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2 MW Solar Plant To Save Energy and Dollars at Cornell

The energy business arm of facilities services company ABM is installing a 2 megawatt solar array on Cornell University's Ithaca, NY, campus. The 6,500-plus-panel "Lansing" array will provide the university with fixed, low-cost energy rates over the life of the 30-year agreement, allowing Cornell to save money as utility costs are expected to rise in the coming years.

The system is expected to generate just over 2.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and save more than 730 metric tons of CO2 per year on average. Additionally, a section of the plant will be designated for academic use, allowing students to manipulate 10 solar panels and to access a Web-based dashboard with monitoring software for the array. The university plans to make real-time energy use data publicly available on the Web.

ABM will provide Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) and Operations & Maintenance (O&M) services; ABM joint venture partner Building Energy will finance and own the solar power plant in partnership with Distributed Sun, the company that developed the project for Cornell.

"We are pleased to partner with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Distributed Sun and ABM to launch Cornell's first large solar project," said Kyujung Whang, Cornell vice president for facilities services, in a press release. "This facility represents a significant step to advance Cornell's clean energy portfolio. The Lansing solar facility aligns with carbon reduction goals of Cornell, Tompkins County and New York State."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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