Collegiate Begins Solar Panel Installation
Work began this week on the installation of solar panels on the roofs of the Saunders Center and maintenance building on Collegiate School’s Robins Campus. Later in the spring, panels will be installed on Sharp Academic Commons and Centennial Hall.
The addition of the panels are part of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) the School signed with Secure Futures Solar in November 2017. The agreement enables Collegiate to use solar energy and save energy costs while providing students with Project Based Learning opportunities.
“Collegiate School's embrace of solar as a sustainable source of energy is important as it aligns with our pillars of Responsible Citizenship,” said Scott Carson, Collegiate’s Director of Facilities Management. “It also provides a level of stability and predictability to one of our larger annual utility expenses.”
A PPA is a financial agreement in which a solar company arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on an agreed-upon property at no capital cost to the property owner. In this case, Secure Futures will own and operate the solar energy system installed on Collegiate’s two campuses and then sell the power generated to Collegiate at a fixed rate that is lower than the local utility’s retail rate.
Through the PPA, Secure Futures installed 257 solar panels for no upfront cost at four buildings: Sharp Academic Commons, Centennial Hall, Robins Saunders Center and the Robins maintenance building. The total output of the system is 90 kW. The breakdown by installation is as follows:
Academic Commons - 17.5 kW
Centennial Hall - 8.4 kW
Robins Saunders Center - 45.2 kW
Robins maintenance building - 18.9 kW
The four solar arrays will offset 1.5% of the School’s entire electrical usage. Broken down further, the two solar arrays on the Robins campus are expected to offset 9.2% of its power consumption, and the two solar arrays on the Mooreland Road campus will offset 0.5% of its power consumption.
“We have been trying to make solar happen here on Collegiate property in some way,” Mr. Carson said. “It’s been a long time coming and finally we’re here. It’s where we need to be.”