SUNY New Paltz has announced a partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to construct a state-of-the-art solar energy storage system on campus, a major step toward sustainably offsetting reliance on the electric grid.
The plan calls for the installation of 217 kilowatts of photovoltaic arrays on the roofs of the Elting Gymnasium and the Sojourner Truth Library, as well as a hybrid power converter and battery storage system that will enable the College to use stored solar power during emergencies and times of peak demand.
The storage system will be placed in the Elting Gymnasium basement, and a backup generator will be implemented to supply power in case of an outage at the gymnasium, which is the College’s designated emergency shelter.
This ground-breaking sustainability project is supported by more than $580,000 provided by the Power Authority, more than $270,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and $210,000 from Central Hudson Gas & Electric. Additional costs will be financed by NYPA and repaid by the College through the expected energy savings.
The plan to expand solar energy generation and storage at New Paltz is a component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s BuildSmart NY program, which aims to increase energy efficiency in public buildings in support of New York State’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent and ensuring that half of all energy used in the state comes from renewable sources by 2030.
“This project builds upon the College’s many ongoing and successful campus sustainability initiatives, including through solar-power generation,” said President Donald P. Christian. “We appreciate greatly both the Governor’s recognition of how SUNY New Paltz aligns well with BuildSmart NY, and the decision to award funds for additional solar panels and a battery storage system.”
NYPA is partnering with SUNY institutions across the state for energy efficiency upgrades that, when completed, are expected to save more than 21,000 megawatt hours of electricity and nearly 49,000 gallons of fuel per year, eliminating roughly 17,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.