Skidmore going solar

Skidmore College’s 2.6-MW Solar Array Now Completed and Generating Power

Greenfield Center>> Skidmore College, Rep. Paul Tonko, representatives of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc. celebrated today the completion of a photovoltaic solar array that will annually generate 2.6 million kilowatt hours of electricity. That’s enough to meet 12 percent of Skidmore’s needs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking 412 cars off the road each year.

A year in development, the facility is one of the largest solar arrays in New York State. It consists of 6,950 ground-mounted solar panels spanning eight acres of land owned by Skidmore College and located in the Town of Greenfield about a mile from the Skidmore campus.

At an Oct. 7 ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Congressman Tonko, state and local officials, members of the Skidmore College community, and representatives of NYSERDA and Washington Gas Energy Systems, Skidmore President Philip A. Glotzbach called the array “the next step forward in Skidmore’s development of renewable energy initiatives.”

The project was supported by $2.3 million from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative administered by NYSERDA. NY-Sun is a $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move the state closer to a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. To develop the project, Skidmore contracted with Dynamic Energy of Wayne, Pa., a renewable-energy consulting firm. Washington Gas Energy Systems operates the array.
“This installation responds to the pressing need for environmentally responsible, cost-effective energy for our campus operations, and it exemplifies our strategic commitment to sustainability,” Glotzbach said. “We are grateful for the support provided by Gov. Cuomo’s NY-Sun Initiative, without which this project would not have been possible.”

Said Congressman Tonko, “For decades, the Capital Region has embraced new technologies, and it is that commitment to forward thinking that has positioned our communities well on a national and global scale. Today, Skidmore continues its proud tradition of innovative leadership by completing this project, greening our environment, and cutting energy costs. I thank President Glotzbach and his team on campus for their dedication to ‘walking the walk’ on clean energy.”

“Congratulations to Skidmore College for incorporating clean, renewable solar energy into its sustainability plan to help reduce the college’s carbon footprint, said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “This project highlights how Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative is accelerating the growth of solar capacity, while taking pressure off the electric grid and helping make New York State’s energy systems cleaner and more resilient, reliable and affordable.”

Sanjiv Mahan, chief operating officer of Washington Gas Energy Systems, said, “Working with Skidmore College is part of a strategic expansion into New York, and we anticipate that this project will be the first of many future solar and distributed generation projects in the state. We are committed to working with educational institutions, municipalities and other organizations across the country to lessen their carbon footprints while stabilizing energy costs.”
“The Dynamic Energy team congratulates Skidmore College on hosting this solar system,” said Michael Perillo, CEO of Dynamic Energy. “The college’s support of renewable energy reflects a true dedication to the students, faculty and staff of Skidmore, as well as their community. We are proud to partner with Skidmore, NYSERDA and Washington Gas Energy Systems on this exceptional solar project.”

Skidmore has made major investments in sustainable energy. In addition to solar, geothermal now accounts for about 40 percent of Skidmore’s total heating and cooling need, the result of a decade-long effort to take advantage of its favorable underlying geology.

Announced by Gov. Cuomo in his 2012 State of the State Address, NY-Sun deploys public funds in a strategic manner to drive industry to scale and reduce burdens on ratepayers. Since the program’s inception, New York State has had unprecedented growth in solar installations, with a total of 316 megawatts of solar photovoltaic installed or under contract – more than was installed in the entire prior decade.

Washington Gas Energy Systems now owns and operates 45 projects in 11 states across the country, totaling approximately 54 megawatts.

About Skidmore College:  Founded in 1903 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Skidmore is a highly selective, independent, liberal arts college with an enrollment of about 2,400 men and women. The college grants bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in nearly 50 areas, as well as the master of arts in liberal studies. Skidmore draws thousands of visitors to campus each year for a wide array of cultural and athletic events, and its students, faculty, and staff play active roles as volunteers with more than 40 nonprofit organizations in the region.

About NYSERDA: NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.  NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit http://nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram.
About Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc.:
Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc., an affiliate of Washington Gas Light Company and a subsidiary of WGL Holdings (NYSE: WGL), design-builds and owns custom energy solutions that deliver financial, operational and carbon reduction results for non-residential customers across the United States. Washington Gas Energy Systems is focused on federal energy efficiency projects and commercial distributed generation assets including solar. For more information on how Washington Gas Energy Systems can make solar power a reality for you, call 703-333-3900. For further information about Washington Gas Energy Systems, please visit www.wgesystems.com

About Dynamic Energy:
Dynamic Energy is a turnkey energy solutions provider that develops, finances, engineers, constructs and operates projects for corporate, industrial and institutional customers. Dynamic builds energy projects that reduce customer expenses, improve operating efficiency, provide an attractive return on investment and achieve sustainability goals. For more information please visit www.dynamicenergyusa.com or call 1-877-809-8884.


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