MANCHESTER, Conn. (October 18, 2018) — CSCU unveiled the first two of their new solar energy systems during a ribbon-cutting event at Manchester Community College attended by Governor Malloy, representatives from GE Solar, Connecticut Green Bank, and CSCU President Mark Ojakian. The solar energy initiative was funded entirely with private capital and will cover 8.5 percent of all CSCU annual electricity usage with an estimated $15 million in savings over 20 years. For context, one year of electricity for all participating CSCU campuses is the equivalent of powering 1,202 homes for the same amount of time.
Construction began last fall shortly after CSCU announced the public-private partnership. MCC’s solar energy system is the largest for CSCU, providing 45 percent of the college’s total electricity use and saving approximately $220,000 per year. Nine CSCU campuses will install solar energy systems including Asnuntuck Community College, Central Connecticut State University, Housatonic Community College, Middlesex Community College, Quinebaug Valley Community College, Southern Connecticut State University, Tunxis Community College and Western Connecticut State University.
“This is a great example of a successful public-private partnership that is not only cost effective but makes the CSCU system more sustainable for the future,” Ojakian said. “Modernizing our campuses improves the overall student experience and our ability to work with local businesses.”
Ojakian added, “I want to thank GE Solar, Connecticut Green Bank and all the partners who made this important project possible. The more we can collaborate towards the common goal of improving our CSCU system, the more we can focus on our core mission of educating Connecticut’s students.”
Erik Schiemann, CEO, GE Solar, said, “It was an honor to partner with CSCU and Manchester Community College to make this project a success. It’s a great example of how solar can provide savings for the State while supporting sustainability goals and helping stabilize the campus’ power supply. We are excited about the opportunity GE Solar has to help institutions like CSCU transition to locally sourced clean energy.”
Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank, said, “The Connecticut Green Bank is excited to join Manchester Community College, Connecticut State College and Universities, and our private capital partners to unveil this green energy system. This installation will reduce the burden of energy costs on our colleges and universities to ensure that our state’s limited resources are being put to better use educating the future leaders of Connecticut.”
MCC student and Student Advisory Committee member, Mehwish Afridi, noted the implications of the project for enabling student success. “As a full-time student approaching my final semester, knowing that people are hard at work on innovative ways to contain the costs of higher education is important,” she said. “Projects like this that help the campus reduce its operating budget help students like me to keep our eyes on our educational goals without as much worry about finances.”
About the Connecticut Green Bank – The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.
About GE Solar – GE (NYSE: GE) is the global digital industrial leader founded by Thomas Edison that helped create the energy industry over 125 years ago. Today, GE Solar is part of the evolution to cleaner, secure, more customer-focused energy. As a highly experienced developer with a deep bench of solar industry talent, GE Solar provides customized turnkey PV energy and energy storage solutions to businesses, enterprises and institutions throughout North America. From analysis, through design and finance, to commercial operation, GE Solar delivers its customers long-term economic value that has real environmental impact. www.ge.com/solar