Gosman Center will soon sport one of the largest solar panel arrays in Massachusetts
Announcement is part of university’s larger plan to become climate neutral by 2050
During a ‘Great Green Ideas’ event on Wednesday, Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz announced that the university will partner with Alteris Renewables to develop one of the largest solar arrays in Massachusetts. Alteris will provide the design, engineering and installation for this 277kW solar system. The announcement took place in the new Carl J. Shapiro Science Center, which was built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver standards. Reinharz also announced the university’s Climate Action Plan, which sets a long-term goal of making the campus climate neutral by 2050 and establishes shorter-term milestones, such as an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2015 to 15 percent below 2008 levels.
With record low prices for solar panels and the availability of unprecedented levels of state and federal funding, this is an ideal time for universities to go solar. Alteris worked with EOS Ventures, a renewable energy company focusing on wind and solar financing and development, to enable Brandeis to avoid the substantial upfront capital investment that solar entails through a third party arrangement called a power purchase agreement (PPA). PPAs are a contract to buy electricity, in this case from the EOS-owned solar panels on the Brandeis campus instead of from the electric utility. This contract is expected to save the university nearly as much as $1 million over the life of the system. In addition, this PPA will afford Brandeis protection against utility rate increases.
The proposed solar energy system will reduce world CO2 emissions by 11.6 million pounds over the course of 25 years, which is the equivalent to the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 727 homes for one year.
“We are proud of the Brandeis student body for the key role that they played in what will soon be one of the largest solar arrays in the state,” said President Reinharz while commenting on student involvement in researching solar funding options. “We chose Alteris because of their expertise in institutional installations. Their financial innovation and operational capacity made it possible for Brandeis to host a system of this size. We look forward to the educational benefit of these panels and to preparing students to be leaders in the new energy economy.”
“Brandeis is joining leading universities across the country that are committing to supporting clean and affordable renewable power sources,” said Ron French, president of Solar Business for Alteris Renewables. “We’re proud to be the solar installer of choice for Brandeis, one of the nation’s top tier universities, and to work with the campus’ broad coalition of faculty, staff and students in their efforts to realize climate neutrality and budget savings.”
About Alteris Renewables
Alteris Renewables is the largest design-build renewable energy company in the Northeast, with more than 2,250 completed installations across six states. Ranked as one of the top ten fastest growing energy companies in the Inc. 500, Alteris provides turn-key solar electric (photovoltaic or PV), solar thermal, and wind energy solutions for commercial, residential, education, government and institutional clients. The company has industry-leading expertise in engineering, design, project management, performance analysis, project financing and renewable energy credit programs. More information about the company can be found on the Alteris Web site.