Construction of solar, battery project starts on New York college campus

SUNY Fredonia Rendering

Project rendering

The State University of New York at Fredonia (SUNY Fredonia) started construction on its first solar/battery project, enabling the Chautauqua County campus in Western New York to lead by example in reducing its carbon footprint with innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technology. The New York Power Authority (NYPA), as the campus’ energy advisor, is overseeing the project.

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Selected in a competitive bidding process, the state’s strategic partners Oriden, a Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems venture, and Solar Liberty are providing a turnkey installation for the solar-plus-storage solution, from concept to design, installation, and financing. In additiont to its EPC services, Solar Liberty, one of the largest solar electric installers in New York State, will also provide long-term maintenance. Oriden, a renewable energy developer, will support the development as well as provide project financing.

Oriden and Solar Liberty will provide a customized 1.4 megawatt ground-mounted solar photovoltaic array integrated with a 500 kilowatt energy storage system to ensure energy is available during peak electric demand and emergencies. The solar-plus-storage solution will provide about 1.7 gigawatt hours of energy and offset an average 432,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.

“This project underscores Fredonia’s commitment to environmental stewardship. The solar array will provide significant long-term financial savings, while also supporting the institutional goal of environmental sustainability as outlined in Fredonia’s strategic plan,” said SUNY Fredonia Interim President Dennis Hefner.”

The project supports the SUNY Clean Energy Roadmap — announced last year by SUNY in partnership with New York State’s energy agencies — to accelerate progress toward New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal to procure 70 percent of New York’s electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and to transition to a carbon-free power grid by 2040. Aligned with this Roadmap to move to clean energy at the SUNY system’s 64 campuses, SUNY Fredonia has partnered with NYPA, which will manage the project, to incorporate clean renewable energy resources on its campus.

The project — located on the north edge of campus between the New York State Thruway and the Blue Devil softball field — will be hosted by the campus, and SUNY Fredonia will purchase all energy produced through a power purchase agreement.

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