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SIU adds solar power to campus with help of grant

Carbondale (WSIL) — SIU Carbondale is taking a step towards going green, thanks to a $900,000 grant from the Illinois EPA.
The university will use the money to implement solar panels as a part of a much bigger state of the art infrastructure project.
Dr. Spyros Tragoudas, the department chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at SIU-C, is heading up the project.
"We will install in select locations on campus, base stations, LTE base stations. This is to support wireless infrastructure, wireless communication infrastructure on campus," Tragoudas said.
Dr. Tragoudas says the university plans to install modems at these base stations to provide Wi-Fi access to faculty and students.
Because it’s solar powered, it should work, even when the power doesn’t.
"This network, this wireless communication network will be alive, again when there is power outage," Tragoudas said. 
Emergency responders and campus officials will even have signal if internet access is compromised.
"Then, we are going to have satellite systems that will also be powered by the solar infrastructure and through satellite, select locations on campus will be able to communicate with the outside world," Tragoudas said. 
The infrastructure will also be used in the classroom.
"It’s going to be exciting facilities, control facilities that we will install, and so students will be able to access various areas on campus, and can enforce shutdown on the grid, and see how a renewable can really support in real time," Tragoudas said.
And the benefits don’t stop there.
"Having access to that facility is going to be very useful, it’s going to be another useful infrastructure to attract additional external funding here. Because if you have a state of the art infrastructure, our faculty will write additional proposals to acquire additional grants," Tragoudas said. 
Additional grants, to invest in the university and community around it.
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