ge solar
GE Solar's CEO, Erik Schiemann, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony

The Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) system recently unveiled two new solar energy systems at Manchester Community College (MCC) in Hartford County, Conn.

A ribbon-cutting event was attended by Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy; representatives from GE Solar and the Connecticut Green Bank, CSCU’s partners for the project; and CSCU’s president, Mark Ojakian.

MCC’s systems, which began construction last fall, are the largest under CSCU’s statewide solar initiative; they will provide 45% of the college’s total electricity use and provide cost-savings of an estimated $220,000 per year. One project, located on the north side of campus, totals 1.37 MW, and the other, located on the east side, totals 1.31 MW.

“It was an honor to partner with CSCU and Manchester Community College to make this project a success,” says Erik Schiemann, CEO of GE Solar. “It’s a great example of how solar can provide savings for the state while supporting sustainability goals and helping stabilize the campus’ power supply.”

CSCU’s statewide solar energy initiative was funded entirely with private capital and will cover 8.5% of all CSCU annual electricity usage with an estimated $15 million in savings over 20 years. Eight other CSCU campuses will install solar energy systems: Asnuntuck Community College, Central Connecticut State University, Housatonic Community College, Middlesex Community College, Quinebaug Valley Community College, Southern Connecticut State University, Tunxis Community College and Western Connecticut State University.

“This is a great example of a successful public-private partnership that is not only cost-effective but makes the CSCU system more sustainable for the future,” Ojakian says. “Modernizing our campuses improves the overall student experience and our ability to work with local businesses.”

Bryan Garcia, president and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank, adds, “The Connecticut Green Bank is excited to join Manchester Community College, Connecticut State College and Universities, and our private capital partners to unveil this green energy system. This installation will reduce the burden of energy costs on our colleges and universities to ensure that our state’s limited resources are being put to better use educating the future leaders of Connecticut.”

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