NORTH EASTON, MA –January 6, 2014 – Stonehill College, a private, four-year liberal arts college located in southeastern Massachusetts, is deploying one of the largest solar installations on a college campus in New England: a 2.7 megawatt (MW) pole-mounted solar array that will cover 20 percent of the college’s electricity use. The solar array – phase 1 of a plan that will ultimately include rooftop installations across campus and other potential projects – is being completed in partnership with project developer Solect Energy Development of Hopkinton, MA, Stonehill's energy consultant Power Management Company New England, LLC, and financing partner Marina Energy LLC, a subsidiary of South Jersey Industries.
The solar array – which encompasses 15 acres on the Davis Ames Clock Farm land adjacent to the campus – is a major part of the college’s “Stonehill Goes Green” sustainability initiatives. These include single-stream recycling, composting, retrofitting buildings with motion sensors and energy-efficient lighting, water conservation efforts, and Freshmen Green Kits that encourage incoming students to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.
“The solar field is an extension of Stonehill’s Catholic commitment to care for creation and sustainability. It gives further indication of our commitment, on every level, to preserving the resources that are in our care for future generations,” said Rev. James Lies, C.S.C., Stonehill’s vice president for mission.
Stonehill was able to take on such a large-scale project by entering a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Marina Energy LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of South Jersey Industries that develops, owns and operates on-site energy projects. As part of the PPA, Marina leases the 15-acre property from Stonehill, but owns the solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Marina is able to benefit from federal tax incentives equating to 30 percent of the project cost, and from the sale of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) based on the volume of electricity the solar array produces. Marina will sell 100 percent of the power from the array to the school at a reduced rate. This “behind the meter” usage is expected to help the college save an estimated $3.2 million in electricity costs over the course of the 15-year agreement.
“As we await the implementation of SREC II regulations, we are very excited to begin this project with Stonehill College,” said Steve Poniatowicz, senior vice president & chief operating officer of Marina Energy. “We have twice participated in the Massachusetts SREC I program with great success and regard the state as a forward-thinking leader in the renewable energy movement. The attributes shared with New Jersey’s solar program leaves us confident in this partnership of financial savings, improved efficiency, and increased green sector jobs.”
“It has been a pleasure working with Stonehill, Power Management and Marina Energy on a project of this magnitude,” said Scott Howe, Partner at Solect Energy Development. “Stonehill is establishing itself as a shining example of how a college can reap the benefits of making a huge commitment to sustainability by using renewable solar energy to power its campus.”
To learn more about the Stonehill College Solar Field, visit www.stonehill.edu/solar.
About Solect Energy Development, LLC
Solect is a full-service solar photovoltaic (PV) project developer based in Massachusetts, delivering smart solar solutions to help businesses and organizations reduce energy costs. As an industry leader in commercial solar energy, Solect takes a practical approach to the development, installation and on-going support of each system. Solect partners closely with its customers, providing strong financial insight and solar technology expertise to optimize their investment while creating a positive impact on the environment. The company currently has 10 MW (megawatts) of systems completed and under development, with a primary focus on New England-based commercial, light industrial, and institutional property owners. Visit www.solect.com for more information.
Stonehill is a selective Catholic college located near Boston on a beautiful 384-acre campus in Easton, Massachusetts. With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, the College engages over 2,500 students in 80+ rigorous academic programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and pre-professional fields. The Stonehill community helps students to develop the knowledge, skills, and character to meet their professional goals and to live lives of purpose and integrity.
About Marina Energy
Marina is a wholly owned subsidiary of South Jersey Industries that develops, owns and operates on-site energy projects that include district heating and cooling, combined heat and power, solar and landfill gas-to-electric. Marina, currently expanding into the Massachusetts solar market, has gained significant project experience through partnering with higher education institutions within the state of New Jersey. The company’s relationships with The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Atlantic Cape Community College, and Montclair State University have been essential to its endeavors. Marina is looking forward to expanding this relationship with similar customers in Massachusetts.