The new solar plant will likely provide Bucknell with nearly 10% of the university’s

LEWISBURG, Pennsylvania — More than a decade of work has borne fruit on Thursday in the form of a new solar field on the Bucknell campus that will power nearly 10 percent of the university’s electricity.

Bucknell began preliminary discussions for a large-scale solar energy project in 2009.

Left to right: Bucknell’s Director of Sustainability, Victor Udo. John Brabman, President Bucknell. and Chad Farrell, ’92 Bucknellweight, CEO of Encore Renewable Energy.

According to Bucknell’s John Bravman Chancellor, the solar field will provide 1.76 megawatts of electricity, or 7% of the university’s total electricity usage.

According to the project vendor, Encore Renewable Energy, the solar array has an expected lifetime of 30 years.

The position of the solar array is intended to provide prime exposure to the sun, featuring south-facing panels angled between 25 and 35 degrees with a maximum height of 9 feet.

This solar array is part of Bucknell’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2030. University Sustainability PlanOther ways Bucknell is working toward its carbon-neutral goals are its ongoing transition to more sustainable LED lighting on campus and its Bison Bike program, which lends bikes to students for free. .

The campus also has parking spaces for “low-emission vehicles” and two electric vehicle charging stations, including one two-port ChargePoint station and one dedicated to Tesla, which are open to the public.

As part of the project, “pollinator-friendly” vegetation was planted between the panels to encourage bees and butterflies to congregate in the area. The university plans to use sheep to maintain the grass around the panels.

“This day never seemed to come,” said Bravman at the Solar Field’s ribbon-cutting ceremony since he began researching solar energy more than a decade ago.

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Bucknell project manager Jim Knight said the university has been working toward completion of a major solar energy project since 2009.

Bravman’s opinion is echoed by Jim Knight, Bucknell Project Manager and East Buffalo Township Supervisor.

Since 2009, a number of solar energy projects have been proposed by other companies, but those companies were “just talk” and never materialized, Knight said.

The university didn’t have the same problem with encores that “never faltered when setbacks,” Knight said.

According to Bravman, the project shows how serious Bucknell is about the future of renewable energy.

Encore CEO and Bucknell alumnus Chad Farrell said the project shows the university “leading the way in clean energy for higher education.”

“[The project] We provide energy at an economical and favorable price,” said Farrell.

Farrell also noted the educational opportunities the solar sector can offer to students looking to develop skills for the future of the energy industry.

Colton Jorle

Bucknell sophomore and climate advocate Colton Jiorle spoke about the importance of the project in helping Bucknell achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

Colton Jiorle, a Bucknell sophomore and clean energy advocate, said the project is an example of Bucknell “leading the way” in providing educational opportunities on renewable energy. rice field.

“This is another step towards reducing Bucknell’s carbon footprint,” said Giorlais. “The road to carbon neutrality is still long, but achievable.”

Bucknell hosted a ribbon cutting for its new solar panel array on October 6th.

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