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Salem State Unveils Latest Solar Installation as Part of Earth Week Celebrations

Representatives from Salem State University, Solect Energy and PowerOptions gathered for rooftop tours and a ribbon cutting on April 11 as the university launched its newest solar installations.

Combined with six existing solar arrays on campus, the new arrays on Salem State’s Meier Hall and O’Keefe Complex bring the university’s solar capacity to about 1MW. Salem State expects to save approximately $1.3 million over the 20-year lifespan of the five most recent projects and avoid more than 154,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions through its solar installations.

“Expanding Salem State’s rooftop solar arrays is an important step toward our carbon neutrality goal,” said Karen House, vice president of finance and facilities. “These solar projects reduce our campus’s climate impact while also supporting our financial goals. We are proud to continue advancing our commitment to sustainability.” 

"It’s fantastic to attend a university dedicated to forms of renewable energy,” said Laura Swindell, a student majoring in geography and sustainability. “The rooftop solar panels across our campuses save money, and they prevent the production of thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions. I believe that the expansion of solar energy is a win-win situation for Salem State University, and its present and future students."

Salem State’s five newest solar arrays have been developed and installed by Solect Energy through the PowerOptions Solar & Storage Program. The pre-negotiated performance partnership agreement (PPA) allows the solar panels to be installed at no cost to the university and includes monitoring and maintenance throughout the 20-year term. The electricity generated by the arrays will be purchased and consumed by the university at a significantly discounted price versus electricity delivered through the region’s electrical power grid.

"We are proud to partner with Salem State University and PowerOptions on these solar installation projects, which will provide significant savings and emissions reductions for the university over the next two decades,” stated Alex Keally, SVP and GM of storage development  at Solect Energy. “This project is a testament to the university's commitment to sustainability and fiscal responsibility, and we are thrilled to be a part of it."

“Salem State provides an example of climate action leadership that other organizations can look to when planning for sustainability,” stated Heather Takle, CEO of PowerOptions. “The university has reduced carbon emissions while also reducing energy costs, and we are thrilled PowerOptions is part of their strategy.”

Sustainability and EH&S Coordinator Tara Gallagher
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