SUNY New Paltz unveiled Wednesday a $1.37 million energy project that includes rooftop solar panels and a battery storage system.
The new array of photovoltaic panels on the college’s Elting Gymnasium and nearby Sojourner Truth Library will generate 217-kilowatt hours to support the battery system. The storage allows SUNY New Paltz to store solar power for emergencies and times of peak energy demand, the school explained in a press release.
The project is led by the New York Power Authority. Gil C. Quiniones, president and CEO of the White Plains-based state utility, said the type of microgrid technology the project represents “is becoming increasingly important as we look to create a more robust and resilient power grid throughout New York.”
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo praised the project in a news release as part of a goal to reach 1,500 megawatts of energy storage capacity in New York State by 2025.
The school drew funding from a range of sources to finance the energy system. More than $580,000 in funding came from the state BuildSmart NY program, an initiative to increase energy efficiency in public buildings. Another $272,000 came from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s NY-Sun solar development arm. Central Hudson Gas & Electric, the college’s power provider, pitched in an additional $189,000.
The remaining costs were covered by NYPA and will be repaid by the college, according to the press announcement.
NYPA, NYSERDA and the Electric Power Research Institute, a California energy think tank, will utilize the project to research additional technical and economic benefits of solar and storage systems.