The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Ithaca College have announced that construction is under way on a 2.9 MW solar project. The state-funded project will provide enough electricity to meet approximately 10% of the college’s energy needs, lower its energy costs and reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions.
The Ithaca College project, which is slated for completion by summer, will feature more than 9,000 Canadian Solar panels on 15 acres of land in Seneca, N.Y., approximately 40 miles from campus.
“This is a significant milestone in the history of Ithaca College and in our commitment to sustainability,” says Tom Rochon, president of the college. “We are proud to be making this tremendous leap forward in environmental stewardship on behalf of our students, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as the wider community in which we all live.”
Borrego Solar Systems is building the project, and Greenwood Energy is providing project financing and will own and operate the array after completion. The project will be financed through a power purchase agreement, which covers all up-front costs and maintenance, whereby the college buys the clean energy produced from the system owner at a set price over the 25-year term of the agreement through virtual net metering.
Project co-developer OneEnergy Renewables secured a $1.6 million grant through Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s $1 billion NY-Sun initiative, which is designed to build a self-sustaining solar industry in New York and help achieve strategic energy goals. NYSERDA says the grant is critical to the project’s financial viability and will fund roughly 25% of the total cost to develop and build the project.