See New England’s largest (3.2-MW) solar parking canopy to date

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and leaders from Bristol Community College (BCC) and its partners unveiled New England’s largest solar parking canopy to date, a 3.2-MW solar array covering 800 parking spaces on five acres of the College’s Fall River Campus. Check out a cool bird’s eye view below:

Built in partnership with the nonprofit energy-buying consortium PowerOptions and its solar partner SunEdison, the solar array will generate more than 34 million kWh of energy each year, enough to cover half of the campus’ electricity needs and generate a 20-year savings of more than $1.75 million. The solar parking canopy avoids the emission of more than 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide each year, which is the same as removing approximately 5,000 cars from the road.

“Clean energy technology in Massachusetts is thriving, spurred by the Commonwealth’s innovative spirit, vibrant technology industry, strong public-private partnerships and world class academic institutions,” Baker said. “Initiatives like the solar canopy at Bristol Community College leverage opportunities at state facilities, and position the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while protecting the environment and moving towards our administration’s solar goal of generating 1,600 megawatts at homes, businesses, municipalities, and state agencies by 2020.”

The solar canopy will supply power for the entire Fall River Campus and is slated to be a major part of the Zero Net Energy plans for the John J. Sbrega Health and Science Building which is currently under construction.

The canopy is the latest realization of the PowerOptions Solar Program, unveiled in 2012, which helps nonprofits, government institutions, and municipalities enjoy the clean, cost-effective, and sustainable energy benefits of solar power.

“A solar parking canopy system of this size and scale is the perfect fit for Bristol Community College’s renewable energy needs,” said Steve Raeder, SunEdison managing director of commercial and industrial for the Eastern U.S. “Colleges, municipalities and other facilities with large parking areas can also benefit from the innovative SunEdison solar parking canopy system, which provides shade and shelter in addition to generating cost effective, clean solar energy. With solar projects like this, made possible by the governor’s forethought and effective renewable energy policies, the Commonwealth is well on its way to reaching its renewable energy goals.”

The college has signed a power purchase agreement with SunEdison to buy the power from the solar canopy for a guaranteed price over the next 20 years. Operation and maintenance of the solar canopy system will be performed by SunEdison Services, which provides global 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services.

TerraForm Power, an owner and operator of clean energy power plants, has acquired the solar project from SunEdison. This project was on the Call Right Projects List.


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