Harvard set a goal to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 2006′s recorded numbers in the next four years. With a recent large scale solar installation, it’s a little bit closer to that goal.
This spring, Harvard Athletics installed nearly 2,300 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof of the Gordon Indoor Track and Tennis building.
The panels cover 1 1/2 acres of roof space in total and will generate 591.5 kilowatts of electricity for the facility’s use. This is roughly enough energy to power 100 homes each year.
The solar system’s payback period is calculated to be between 6 and 10 years.
As far as helping Harvard reduce CO2 emissions, the solar electric system will eliminate 480 metric tons’ worth of carbon dioxide from the facility’s operations each year. Harvard Athletics will own the panels as well as the electricity produced by them.
The Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requires Harvard University to buy electricity from renewable sources in increasing amounts over the next several years.
Check out this cool time-lapse video that was filmed over the 6-week installation period: