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Solar Panels Resembling Ivy to be Installed at University

Solar Ivy (SMIT)

Solar Ivy (SMIT)

Sustainably Minded Interactive Technology (SMIT), a company in Brooklyn, New York, has developed solar panels that resemble ivy leaves and assembles them in arrays to cover a building’s walls. The first U.S. installation of SMIT’s solar array is, of course, a college campus: University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Solar Ivy, as SMIT calls its product, is made of small photovoltaic panels shaped in arrays that can be installed to resemble ivy growing over a building’s surface.  Panels can be shaped and colored to suit the installation. The array generates electricity to be used by the building, offsetting power the building buys from the utility company.

Bringing Solar Ivy to Utah was the idea of the university’s Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund (SCIF), and championed by environmental studies student Tom Melburn. SCIF, funded by student contributions, awarded a grant for roughly two-thirds of the $42,000 cost of the project. The remaining amount is being raised by donations.

Melburn, who is coordinating the project, says the planners are considering two sites, both south-facing walls, for the Solar Ivy array. Installation of the panels is expected to begin late this fall and projected to take a few weeks to complete.

Read More: Solar Developer, Energy Lab Sign R&D Deal

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