Princeton’s Impressive New Solar Plans

princeton building Princetons Impressive New Solar Plans

Princeton University not only plans to be home to one of the largest solar installations onany U.S. college campus by 2012, but it also aims to create a successful renewable energy business model for other schools to follow.

The 5.3-megawatt solar system will be composed of 16,500 photovoltaic panels, which will be placed across 27 acres of university property. Princeton expects the solar farm to generate enough energy to power 5.5% of its energy needs, while also reducing energy costs by 8%.

The Ivy League school plans to finance the project through innovative means.  It will pay for the installation costs through financialincentives from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as well asby selling the Solar Renewable Energy Credits it will receive from thestate of New Jersey.  The state will issue one credit for every 1,000kilowatt-hours produced.  Princeton will then sell those credits to autility.

Shana Weber, the University’s sustainability manager, said the school is setting an example for other institutions across the country: "Insome ways what is more exciting than the solar panels themselves is thefinancial model that we worked out as an institution. The financialmodel actually has the more far reaching implications in terms of making this technology more accessible to nonprofit organizations."

Read the full story at the Daily Princetonian:  University plans solar panel field

Image credit: regexman via Flickr

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