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U Massachusetts To Save $30 Million with Solar Energy

The University of Massachusetts (UMass) has partnered with two local municipalities and a renewable energy supplier to build a pair of solar projects that will save the school an estimated $1 million per year in energy costs.

The projects will include a 3-megawatt installation in Millbury and three sites totaling 14 MW in Warren. Most of the power generated will be sold to UMass as part of a power purchase agreement (PPA) between the university and the company building the installations, First Wind.

The power purchased from First Wind will be used at the UMass Lowell and Medical Center campuses, saving UMass approximately $30 million over the 30-year life of the PPA. The remainder of the energy will be purchased by the towns of Millbury and Orange, at an estimated annual savings of $110,000 and $85,000, respectively.

"The agreement is part of a larger UMass initiative to cut energy costs and reduce its carbon footprint," according to a news release, "and it also supports the Commonwealth’s ambitious solar energy goals."

Other UMass sustainability initiatives include a contract to buy 4,000 megawatts of renewable energy certificates annually for three years, the use of biodiesel, hybrid, and electric vehicles, and reduction of steam, water, and electricity consumprtion, among others.

For more information about the University of Massachusetts, visit massachusetts.edu.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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