Borrego builds largest college solar array in New York

Borrego Solar Systems Inc. has completed the largest solar energy installation on a college campus in New York State.

Built at Houghton College in southwestern New York, the 2.5 MW on-site array will provide enough energy to meet more than half of the school’s electricity needs.

Designed and built by Borrego, the installation was financed by Washington, D.C.-based WGL Energy through a power purchase agreement that covered all of the upfront costs. General Energy Solutions, which provided some 8,570 solar panels for the project, originally owned the system before selling it to WGL.

The installation will generate an estimated 3.15 million kilowatt hours of electricity in its first year of operation – enough to power 370 homes annually — and will allow the college to realize a 23% first-year greenhouse gas reduction and save up to $4.3 million during the 25-year PPA contract period.

“The solar project reflects both Houghton College’s commitment to renewable energy and our commitment to form creative partnerships for the greater good of our region,” said Houghton College President Shirley Mullen.

Borrego senior project developer Amy McDonough added, “We commend Houghton for working with Borrego Solar, WGL Energy and General Energy Solutions to take advantage of available financing, technology and New York’s net metering policies to secure the long-term economic and environmental benefits that solar can provide for schools statewide.”

New York’s solar policies have supported rapid development through incentives, supportive permitting procedures and other programs to get accelerate solar deployment. This past spring, the State’s NY-Sun initiative awarded $46 million for large-scale solar energy projects through the NY-Sun Competitive PV Program administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.