A ribbon-cutting event was held at Middlesex Community College in celebration of the completed installation of their new ground mounted solar system totaling 344 solar panels. The event was attended by Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State College and Universities system (CSCU), and representatives from the college, CSCU central office, Sunlight Solar Energy, and Middletown officials.
Installed by Sunlight Solar Energy, Inc., the 120.4kW power system was energized on Thursday, November 8. “The system’s total annual production is 164,100 kilowatt hours and is estimated to offset 42 tons of CO2 emissions—that’s the equivalent of driving over 100,000 fewer miles in your car, or carbon sequestered by 49.5 acres of US forests in one year,” explained Brendan Smith, design manager at Sunlight Solar Energy.
The solar panel installation is part of Middlesex Community College’s Climate Action Plan, implemented in 2015. MXCC initiated this project in collaboration with Sunlight Solar Energy, Inc. and the Connecticut Green Bank under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Under this finance model, MXCC pays $0 upfront for the system and purchases only the power generated. The cost of solar power is less than the cost of power from a utility company, and is at a fixed rate for 20 years, ensuring an increase in savings as the cost of Connecticut grid power increases over time.
“This project is a great example of how a public and private partnership can work. Bigger and better things can happen when you work together for a common goal,” said President Ojakian. “And every dollar saved at a college can go to students in other areas, as students are my priority.”
Not only does this project save money for Middlesex Community College—it will prevent many tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere and contributing to climate change. This is just one of many initiatives the college is currently implementing; other initiatives include investigating on-campus composting options and assisting in community environmental events.
Quotes courtesy of MxCC.