ELM Companies has partnered with Naked Energy to install its world-leading solar technology on a university campus in Omaha, Nebraska – marking the British business’s arrival in the United States.
Creighton University’s Graves Hall is the first North American facility to use VirtuHOT HD – a solar heat collector designed and engineered by UK scale-up Naked Energy, developers of the world’s highest energy density solar heat technology.
240 VirtuHot HD collectors are installed on the new residence hall, which will heat water for 400 freshers moving in at the end of the summer.
The installation will have a peak capacity of 69.9 kWp thermal and generate 40 metric tonnes of carbon savings for the dormitory each year.
Naked Energy’s TÜV-certified Virtu technology is estimated to reduce more than three times the greenhouse gases per square metre, compared to traditional solar PV (photovoltaic) panels. It presents an important contribution to the university’s broader Sustainable Creighton Initiative goals, which aim to cut the campus’s carbon emissions by 50% by 2028.
While American colleges broadly outrank their UK counterparts in sustainability targets, dozens of leading US schools still rely heavily on fossil fuels to heat and cool their campuses – with some emitting carbon at higher rates than a typical commercial power plant.
The innovative approach with Virtu to water heating at Creighton University’s newest dorm delivers a clean energy benchmark for campuses across the country.
It also marks an important milestone of Naked Energy’s partnership with ELM Solar, which sees the British technology being deployed on buildings across the country as US demand for onsite solar energy accelerates.
Christophe Williams, Co-Founder and CEO of Naked Energy said: “Creighton presented us with an ambitious goal, and the new system at Graves Hall will help the university meet its sustainability goals and control energy costs.
“We’re proud that this is the first North American deployment of VirtuHOT HD, and the project marks a significant milestone in our international expansion. We look forward to working with ELM Solar to expand Virtu’s rollout in North America, and continuing to decarbonise heat and change energy for good.”
ELM Companies Founder and Chairman Lee C. Graves added: “Solar heat technology has enormous potential because it takes the task of heating water, a major energy cost in any building, either off the power or gas grid, resulting in financial and carbon savings for the building owner.
“We’re excited to continue distributing Naked Energy’s innovative solar heat technology across the United States.”
Creighton University President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, said: “To partner with ELM and Naked Energy in bringing this innovative approach to energy conservation to our campus in Omaha is a tremendous opportunity for Creighton University.
“This breakthrough technology aligns seamlessly with our Sustainable Creighton Initiative by putting us in an even stronger position to care for our common home. With the installation of the VirtuHOT HD system, we are creating a cutting-edge campus environment that will help our students and planet thrive into the future.”