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Robin Davis
Director of Media Relations
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rcdavis@columbus.gov

Melanie Crabill
Communications Manager
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mjcrabill@columbus.gov

Media Advisory
News Date: September 06, 2017

Smart Columbus Deploys over $3.6 Million Worth of Mobile Solar Technology

Smart Columbus today unveiled Central Ohio’s first deployment of mobile solar technologies implemented in partnership with DC Solar Freedom at Ohio Dominican University (ODU). Twenty-four solar energy products, including Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations, light towers, power stations and generators—together valued at more than $3.6 million—have been deployed on campus to help improve campus safety and mobility without adding demand on the city’s power grid.

In 2016, DC Solar Freedom committed $1.5 million of in-kind technology to Central Ohio universities and public agencies in recognition of Columbus winning the 2016 Smart City Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and Vulcan, Inc. Upon assessing the technology needs at ODU, DC Solar Freedom more than doubled its commitment, with potential for additional Columbus universities and organizations to benefit from continued support.

The $3.6 million deployment contributes to the capital and financial investments in the Smart Columbus Acceleration Fund, made up of aligned investments by the private and public sector to compliment, scale and sustain Smart Columbus projects and programs into the future. The Acceleration Fund began as a $90 million matching investment at the time of the Challenge and now totals more than $500 million, with the goal of reaching $1 billion by 2020.

“We are grateful to DC Solar Freedom for bringing this technology investment to Columbus,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “These technologies will not only enhance safety and connectivity on campus, but also contribute to our community’s understanding and adoption of alternative energy solutions. We look forward to continuing this beneficial partnership with DC Solar and bringing their technology to other locations throughout the region.”

“The Ohio Dominican University community is thrilled and honored to partner with Smart Columbus and DC Solar Freedom in becoming the first Central Ohio university to receive these solar units that will encourage the use of clean energy on our campus,” said ODU President Robert Gervasi, Ph.D. “We are a Catholic Dominican university, and so we are called to preserve and protect God’s creation. This initiative is a clear demonstration to our campus community as well as the greater Columbus community of ODU’s commitment to be good and faithful stewards of the planet.”

The first-of-its-kind initiative by DC Solar Freedom is aimed at institutions of higher education and public agencies that seek to encourage the use of clean energy, and to educate and empower their communities to discover new and innovative uses for solar power. 

“Colleges and universities are home to some of the foremost thought-leaders on sustainability,” said DC Solar Freedom CEO, Jeff Carpoff. “Thanks to groundbreaking initiatives like Smart Columbus, we’re able to build new alliances, such as our exciting new partnership with Ohio Dominican. We’re incredibly proud to introduce the university as well as the City of Columbus to mobile solar, and to help them achieve their sustainability goals.”

“The solar light towers will provide greater safety and security in Ohio Dominican’s expansive parking lots,” said Gervasi. “In addition, ODU’s newest Public Safety vehicle is electric, and the solar car charging stations will enable the university to recharge it quickly and conveniently at no expense. For students, the solar charging tables will provide an endless supply of free, clean energy to recharge cell phones, tablets and other mobile devices.”