An artist’s rendering of the proposed solar array provided by T.J. Boyle & Associates
Vermont Business Magazine As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability, Bucknell University has partnered with Encore Renewable Energy of Burlington, Vermont, to install a 1.6 peak megawatt solar array on approximately seven acres of University-owned land beyond Bucknell’s West Athletic Field and Art Barn, near the 12th fairway of Bucknell Golf Club. Encore will provide comprehensive project development, financing and construction services to advance the project.
The plan received approval from the East Buffalo Township Board of Supervisors on Monday, April 12.
The solar project will advance Bucknell’s strategic commitment to sustainability and enhance opportunities for renewable-energy focused teaching and research across multiple disciplines. In addition, the project will generate property tax revenues to East Buffalo Township, provide Bucknell with price certainty on energy rates for the next several decades, and strengthen the region’s commitment to the production and use of renewable energy.
Creating a sustainable future through the responsible stewardship of the University’s financial, natural, human and other resources is one of four strategic commitments of Bucknell’s Strategic Plan.
“Bucknell has been actively seeking opportunities to increase its use of renewable energy and reduce its dependency on carbon-producing sources,” says Victor Udo, Director of Campus Sustainability. “For more than two years now, the University has explored the installation of a solar array as a source of sustainable energy that can benefit both the University and the community. It will also provide an opportunity for student education and research in this rapidly expanding field.”
The proposed site will provide prime sun exposure and is not in close proximity to residential properties. The project will consist of south-facing panels tilted at 25 to 30 degrees, with a maximum height of nine feet. The seven-acre array of panels will be surrounded with an agricultural fence to ensure safety. The site will also be replanted with pollinator friendly vegetation between the panels to attract bees, butterflies and other species critical to the area’s future food security.
“The energy transition is upon us and we applaud Bucknell University for demonstrating leadership regarding the financial, environmental and social benefits of securing electrical generation resources for its facilities from new sources of renewable energy” says Chad Farrell, Founder and CEO of Encore Renewable Energy. “This project will provide the University with cost savings while offering a hands-on educational opportunity for students interested in learning more about the fast-growing professional field of renewable energy. As an alumnus, I am personally thrilled to see my alma mater advancing this important project.”
“This project is a win-win for the University and the region,” Udo says. “The biggest winner will ultimately be our environment from the amount of clean, renewable energy this solar array will generate, reducing reliance on fossil fuels.”
About Encore Renewable Energy
Encore Renewable Energy is a Burlington, Vermont-based leader in commercial renewable energy with a proven track record in solar development from concept to completion. Founded in 2007 as Encore Redevelopment, their team specializes in the design, development, financing, permitting, and construction of solar and energy storage projects on landfills, brownfields, rooftops and carports. As a values-led company, Encore is committed to revitalizing communities and creating a cleaner, brighter future for all. For more information about Encore, please visit encorerenewableenergy.com. Stay connected via Twitter and LinkedIn.
About Bucknell University:
Founded in 1846 along the banks of the Susquehanna River in historic Lewisburg, Pa., Bucknell University is a selective, highly ranked national university that stands at the intersection of top-ranked liberal arts, engineering and management programs. Students choose from more than 60 majors and 70 minors in the arts, engineering, humanities, management, and natural and social sciences, as well as extensive global study, service-learning and research opportunities. Bucknell’s 3,700 undergraduates enjoy a low 9:1 student-faculty ratio, and exceptional opportunities to collaborate with faculty. Bucknell offers students outstanding leadership opportunities, including through more than 200 students clubs and 27 Division I athletic teams.
Source: LEWISBURG, Pa. — Encore 5.15.2021