Proctor Academy Eliminates 120,000 lbs. of CO2 Annually With Solar, Resulting in “Triple Win”
Schools & Nonprofits | January 29, 2013 | Posted by Fred Greenhalgh
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Proctor Academy‘s environmental mission statement, drafted with help from students, is “to teach and practice sustainability throughout our school community” – and by practice this means heating with geothermal, biomass, and wood boilers. Roughly 25% of their wood is harvested on-site.
The school, located in Andover, New Hampshire, contacted ReVision Energy to investigate how we could help them harness their solar resource without a massive capital investment. We proposed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) by which the school pays no upfront cost for the system, but instead agrees to buy the clean solar electricity from the array at a discount compared to buying kWhs from the power company (more about PPAs here: https://www.revisionenergy.com/maine-nh-nonprofit-solar-power.php). With this structure in place, the project moved forward: 273 American-made Suniva solar panels went up on the roof of Proctor Academy’s Wilkins Meeting House in the weeks leading up to Christmas 2012.
John Ferris, Chief Financial and Operating Officer of Proctor Academy, explains that the solar “Is a triple win: it promotes educational goals, improves our financial situation, and promotes a better world and environment. We don’t have many opportunities to meet all three goals with a single project and so we were thrilled to make our first solar investment.”
A Student-Driven Commitment
Like their mission statement, Proctor’s exploration into solar started with their students. Students measured the south-facing rooftops of Proctor’s campus and identified solar opportunities. What the students found was that the roof of their Wilkins Meeting House was ideal for solar and would be able to hold a significant solar array.
“The students are very enthusiastic,” Ferris says, “We have a celebration planned next Thursday (Jan 17th) which includes a ‘cable cutting’ ceremony to symbolize our reduced reliance on fossil fuel electricity from the grid. There’s quite a lot planned and it’s all led by the students.”
Helping the educational mission will be real-time data supplied by the solar array. Solar production will be available using the inverter’s online monitoring feature (SolRenView) or at a large kiosk display located inside the Meeting House. The system is estimated to produce over 90,000 kWh each year, offsetting an estimated 121,000+ lbs of C02 emissions from fossil fuel power sources. Over 30 years the system is projected to save Proctor Academy over $250,000 in utility costs.
ReVision Energy was grateful for the opportunity to design and install a number of solar projects for educational institutions in 2012 through our new power purchase agreement (PPA) program: 26kw for Good Will-Hinckley, 37kw for Unity College, 170kw for Thomas College, and 71kw for Proctor Academy.