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A rendering of solar photovoltaic array. (Courtesy of the New York Power Authority)
A rendering of solar photovoltaic array. (Courtesy of the New York Power Authority)

Working together for clean energy: SUNY Fredonia, NYPA, Oriden & Solar Liberty team for solar project

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Tue, Jul 7th 2020 10:50 am

1.4 megawatt solar array & 500 kilowatt battery to provide financial savings and support campus’ environmental sustainability

The State University of New York at Fredonia announced construction is starting on its first solar/battery project, enabling the Chautauqua County campus in Western New York to lead by example in reducing its carbon footprint with innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy technology. The New York Power Authority, as the campus’ energy adviser, is overseeing the project. Selected in a competitive bidding process, the state’s strategic partners Oriden, a Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems venture, and Solar Liberty are providing a turnkey installation for the solar-plus-storage solution, from concept to design, installation and financing.

The project supports the SUNY “Clean Energy Roadmap” – announced last year by SUNY in partnership with New York state’s energy agencies – to accelerate progress toward Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s goal to procure 70% of New York’s electricity from renewable energy by 2030, and to transition to a carbon-free power grid by 2040. Aligned with this “Roadmap” to move to clean energy at the SUNY system’s 64 campuses, SUNY Fredonia has partnered with NYPA, which will manage the project, to incorporate clean renewable energy resources on its campus.

Oriden and Solar Liberty will provide a customized 1.4 megawatt ground-mounted solar photovoltaic array integrated with a 500 kilowatt energy storage system to ensure energy is available during peak electric demand and emergencies. The solar-plus-storage solution will provide about 1.7 gigawatt hours of energy and offset an average 432,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.

“This project underscores Fredonia's commitment to environmental stewardship. The solar array will provide significant long-term financial savings, while also supporting the institutional goal of environmental sustainability as outlined in Fredonia's strategic plan,” said SUNY Fredonia Interim President Dennis Hefner.

Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA’s president and CEO, said, “SUNY continues to be a leader in the smart use of clean, renewable resources and NYPA is proud that our expertise as a clean energy adviser is providing a pivotal example for other universities and organizations across the state. With this project, SUNY Fredonia made a commitment to more efficient energy use and environmental responsibility. We are also pleased that the Oriden and Solar Liberty team proposed an integrated customized solar and energy storage solution that will optimize the broader electric power grid.”

The project – located on the north edge of campus between the New York State Thruway and the Blue Devil softball field – will be hosted by the campus, and SUNY Fredonia will purchase all energy produced through a power purchase agreement.

Solar Liberty, one of the largest solar electric installers in New York, will provide the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services as well as long-term maintenance. Oriden, a renewable energy developer, will support the development as well as provide project financing.

Nathan Rizzo, Solar Liberty’s vice president, said, “SUNY Fredonia is leading by example to its staff, student body, and broader community that clean renewable power generation and storage can be creatively incorporated at universities statewide. This project has great significance for me as a SUNY Fredonia alumnus. I am proud of the university’s commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability.”

“Oriden is pleased that NYPA and SUNY Fredonia recognized the high quality of our customized integrated solar photovoltaic and energy storage solution,” said Masahiro “Mas” Ogiso, Oriden’s president and CEO. “Our solution is consistent with the quality that Oriden’s parent Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems is known for. This project is also a positive recognition of our local strategic partnership with Solar Liberty. We look forward to many more projects like this to provide ‘Solutions for a Change in Power.’ ”

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