Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.70
Liaison David Gibson
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Hampshire College
IN-27: Innovation D

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Todd Holland
Projects and Operations Manager
Facilities & Grounds
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Solar Photovoltaic Arrays—generating up to 100% of electricity on site

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

This innovation has evolved from plan into action.

In 2007, the College signed the Presidential Climate Commitment, which includes our goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2032. Through the Climate Action Plan we have identified many pathways toward this goal, including renewable energy, demonstrating how the pursuit of carbon neutrality enhances the mission of the College.

In February 2015, the Hampshire College Board of Trustees approved a plan to generate nearly 90% of our electricity from ground-mounted solar arrays, with a goal to reach 100% through conservation and efficiency, additional panels on rooftops, and research-oriented panels on active farmland.

As part of this on-site solar project, we have developed strategies that maintain and enhance ecosystem services, promote research and education, and provide the solar industry with a new paradigm to inspire land stewardship, societal responsibility, and beauty. In addition, soils under PV arrays will be preserved at the minimum, and ideally improved, for potential future agricultural use through methods that increase organic matter storage, soil biodiversity, and nutrient levels.

Finally, we believe that our choice to generate clean energy on campus will help to reduce the impacts of extractive industries, including hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for natural gas, construction of new pipelines, effects of oil spills, and destruction of mountain-tops for coal mining.

The two arrays are estimated to produce 100% of the electricity used on campus on an annual basis. Hampshire College has moved forward with a power purchase agreement with Solar City/Tesla. The two fields were mechanically complete during the performance year, but only one was operational for two months. The construction and interconnection process was far more complex than anticipated, with many hurdles to clear before operation commenced.

Our Commitments:
• Through the Presidential Climate Commitment and our Climate Action Plan, Hampshire College is committed to achieving carbon neutrality and demonstrating how the pursuit of carbon neutrality enhances the mission of the College.
• By generating locally-produced, clean energy on-campus, we are consciously choosing to reduce impacts of fracking, pipelines, oil spills, mountain-top removal coal mining, and nuclear power in someone else’s backyard.
• Hampshire College will develop strategies that promote co-existence of renewable energy with agricultural land use that will be a valuable model for landowners in the region. We will explore opportunities to maintain and enhance ecosystem services, promote research and education, and provide the solar industry with a new paradigm to inspire land stewardship, societal responsibility, and beauty.
• Hampshire College will strive to meet two complementary goals: “Sustainable Food, Produced Right Here” and “Sustainable Energy, Produced Right Here."


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Energy
Grounds
Investment & Finance

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Field I, MassACA ID 6A1199-2015, 1797 kW AC located in Amherst MA, approved to operate June 2017.

Field K, MassACA ID 6A1200-2015, 1728 kW AC located in Hadley MA, approved to operate March 2018 (not in performance year).

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