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Houghton College Moving to Solar for More Than Half Its Energy Requirements

Houghton College, a small, Christian liberal arts college with about 1,000 students, is installing a 2.5 megawatt solar array on its campus in Western New York. The college broke ground on the project Wednesday.

The installation will provide more than half of the college's electricity needs and is expected to save 46 percent on total energy costs.

"By hosting one of the largest solar projects on any college campus in New York state, Houghton College is not only demonstrating its support for forward-thinking innovation and technology, but also a commitment to long-term environmental sustainability," said Brian Webb, sustainability coordinator for Houghton College, in a prepared statement. "This solar facility will allow us to replace fossil fuel-generated electricity with clean, renewable energy straight from the sun. This translates into cleaner air and water, fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and a healthier climate for future generations."

Borrego Solar Systems has designed the system and will be handling installation. General Energy Solutions is financing the system through a power purchase agreement. There were no upfront costs to the college.

According to the vendors: "The system will generate an estimated 2.9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in its first year of operation — enough electricity to power 370 homes annually — and allow the college to realize a first-year 23 percent greenhouse gas reduction and save up to $3 million over a 25-year PPA contract period."

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .

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