William Paterson University to Install Largest Solar Energy Facility on a University Campus in U.S.

--Solar panels expected to save University $4.3 million in energy costs

William Paterson University will build a solar energy facility on the campus in Wayne that will be the largest solar facility at a university in the nation. It is expected to save millions of dollars in energy costs for the University.

Construction is scheduled to begin in February. The installation will be capable of supplying 3.5 megawatts of clean, low-cost energy. The first 3-megawatt phase is to be completed during 2010; the second 500-kilowatt phase is scheduled to go online in 2011.

“This will be a landmark project for the University,” says Stephen Bolyai, vice president for administration and finance at William Paterson. “The project will reduce our energy costs and carbon footprint, and students will be able to see the University’s commitment to a major alternative energy project, and what the University is doing to save energy costs.”

The institution has made a strong commitment to energy conservation and recently received a $1.2 million federal grant to upgrade the controls for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems on campus. As of June 2007, the University is a charter signatory in the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), a national initiative with a goal of carbon neutrality at member institutions. The University is also certified under the NJDEP Environmental Stewardship program, became an EPA Waste Wise Partner, and was recognized by the New Jersey Higher Ed Partnership for sustainability with an Energy and Climate Action Award for meritorious achievement.

Other recent energy savings commitments at the University include replacing some gas-powered vehicles on campus with electric cars; recycling paper, plastic, and other materials; and installing occupancy sensors to control lights in buildings.

Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC, a leading independent solar power producer, will finance, own, and operate the facility under a 15-year power purchase agreement. The University will buy the solar power at a reduced rate with no upfront costs. The new solar power system is designed to reduce the University’s energy costs by $4.3 million over the term of the agreement.

The project, designed by SunDurance Energy, a New Jersey-based solar power system installer, will include arrays covering some parking areas and photovoltaic cells on the roofs of some of the University’s buildings.

Elevated solar arrays will be located in Lot 1, Lot 6, a portion of Lot 5, the Power Art Center parking lot, and the extended parking lot at 1600 Valley Road. Solar panels will be located on the Power Art Center, the upper roof of the Recreation Center, Wayne Hall, and the University Commons Ballroom.

To keep the campus informed about the University’ s energy savings, a kiosk, to be located in the Science Building, will constantly display the amount of energy produced by the solar panels, and the concurrent savings accrued in real time.

William Paterson University is one of the nine state colleges and universities in New Jersey. It offers 43 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs through five colleges: Arts and Communication, Cotsakos College of Business, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Science and Health. Located on 370 hilltop acres in Wayne, the University enrolls approximately 11,000 students and provides housing for nearly 2,300 students.

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