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Murray State partnership creates new agritech initiative

MURRAY, Ky. – The Murray State University (MSU) Hutson School of Agriculture has partnered with Sunway Energy Solutions in Murray and China-based GREE Electric Appliances to build a solar HVAC system on MSU’s University West Farm.

The donated system will provide sustainable energy for the West Farm Shop, a multiuse facility that was previously devoid of any temperature controls. The facility helps students and area farmers alike learn about agrivoltaics, an agritech method that can increase both food and energy security.

“In building this solar HVAC system on campus, MSU is providing its students with hands-on experience with solar technology, a sector where substantial job growth is expected,” said Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman. “Gov. Beshear wants Kentucky to become the international leader in agritech – that is why we see a bright future in agrivoltaics, the use of solar panels on farms to make farms self-sustaining while ensuring food production.”

In addition to agriculture students, MSU hopes to bring in data analysis, data management, engineering, software development and computer science students as the project and energy hub grows.

GREE supplied a 4-ton solar-assist heat pump and Sunway Energy Solutions engineered and installed the 12-module solar array that will operate the heat pump.

This is the first phase of the project and MSU will continue the development of phase two in collaboration with EEC’s Office of Energy Policy.

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