When students returned this fall to the campus of Bristol Community College they were met with a dazzling sight—New England’s largest solar parking canopy. The 3.2 megawatt solar array, which can produce enough power to meet half of the campus’ energy needs, covers 800 parking spaces on the Fall River, Massachusetts campus. Over the next twenty years, the solar canopy will save Bristol Community College more than $1.75 million in energy costs, and will reduce the college’s carbon emissions by more than 1,500 tons per year.
“This is an extraordinarily important renewable energy project,” said Kevin Sullivan, PE, LEED AP, vice president of Fuss & O’Neill Inc., the project’s designers. “Not only will the solar canopy promote sustainability on campus, but it will save Bristol Community College tens of thousands of dollars a year in energy costs. Bristol Community College’s solar canopy project is a great example of how universities, community colleges, and other institutions can save millions of dollars by promoting sustainability.”
Massachusetts institutes of higher learning are embracing renewable energy. Solar canopies have also been installed at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Fuss & O’Neill is also currently designing a ground-based solar array for Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.