NYSERDA, Hobart and William Smith Colleges Announce Completion of One of the Largest Solar Projects for Higher Education Campuses

Solar Installations to Provide Significant Amount of Electricity for Hobart and William Smith Colleges

March 26, 2018

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS) today announced the completion of a 5-megawatt solar system, one of the largest state-supported solar projects for a New York college or university. The project supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s mandate for half of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030, and complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s economic blueprint aimed at attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation.

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “This project continues New York State’s momentum in supporting solar, building on Governor Cuomo’s recent announcement that we have increased statewide solar power by more than 1,000 percent. I applaud Hobart and William Smith Colleges for committing to reducing their carbon footprint while taking the opportunity to use this project as an educational tool for students who are interested in clean energy careers.”

“These solar projects are part of Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ work to reduce our carbon footprint and do what is right for the environment,” said Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer Carolee White. “Along the way we hope to realize some financial savings, but our driving force has been to uphold and advance our commitment to environmental sustainability.”

The 5-megawatt solar project consists of two solar arrays, each providing 2.5 megawatts of clean energy. As previously announced, construction on the project began in 2016 with the first array (Route 14 in Geneva), while the second array (Gates Road in Seneca) was completed late last year. Combined, they feature more than 15,000 solar panels and will support the Colleges’ goal of sustainable higher education by both, generating enough power for approximately 50 percent of the campuses’ electric needs, and by providing students with hands-on experience in clean energy learning. Thomas Drennen, professor of economics and environmental studies and chair of the Entrepreneurial Studies Program, credits students from his “Natural Resources and Energy Economics” class for helping to evaluate solar project proposals.

NY-Sun, Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move the State closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry, provided funding for the project. NYSERDA administers NY-Sun.

Both solar arrays were developed and installed by Dynamic Energy Solutions, LLC, of Wayne, Pennsylvania. Key Equipment Finance, one of the largest bank-based equipment finance providers in the country, provided funding for the Gates Road project. Since 2011, solar in New York State has increased more than 1,000 percent and leveraged more than $2.8 billion in private investments. There are more than 12,000 people engaged in solar jobs across New York.

“Dynamic Energy congratulates Hobart and William Smith Colleges on expanding its notable sustainability efforts with solar farms,” said Michael Perillo, CEO of Dynamic Energy. “These initiatives set a national example of what it means to “go green” in higher education.”

“By using a solar tax lease, Dynamic Energy is leveraging the tax benefits and available grants to make solar energy possible for HWS,” said Doug Beebe, Vice President of Energy Finance for Key Equipment Finance’s Energy Solutions team, which provides leases tailored to the energy market. “The students who benefit from the energy produced by this solar farm may also learn about the important role financing plays in making these sustainable practices a reality, since HWS plans to use the solar project as a clean energy learning lab.”

Recognized for leading the way in sustainability and environmental leadership, Hobart and William Smith were recently included in The Princeton Review’sTop 50 Green Colleges.” In addition, HWS has been named among higher education’s top leaders in campus sustainability, according to Sierra magazine’s 2017 “Cool Schools” ranking.

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward

Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has invested more than $5.2 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Hobart and William Smith Colleges are nationally recognized liberal arts colleges defined by a longstanding focus on educating across academic disciplines and an intellectual environment that cultivates faculty and student connections. With a strong commitment to inclusive excellence, the Colleges have a distinguished history of interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship, curricular innovation and exceptional outcomes. Hobart and William Smith provide robust programs in career development, study abroad, service, leadership and athletics. Originally founded as two separate colleges (Hobart for men in 1822 and William Smith for women in 1908), Hobart and William Smith students share the same campus, faculty, administration and curriculum.

About Dynamic Energy Solutions

Dynamic Energy is a full-service solar energy provider that brings together the diverse expertise needed to design, finance, build and maintain projects to meet the needs of commercial and institutional customers. With an in-house team that includes professional engineers, project managers, and master electricians, Dynamic Energy creates high-quality projects that reduce customer expenses, improve operating efficiency, provide an attractive return on investment and achieve sustainability goals. For more information, please visit www.dynamicenergyusa.com or call 1-877-809-8884.

About Key Equipment Finance

Key Equipment Finance has been in the equipment finance business for 44 years and is one of the largest bank-based equipment finance providers in the U.S. The company provides tailored equipment lease and finance solutions for commercial clients and government entities. Through its manufacturer and vendor alliances unit, equipment finance programs are developed for manufacturers, distributors and resellers. Key Equipment Finance’s specialty finance group includes a specialty finance lending team, which provides structured facilities to various sectors of the specialty finance market, and a lease capital markets team to support corporations looking to optimize risk and revenue. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, Key Equipment Finance manages nearly $13 billion in assets and originates nearly $6 billion of equipment financing annually. For more information, visit http://www.keyequipmentfinance.com.

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