Bucknell University and Vermont’s Encore Renewable Energy debuted a 1.76 MW solar array this week that will support up to 7% of the university’s electricity. Bucknell has a goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.
“Bucknell has been actively seeking solar opportunities in an effort to achieve goals found in the University’s sustainability plan,” said Bucknell President John Bravman. “We are pleased to be partnering with Encore and Greenbacker on this project, which will be a model for other organizations of how mid-scale solar power can expand cost-effective renewable energy in Pennsylvania.”
In addition to achieving Bucknell’s sustainability goals, the project is a chance to enhance renewable energy-focused teaching on campus and also generate property tax revenues for East Buffalo Township. Bucknell now has a bit more price certainty on energy rates for the next several decades.
“Completing this solar array has been a long process, requiring the efforts of numerous people,” said Jim Knight, Bucknell project manager, and East Buffalo Township supervisor. “The clean, renewable energy it contributes to the grid will benefit both the University and the local community. It also provides a great opportunity for student education and research in this rapidly expanding field.”
The site has also been replanted with pollinator-friendly vegetation between the panels to attract bees, butterflies and other species critical to future food security.
“As a Bucknell University graduate, I am proud to see my alma mater advancing this important project. With the recent passage of the historic Inflation Reduction Act, the single largest climate bill in our nation’s history, the renewable industry is poised for exponential growth creating hundreds of thousands of jobs,” says Chad Farrell, Founder and CEO of Encore Renewable Energy. “This project is an example of how Bucknell is leading the way among academic institutions in both decarbonization as well as providing avenues for hands-on learning for students poised to enter the clean energy workforce.”
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