Harvard Graduates to Greener Energy System

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The first ever large rooftop solar power system is ready to run at Harvard University after a year of construction. It is expected to generate enough energy to power 83 homes per year and offset 367 metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. And like many consumers, the university sought out tax credits so the upgrade to reduce carbon would eventually pay for itself. What a smarty!

The system of T5 Solar Roof tiles was co-designed by SunPower of San Jose and installers CarbonFree Technology, and installed atop the century old Arsenal on the Charles complex in Watertown, Mass. which was once used as a military installation before Harvard acquired it nine years ago.

According to CNN, this is a unique system since it combines a high-efficiency SunPower solar panel, frame and mounting system into a single pre-engineered unit. The design tilts the panels at a five-degree angle allowing the system to double the energy generated per square meter compared to flat mounted systems typically seen on commercial rooftops.

The big undertaking was funded in part by a $1.1 million rebate offered by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, which is promoting grid-tied photovoltaic systems, such as this one owned by Crimson Solar, LLC – a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Services, Inc. Harvard will purchase the power and renewable energy certificates for 25 years at an agreed upon rate.

“We are delighted and honored to help Harvard deliver on its commitment towards achieving its meaningful environmental and energy goals,” said Joel Jansen, managing director of energy assets for Integrys Energy Services, Inc. “The leadership demonstrated by Harvard on this project should serve as a model, inspiring others to take an active role in protecting the environment and managing their energy.”

Image: PV Tech

Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.