Williamstown- State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) and State Representative Daniel E. Bosley (D-North Adams) are pleased to announce that Williams College will receive a Commonwealth Solar grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC). This award recognizes the commitment to renewable energy Williams College has demonstrated by incorporating solar power on campus.
“I applaud Williams College for leading the pack in constructing a sustainable, green building that will serve as a model for future construction projects, and for their pledged commitment to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas they emit. I am pleased MTC has recognized their vision and awarded this grant,” said Downing.
As part of their library renovation project, Williams College is constructing a library shelving facility and will install a 26.88 kilowatt photovoltaic system projecting an output of 29,559 kilowatt hours of solar power annually. The Commonwealth Solar program estimates that the output of this system is equivalent to planting 76 trees a year. This new facility will be used to house special collections and works that are not available for regular circulation in the main library. Library staff will retrieve materials as requested for anyone wishing to lend or have access to them.
“I am pleased to see MTC supporting the continued leadership and dedication of Williams College to renewable energy, environmental stewardship, and the education of young people about clean energy technology. It is a good example to be setting – both for the students and the region as a whole- and a perfect example of how we imagined the Renewable Energy Trust Fund working when we created it in the 1997 energy legislation,” said Bosley.
This award, a $92,670 Commonwealth Solar rebate, will help the College defray the total costs of the project which spokesperson and Acting Director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives Stephanie Boyd estimates at roughly $300,000. “Speaking on behalf of Williams College and the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives, we are thrilled to receive this grant in support of the first significant photovoltaic installation at Williams College,” said Boyd. “The renewable energy generated will help the College achieve its ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target of 10 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2020.”
Commonwealth Solar grants are available to homeowners, businesses, non-profits and municipal customers located in investor owned utility areas of the Commonwealth. Awards are in the form of rebates from the state’s Renewable Energy Trust and the Alternative Compliance Payment Funds that the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources has collected under the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard program.
A total of 16 awards amounting to $271,940 will be disbursed this funding round.