Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  June 26, 2019

Tufts University installs two rooftop solar arrays

Tufts University announced June 26 plans to install two rooftop solar power systems on its Medford/Somerville campus, expected to generate 161,000 kWh and save the university $187,000 over the next 20 years.

The Massachusetts university signed a power purchase agreement for the project with solar developer Solect Energy, according to a news release

The project includes the installation of 216 solar panels on the roof of a residence hall, expected to generate approximately 100,000 kWh of electricity per year, and a 136-panel array on the roof of the Science and Engineering Complex, expected to generate about 61,000 kWh per year.

The project is also being completed in collaboration with PowerOptions, an energy-buying consortium for public entities and not for profits.

"While Solect retains the renewable energy credits (RECS) associated with the solar production, Tufts maintains its commitment to making sustainability a university priority by contributing to the decarbonization of the New England electrical grid, which helps reduce our carbon footprint,” Barbara Stein, vice president of operations at Tufts, said in a statement. “Solect Energy, in turn, will sell the RECs to the utility, National Grid, helping it meet its requirements under the Massachusetts renewable energy portfolio standard.”

Following the completion of the project, Tufts University now has six solar arrays across its various campuses.

Going forward, the university plans to further its sustainability commitment. Tufts is currently planning to continue working with Solect to install two more systems, including a much larger project of 340 kilowatts on Gantcher Family Sports and Convocation Center. In addition to the solar energy systems, Tufts plans to install an energy storage system to increase resilience and further lower costs.  

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