Simon’s Rock installs new solar panels, joins Great Barrington’s solar community

GREAT BARRINGTON — Solect Energy, a commercial solar energy company based in Hopkington, is in the process of constructing 360 kWs worth of solar panels on campus buildings around Bard College at Simon’s Rock. The panels are on the roofs of the Kilpatrick Athletic Center, Daniel Arts Center, and Daniel Arts Studio. The amount of total solar energy the panels will generate will be roughly equivalent to powering 60 average homes. This new source of energy will save Simon’s Rock about $650,000 over the course of the 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and will cover around 15 percent of main electric meter’s annual usage.

“Installing solar panels on three of our largest buildings will not only contribute [to] cost savings, it will reduce our carbon footprint by creating clean, renewable power and is part of our commitment to environmental stewardship,” explained Philip Morrison, director of finance and administration at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Morrison is excited to see the plan for a more sustainable campus moving forward.

Simon’s Rock will follow other major solar panel installations in Great Barrington. In 2015 solar developer Kirt Mayland of Housatonic 1 Solar, LLC, now Reservoir Holdings, built a 10,000-panel solar farm behind Housatonic’s historic Rising Paper Mill on Route 183. The project cost $6 million total and saves Great Barrington and the Berkshire Hills Regional School District between $70,000 and $90,000 in electric costs each year.

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