Unity College and ReVision Energy To Add Campus Solar

Solar Project Image

Click for larger image.

Unity College has partnered with ReVision Energy to bring a significant solar energy project to campus this month. The 37.44 kW, 144-panel solar photovoltaic array will be mounted on the Quimby Library and Thomashow Labs roofs and is expected to produce about 45,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually – more than 80% of the library’s previous average annual demand. This installation is an important visible addition to our diverse energy portfolio which includes an existing 5.4-kW solar array at the Unity House.

The grid-tied system will send any electricity not immediately used by the library onto the public utility grid, generating a credit for the college to be applied at other times of the year when the solar system is less productive. This net-metering relationship with the grid means no battery storage is needed on site, and essentially treats Unity’s solar project as a tiny power plant. Any electricity demanded by the library that is not met by the system will be drawn from the grid as normal – electricity that Unity College has offset with the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) since 2002.

We’re thrilled to be working with ReVision Energy on this project. They have a stellar reputation in the field as the leading solar installers in Maine and New Hampshire, and their team of professional technicians and project managers is chock full of Unity College alums. ReVision Energy is a mission-driven company that makes the extra effort to engage and educate the public about the viability of renewable energy in New England and beyond.

Unity’s solar project is being financed through a Power Purchase Agreement (or PPA) – an innovative financing approach that allows ReVision Energy – more accurately, a third-party LLC specifically formed to develop this project – to own and operate the system on our campus for six years while we purchase from them any electricity produced by the system.

After six years, Unity College will have the option to purchase the system from ReVision for a fraction of the original cost. Once we assume ownership, the college will own the generated electricity and pay nothing for the electricity it produces into the future. At the estimated purchase price in year seven, the system will pay for itself in 5 to 7 years from energy cost savings.

This installation is an important additional step to reaching our climate emission reduction goals and adds another strong component to our sustainability education for all of our students and the Unity community.

See a video explanation of grid-tied solar systems from ReVision online here.

See the specifications on the solar panels we’ll use at Suniva’s website here.


11 thoughts on “Unity College and ReVision Energy To Add Campus Solar

    1. It’s 13,000 sf. Also hosts our Learning Center, several faculty offices, and some key IT/media equipment. Now home to our GIS media lab, so we’ll see what the draw is moving forward.

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