate approximately 125 kilowatts for the electric grid. That is enough to power 31 homes.

The Dominion-ODU solar installation was dedicated at an event in the Student Recreation Center on Tuesday, July 8, attended by Old Dominion University President John R. Broderick; Ken Barker, vice president of Customer Solutions at Dominion; and Sylvain Marsillac, a photovoltaic (PV) energy researcher and founder of ODU's PV Institute.

Broderick said it's no surprise Dominion Virginia Power came to ODU first for its Solar Partnership Program.

"Old Dominion University's development of solar technology and groundbreaking photovoltaic energy research has been recognized nationally. Thanks to more than $3 million in research grants from a variety of sources, including Dominion Power's generous support over the years, Dr. Sylvain Marsillac and his team have been able to further this research by testing solar energy concepts," Broderick said.

The Solar Partnership Program was approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission in November 2012. Under the Solar Partnership Program, Dominion will construct and operate up to 30 megawatts of company-owned solar facilities on leased rooftops or on the grounds of commercial businesses and public properties throughout the company's Virginia service area. Fully implemented, the program will generate enough power for up to 7,500 homes.

"Our new Solar Partnership Program at Dominion allows us to integrate solar into our diverse mix of resources to ensure reliable electricity. Solar energy is going to be a key component of generation moving forward, and we have hopes of adding 30 to 40 new installations over the next several years," Barker said.

Marsillac, one of the country's leading researchers into photovoltaic energy, has received more than $3 million in funding from sources such as the U.S. Department of Energy and National Science Foundation since arriving in Norfolk four years ago.

He received a $500,000 grant from Dominion Virginia Power in 2012, to help test solar energy concepts on the roof of Kaufman Hall, ODU's engineering building.

Dominion Virginia Power is a subsidiary of Dominion, one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,500 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.

Old Dominion University is Virginia's forward-focused research university for students who want rigorous academics and an energetic residential community. ODU's nationally recognized faculty challenge students to achieve their highest goals. Engaging and relevant learning opportunities teach skills for success. An entrepreneurial approach drives research and collaboration, and the university contributes nearly $2.1 billion annually to the economy