A solar power project at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is both making power and producing educational opportunities for students, particularly in the area of sustainability.
The second of two solar arrays began operating in December; combined the two arrays employ 15,000 solar panels to produce 5 megawatts of power. That’s half of what the Geneva institution requires.
“These solar projects are part of Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ work to reduce our carbon footprint and do what is right for the environment,” said Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer Carolee White. “Along the way we hope to realize some financial savings, but our driving force has been to uphold and advance our commitment to environmental sustainability.”
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority said the project supports Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal for the state moving to renewable power sources for half of its electricity by 2030. The state’s NY-Sun program, administered by NYSERDA, provided funding for the project.
“I applaud Hobart and William Smith Colleges for committing to reducing their carbon footprint while taking the opportunity to use this project as an educational tool for students who are interested in clean energy careers,” said Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA.
Hobart and William Smith student in Professor Thomas Drennen’s Natural Resources and Energy Economics Class helped evaluate solar power proposals for the project. A student also drove the colleges to become a charter member, in 2007, in what’s now known as the national Climate Leadership Network’s Carbon Commitment.
Students will continue to monitor data from the arrays and visit the arrays on field trips connected to classes in economics and technical aspects of solar power, a college spokesman said.
The solar arrays were developed and installed by Dynamic Energy Solutions LLC of Wayne, Pennsylvania. The two arrays lie within four miles of the campus. They feed power into the grid and the college is credited on its utility bill.
[email protected]/(585) 363-7275