Colby College, located in Maine, says work has begun on a 1.9 MW solar project consisting of 5,505 solar panels. The array will be situated on nine acres between Washington Street and Interstate 95 and the Colby community gardens.
The college says the installation is expected to produce 2.5 million kWh of electricity per year – about 16% of the college’s electricity needs – and will advance its commitment made in 2003 to source all of its electricity from renewable sources.
Solar development firm NRG Energy Inc. will build and own the system, and Colby will purchase the electricity at a predetermined rate under a 27-year agreement.
Colby says it will build an underground electric line to feed electricity produced by the panels into the campus’ electric grid, and all of the power produced will be used on campus.
According to Doug Terp, Colby’s vice president for administration and chief financial officer, the project will “diversify the college’s energy supply; it adds 2.5 million kWh of renewable electricity to Maine annually, it creates another campus ‘living laboratory’ offering research opportunities to students and faculty, and it serves as another visible sign of Colby’s commitment to sustainability.”
“We’re proud to have the opportunity to work with Colby College and provide renewable energy solutions to a school that’s already demonstrating an exceptional commitment to sustainability,” notes Craig Cornelius, senior vice president and head of renewables at NRG Energy. “Colby represents one of many organizations and companies that are driving an evolution in America’s energy mix as they seek cleaner sources of power that provide more certainty over future energy costs.”