Going solar: The University gets on board

Kaya Schuster, Contributing Writer

Joining other educational institutions across the nation with an effort to be more environmentally sustainable, the University will be installing an on-campus solar array just past the West Athletic Field and Art Barn, near the 12th fairway of the University Golf Club. The University has joined forces with Encore Renewable Energy of Burlington, Vt., whose CEO and founder is Chad Farrell ’92. “As an alumnus, I am personally thrilled to see my alma mater advancing this important project,” Farrell shared. Encore is providing comprehensive project development and financing for the undertaking.

Not only does the installment of solar energy serve as a major stride toward clean, renewable energy on campus, but it offers new opportunities for students to learn about solar applications and participate in research projects. It will also allocate savings for both East Buffalo Township and ultimately the University as well.

Director of Campus Sustainability Victor Udo points out that “Bucknell has been actively seeking opportunities to increase its use of renewable energy and reduce its dependency on carbon-producing sources….For more than two years now, the University has explored the installation of a solar array as a source of sustainable energy that can benefit both the University and the community.” Approved by the East Buffalo Township Board of Supervisors on Monday, April 12, the project is finally set to proceed.

The location of the installment allows for substantial sun exposure and will not intrude on residential areas. South-facing panels no higher than nine feet will be part of a seven-acre development surrounded by an agricultural fence for safety purposes. To further contribute to sustainability, the site will contain sufficient vegetation to invite bees and other pollinators.

Additionally, the initiative aligns thoroughly with the University’s Strategic Plan which commits to producing a sustainable future through the responsible stewardship of the University’s financial, natural, human and other resources.

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