Scrolling Headlines:

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

UMass solar energy initiative to install new solar panels and provide electrical power at discounted rates

(Daily Collegian Archives)

(Daily Collegian Archives)

A solar energy initiative by the University of Massachusetts will have 15,576 solar panels newly installed to provide electrical power by the end of 2016. This initiative aims to save electricity costs for the University by $6.2 million in a span of 20 years.

There will be eight total solar panel installations, with six of them placed on rooftops and the other two placed above parking lots. The rooftops are those of the Recreation Center, John Francis Kennedy Champions Center, Fine Arts Center, Fleet Garage (bus maintenance garage), UMass Police station and the computer science department buildings. The two parking lots receiving the new panels are lots 25 and 45, and are expected to occupy 11.6 acres of space.

The total amount of electricity generated by these panels per year is roughly equal to the amount of energy used by 900 Massachusetts homes per year.

“The cost of the solar power is constant, thus the savings is greater during hours of peak demand,” said Larry Rivais, an associate editor for the UMass News and Relations office. “Photovoltaic units on campus will significantly reduce peak charges by as much as 50 percent per month,” he added, using a more technical term for these types of solar panels.

The electrical power produced by the panels is expected to bring greater savings at the peak of electricity demand, during the mid-day when solar panels absorb the greatest amount of energy from the sun. At this peak, electricity rates normally rise, discouraging customers from using more electricity.

The university is expecting to save $89,000 in electricity for the first year, and on average the savings are also expected to grow to $310,000 per year. For now, these panels are expected to provide 22 percent of the total energy for the University’s needs, while the other 78 percent will still come from the Central Heating Plant (CHP) on campus.

The university has partnered with a national energy company, Brightergy of Charlestown, Massachusetts, and partnered with Sol Systems to lead the construction and engineering of the panels. ConEdison Solutions is another company  arranging the financing, maintenance and ownership of panel installation. The electricity from this $16 million project will be bought by the university from ConEdison Solutions for usage on campus.

An organizer from Divest UMass, an active organization that successfully advocated for the UMass Foundation to divest from fossil fuels in the spring, welcomed the initiative.

“We are happy that UMass is investing in more renewable and sustainable energy solutions—not just because they are cleaner for the environment, but this investment further weakens the fiscal support of the destructive and exploitative fossil fuel industry,” said Mica Reel, a spokesperson for Divest UMass. “Renewable energy is a small step in the right direction and we will continue to push UMass to invest in policies, systems and projects that push for justice for the Commonwealth and beyond.”

As part of UMass Amherst’s continual commitment to creating a green and sustainable campus environment relying on renewable energy, it hopes to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Tanaya M. Asnani can be reached at tasnani@umass.edu.

Comments
One Response to “UMass solar energy initiative to install new solar panels and provide electrical power at discounted rates”
  1. Rob says:

    So they’re spending $16 million to save $6 million?

Leave A Comment