Grand Valley State University students have created an 18-foot, solar energy-producing module which will be on display during ArtPrize.

GVSU students will demonstrate the benefits of solar energy by powering LED lights, playing music and providing a space for anyone to charge their phones.

A $55,000 grant from Consumers Energy funded the project to build two transportable, solar energy-producing modules. The structures were designed and constructed by a team of students from the School of Engineering and a team from Grand Valley's Muskegon Innovation Hub.

The engineering team's module is set up near the Blue Bridge and the Eberhard Center in Grand Rapids from Sept. 21 - Oct. 5. The system includes eight solar panels and a collection of solar shingles. It took two months to build and has the capacity to emit four kilowatts of electricity.

The music played by the solar energy station was performed by GVSU's New Music Ensemble.

Students in a sustainability course, led by Kelly Parker, professor and director of Environmental Studies, are organizing the display as part of a class project. Their assignment was to think of a way to promote the benefits of solar energy.

"We hope to give people a first-hand experience of the power of solar energy. We decided to time the display during ArtPrize so we could reach as many people as possible," said Cara Maney, a geography major.

Grand Valley State University