Financier Greenwood Energy and installer Borrego Solar Systems on Dec. 22 announced the completion of a 2.9-MW remote-net-metered solar array for Ithaca College in New York.
Borrego Solar co-developed, designed and built the array while Greenwood Energy will own and operate it. The solar farm will generate an estimated 3.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in its first year, which will provide roughly 10% of the campus’ electricity needs.
“I offer my thanks to our public and private partners for helping us make this project a reality,” said Ithaca College President Tom Rochon. “Its conception, commencement and completion serves as testament to the commitment Ithaca College has made to sustainability not just in theory, but in action.”
Located approximately 40 miles from campus on 15 acres of land in the Ontario County, in the Town of Seneca, the solar array is one of the largest for a higher education institution in New York State. The project is financed through a Power Purchase Agreement, which covered all upfront costs and allows the college to purchase the solar energy produced from the owner, Greenwood Energy, at a set price over the 25-year term of the agreement through remote net energy metering (RNEM). Ithaca’s project is the recipient of a $1.6 million New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) grant.
“Greenwood Energy is proud of making this private-public partnership a reality. An exciting outcome thanks to a concerted effort of multiple parties from policy all the way to project construction. We can only hope for more,” said Camilo Patrignani, Greenwood Energy CEO.
“By enacting virtual net metering two years ago, New York regulators opened up solar to entities across New York that didn’t have land available on-site to make it a reality,” said Rob Garrity, Borrego Solar project developer. “The program also launched the growth of a thriving solar market that continues to receive support and attention from the Governor’s office.”
The primary purpose of the array is to help reduce the college’s reliance on fossil fuels, and to move forward on its Climate Action Plan that was adopted in 2009. That plan called for the college to attain carbon neutrality by the year 2050.