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Hampshire'’s new solar canopy

Monday, August 16, 2010

Research tool and visible symbol of sustainable energy development

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A new solar canopy installed at Hampshire will help the College further reduce our carbon footprint.

The 36 kW array consists of 2,880 square feet of photovoltaic modules. It is being assembled atop an existing support structure at the center of Hampshire's Chuck and Polly Longsworth Arts Center.

The new solar canopy will accomplish several goals:

It provides a visible commitment to sustainable energy development.

The 43,000 estimated kW hours of energy generated will prevent annual emissions of 24 tons of carbon dioxide, 88 pounds of sulfur dioxide, and 24 pounds of nitrogen dioxide.

As a research tool, it will encourage scientific exploration of solar energy and renewable technologies. Solar panels and interactive displays will provide significant data for the campus community and visitors.

Hampshire students and faculty will be able to use the array to investigate solar energy and renewable technologies, and it will also provide an opportunity to educate the general public on sustainability issues.

Following the first green principle of "reuse," the project returns the structure to its original purpose. Built in 1979, the Arts Village's original solar-powered thermal array was one of the first ever constructed on a college campus.

Congressman John W. Olver secured funding ($534,000 in the FY10 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill) to support structural renovation and installation of the new photovoltaic array. Hampshire is raising an additional $300,000 necessary to bring the project to full fruition. Anyone who would like to learn more about supporting the solar canopy project should contact Clay Ballantine in the office of institutional advancement at 413.559.5647 or

Solar Canopy

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