A broader college education is available these days, as buildings like Middlesex Community College expand the use of #solar #energy in their upgrades. A ribbon-cutting event on November 8th presented a complete solar energy system expected to provide an incredible reduction in the school’s use of utility-generated power.
With president and representative of the Connecticut State College and Universities system in attendance, as well as representatives from Sunlight Solar Energy and officials of the city of Middletown, there was much to be appreciated in this presentation of the benefits of solar power. Considering the fact that the college’s utility power requirements will drop significantly while also cutting the campus’s annual electricity consumption by over eight percent. Overall savings on campus utility costs are expected to be about $11,000 per year during the next 20 years, with the potential for even more savings in the long run.
Solar Goal of the Colleges and Community Together
Incredibly enough, there is a combined goal for the school and the community to bring renewable energy such as solar to the table. With the college able to save such a great amount, there will also be savings for the students in the long run as well. With the college working for the benefit of its students in the long run, hopefully the students will also work for the benefit of the community in the future.
The solar power will come from a ground-mounted system, with construction already started on the Middlesex Community College campus earlier this year. Located behind Founders Hall, the system will contain 355 solar panels. Contracted for installation was Sunlight Solar Energy of New Haven, with recent press releases stating the 120.4kW DC system already energized the first week of November.
The solar energy system is predicted at over 164,000-kilowatt hours, while also reducing the campus carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 42 tons. These reductions are equal to 100,000 fewer miles driven by car, or the amount of carbon isolated by 49.5 acres of our national forests annually.
Various Action that Solar Energy Provides for the School
A few years ago, the previous Middlesex Community College president originated an effort for sustainable energy with the college first climate action plan. This plan inspired Connecticut’s first statewide solar energy project. From then the college opened 12 purchase agreements intended to buy completely green, solar energy at a fixed cost. The fixed cost was also provided at a discounted rate for all nine community colleges in the CSCU system.
Connecticut Green Bank and Onyx Renewables have also partnered with CSCU and Middlesex Community College for this project. Benefits include nothing paid by the college upfront for the system, with the only purchase being for the electricity generated. Because the cost of solar power is lower than utility-generated energy and provided at a fixed rate for the next 20 years, it will definitely provide incredible savings while the rest of the Connecticut power grid increases in cost over time.
Faculty and staff at Middlesex Community College are extremely energetic about the launch of this solar energy system. It is anticipated to be a benefit to the science department while serving as an educational tool for students to learn about solar power. Several students were in attendance at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, already presenting the positive attitude of the entire college regarding the benefit of the system in so many ways. They have already stated their appreciation for what science professors have been taught from water pollution to renewable energy, and the solar panels in this system will provide an on-site educational resource.