As of interconnection March 2015, Houghton College’s solar energy solution is the largest solar installation ever completed on a New York higher education facility. The 2.6MW solar energy system covers approximately 11.4 acres of land adjacent to the college and generates enough electricity to power 290 homes annually.
The system was built without any capital costs to Houghton College. Instead, the owners (WGL Energy) benefit from a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Houghton. This PPA buys 100% of the energy generated at set rates, which will save the college $119,000 in the first year of operation, and $4.3 million over the PPA term.
Solar energy releases no greenhouse gases, produces no pollution, and has no negative health impacts. Houghton’s solar energy solution provides a tangible teaching tool of real-world solutions to environmental challenges that makes sense both economically and ecologically. As such, Houghton College benefits from being a leader in meeting today’s energy needs without contributing to the ecological problems associated with using fossil fuels.