State and University Officials to Cut Ribbon for Energy-Generating Solar Canopies at UMass Amherst

*** MEDIA ADVISORY ***

DATE:           Friday, July 22, 2016

TIME:           10:30 a.m.

PLACE:        Robsham Memorial Center for Visitors, 300 Massachusetts Ave., UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, Senate President Stan Rosenberg and Judith Judson, commissioner of the state Department of Energy Resources (DOER), will inaugurate three new solar canopies over the parking lot at the university’s visitors center.

The first of their kind in the Amherst area and across the five-campus UMass system, the prototype solar canopies were built with support from a $146,000 Clean Energy Grant from DOER.

Capable of producing an estimated 330,000 kilowatt hours of power annually, the solar canopies contain more than 1,000 photovoltaic modules that convert sunlight into electricity. The facility powers the nearby visitors center and the surplus electricity is directed into the campus’ power grid. The solar canopies are expected to save the university more than $45,000 per year.

The project includes an energy “dashboard” that displays live production metering for the solar panels as well as ongoing totals for energy production. In addition to providing shade for the parking area, the canopies are outfitted with three Level 2 dual vehicle charging stations.

Media parking is available in Lots 34 and 32.

Contact: Daniel J. Fitzgibbons, 413/545-0444, djf@urd.umass.edu