Ithaca College in New York is now getting 10 percent of its electricity from the sun thanks to a new, 2.9-megawatt solar array. The new array, actually located 40 miles away in Seneca, NY, will help the college meet its goals to become carbon neutral by 2050 and will help it maintain its place on the Princeton Review list of top “green” colleges in the US.
The system is under a power purchase agreement with the college. Through remote or virtual net-metering excess power generated by the new solar farm will allow the college to get credited for the power on its electricity bill and any power produced by the array in excess of its need will be credited to the bill as well.
“It is exciting and significant that for the next two decades, 10 percent of the electricity utilized by Ithaca College will be in the form of renewable energy as a result of this solar purchase agreement,” said Timothy Carey, associate vice president of facilities. “The important educational component of this project is equally exciting, as our students and faculty members will have an opportunity to derive learning and instructional opportunities on a prospective basis.”
The project was financed through Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) $1 billion NY-Sun program, which is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The college will get the power through a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the project owner, Greenwood Energy. It was developed by Borrego Solar Systems and OneEnergy Renewables.
“I offer my thanks to our public and private partners for helping us make this project a reality,” said Ithaca College President Tom Rochon. “Its conception, commencement and completion serves as testament to the commitment Ithaca College has made to sustainability not just in theory, but in action.”
Under the PPA the college will pay a per-kilowatt-hour rate for the solar power that is comparable to that of its recently negotiated electricity supply contract, the college stated. “The use of solar energy by Ithaca College is a model for other colleges and universities, and is vital to helping New York achieve Governor Cuomo’s energy goals,” said NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes. “I commend the college for its continued commitment to the environment and for setting an example for its students, staff and local community on the benefits of clean energy.”
In 2015 Cuomo announced that the state boosted its renewable portfolio standard to 50 percent by 2030. Now the state New York is working to install more solar throughout the state on all fronts. NYSERDA said that projects like this will help it meet those goals.Tweet