EASTON, Mass, June 1, 2017 – Stonehill College has partnered with Solect Energy – the leading commercial-scale installer of solar energy systems based in Hopkinton, Massachusetts – and SunPower – a global leader in solar innovation based in Silicon Valley – to install a 2.8-megawatt (MW) solar canopy system featuring high-efficiency SunPower solar panels. This new project brings the College closer to its goal of operating more.
Construction of the solar project began in October 2016 and is now substantially complete. The canopies cover a vast majority of the largest parking lot on Stonehill's campus, offsetting the school’s energy needs while also providing shade to vehicles underneath.
In keeping with the values of Catholic teaching to be good stewards of the planet, Stonehill leads by example, promoting environmentalism and sustainability on campus; the installation of this solar canopy project is one of many such initiatives.
“Solar allows Stonehill to set an example for our students, faculty, and staff by prioritizing sustainability and stewardship of the planet and its resources,” said Michael Shulansky, Associate Director of Communications and Media Relations at Stonehill College.
“Furthermore, our solar installations enhance our commitment to energy efficiency, and provide increased visibility of the College to environmentally conscious students, parents, and communities,” he added.
Financed with a power purchase agreement (PPA) arranged by SunPower, the solar canopies allow Stonehill to experience predictability in energy costs throughout the 20-year lifespan of the agreement while also reducing the school’s reliance on carbon-based fuels.
“It is wonderful to be a part of Stonehill’s continuous journey in sustainability,” said Scott Howe partner and Senior Vice President of Sales at Solect Energy. “With the addition of this solar canopy project, the College now has a grand total of six megawatts of solar installed on campus – and they are able to reinvest savings earned from the solar systems into areas of need such as student scholarships, maintenance, and campus upkeep.”
Stonehill already has a solar farm consisting of 9,152 panels generating approximately 3.24 million kilowatt hours (kWh), or 20 percent of its annual electrical usage. That existing solar field, which opened in 2014, is estimated to save the College $3.2 million over 15 years. The new solar canopies will increase the total solar energy production to over 40 percent of the campus’ annual electrical usage while offering additional savings and a long-term hedge against rising energy costs. This project further reinforces Stonehill’s commitment to sustainability through green renewable energy and demonstrates leadership within the academic community.
“This solar project is very much part of a larger development at the College and should be seen as a reflection of our deep commitment to promoting environmental sustainability within our community,” added Shulansky.
About Stonehill College
Stonehill College is a four-year, Catholic liberal arts college located in Easton, Massachusetts, founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1948. The College is primarily residential, with 2400 students who live and learn on Stonehill’s beautiful 384-acre campus. Through its curriculum of liberal arts, sciences, and pre-professional programs, the College provides an education of the highest caliber that fosters critical thinking, free inquiry and the interchange of ideas. Stonehill educates the whole person so that each of our graduates thinks, acts, and leads with courage toward the creation of a more just and compassionate world. For more information, visit http://www.stonehill.edu or follow us on Twitter at @stonehill_info.
About Solect Energy
Solect is a full-service solar photovoltaic (PV) project developer and installer based in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, delivering smart solar and energy management solutions to help businesses and organizations reduce energy costs. As an industry leader in commercial-scale solar energy, Solect takes a practical approach to the development, installation and on-going support of each system. We partner closely with our customers, providing strong financial insight and solar technology expertise to optimize their investment while creating a positive impact on the environment. Solect currently has installed over 57 MW (megawatts) of commercial PV systems, with a primary focus on commercial, light industrial and institutional properties in New England. For more information, visit http://www.solect.com or follow us on Twitter at @SolectSolar.
As one of the world’s most innovative and sustainable energy companies, SunPower (NASDAQ:SPWR) provides a diverse group of customers with complete solar solutions and services. Residential customers, businesses, governments, schools and utilities around the globe rely on SunPower’s more than 30 years of proven experience. From the first flip of the switch, SunPower delivers maximum value and superb performance throughout the long life of every solar system. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, SunPower has dedicated, customer-focused employees in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. For more information about how SunPower is changing the way our world is powered, visit www.sunpower.com.