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Cornell Installs 6,766 Solar Panels as Part of NY-Sun

July 16, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

Cornell solar arrayNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo this month announced the second of three rounds of large-scale solar energy projects across the state as part of his NY-Sun initiative. In this round, $54 million has been awarded for large-scale solar energy projects that will add 64 MW to the state’s solar capacity.

The awards go to 20 recipients to finance projects at 79 large-scale solar energy sites in 26 counties across the state. Installations will be located at businesses, factories, municipal buildings and colleges, including Cornell University.

The projects are meant to produce power for on-site use, not for direct sale to utilities. Under certain circumstances, however, unused power can be added to the grid in exchange for future utility credit.

The plans for Cornell University (pictured) call for Distributed Sun to install 6,766 solar photovoltaic panels on a 10-acre Cornell property site adjacent to the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport. Pending approval from the Town of Lansing and finalizing the developer agreement, the PV array will be Cornell’s first large-scale solar project and is expected to produce about 2.5 million kWh annually, or about 1 percent of Cornell’s total electricity use.

The array will also advance Cornell’s Climate Action Plan, targeted to eliminate campus greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 by replacing fossil-fuel energy with renewable sources.

Distributed Sun also is including 10 solar panels for Cornell’s academic use. This will include physical access to manipulate the 10 panels and access to the Web-based dashboard of the array’s monitoring software. It is planned that real-time energy data will be publicly available on the Web as well.

The $54 million from the state announced this month and awarded through a competitive program, leverages $120 million in private investment, resulting in roughly $174 million in infrastructure projects. The first round of recipients in the NY-Sun Competitive PV Program was announced in April. Proposals for the third round are due August 29.


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