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to the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative

Local Community College to Install Large-Scale Solar Array

Local Community College announced a plan Friday morning to install a solar power plant that will provide 90 percent of the Dryden campus's electricity.

If approved, a total of 8,676 solar panels would be built by Solar One, LLC, a subsidiary of Smart Energy Capital, LLC, which secured a grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The project will use sustainable energy sources, eliminate greenhouse emissions and reduce TC3’s carbon footprint while also providing significant utility savings, according to TC3 President Carl Haynes.

"We’ve made a lot of progress in the last few years in terms of reducing our energy costs and reducing our carbon footprint, but this just takes it to a whole new level,” Haynes said. “I don’t know anybody else who can say their campus is largely off the grid.” 

The solar farm will be located on 10 acres owned by the TC3 Foundation and leased by the college, across Bahar Drive from the main campus building.The solar farm is estimated to annually produce more than three million kilowatt hours of power and abate more than 890 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

“Based on our best current projections, the first-year savings will be approximately $30,000,” TC3 Director of Facilities James Turner said. “After that, if traditional utility rates continue to climb, I anticipate we will see additional savings over what we would have been spending.”

The start of the project is dependent on successful completion of site studies and approval from the Town of Dryden.

Ithaca Journal, 12/7/13

Large Solar Array at TC3