In 2015, the university installed three large solar photovoltaic parking canopies at the Robsham Memorial Center for Visitors, which are capable of producing an estimated 330,000 kilowatt hours of power annually. The canopies consist of over 1,000 photovoltaics modules that collect photons from sunlight, which are then converted into electrical energy. The canopies are the first of their kind in the Amherst area and were supported by a $146,000 Leading by Example (LBE) Clean Energy grant from Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). The solar canopy project comes with an energy dashboard, on display in the visitor center and online, which shows live production metering for the solar panels.
In addition to providing shade for vehicles parked at the visitor center, the canopies also provides two Level 2 and one fast vehicle charging stations. The solar canopies are expected to save the university more than $45,000 per year.
For more information please visit UMass Amherst's Design and Construction site.