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New solar panels to provide one quarter of Elkhart seminary's power

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary has new solar panels to help power the school. // WSBT 22 photo

Renewable energy is now on campus at a seminary school in Elkhart. It started off as a project for a class, and it took about two years to see the final product.

One of the directors at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary was working on her MBA when she came up with the idea. It wasn't long before her pretend project become reality.

The 330-watt solar panels, 180 in total, are now along the south side of the AMBS campus soaking up the sun's energy to provide renewable energy for the school.

"It produces 50 kilowatts of power, and it offsets about 78,000 kilowatt-hours of use that we have every year. It's about a quarter of our total usage,” said AMBS Director of Development Missy Kauffman Schrock.

Kauffman Schrock says she didn't think her project would come to life.

"So I started to talk with people. The company that we worked with --Telaman Corporation out of Carmel, Ind. -- I started talking to them in April of last year. And it has taken a year for us to get this installed,” Kauffman Schrock said.

The solar panels cost around $121,000 dollars. Grants paid for $34,000. AMBS President Sara Wenger Shenk says it's exciting to have them here on campus.

"It's thrilling to see the solar panels installed and the sun beaming down. We're soaking up the energy in ways that will benefit us economically,” Shenk said. “Financially we'll be more efficient, and environmentally we'll be more sustainable."

With this being the largest solar panel unit in Elkhart, Shenk hopes this will encourage others to follow suit.

"Please. Everyone go and do likewise. Find ways to use renewable energy sources,” Shenk said.

The campus will host a workshop Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. It's open to anyone who would like to learn more about how they got the solar panels.

The workshop will be held in the Waltner Hall. Room 214 on AMBS campus.

The address is 3003 Benham Ave in Elkhart.

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