The state Department of Energy Resources will provide $500,000 through its Leading by Example (LBE) program for a 4.5 megawatt solar array at two parking lots at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts (US).
The grant was announced 22 July during a ribbon cutting ceremony for a prototype solar canopy array that went online earlier this year at the Robsham Memorial Center for Visitors. A $150,660 grant to UMass Lowell was also announced.
The project will also install two electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at the Amherst campus, a requirement of the Leading by Example grants. Once complete, there will be 11 charging stations on the UMass Amherst campus, including two fast chargers that can fully charge an EV to 80% of full capacity in just 20 minutes.
The solar canopies will be a privately financed and constructed system featuring a long-term energy contract that provides the campus with a known rate of electricity over 20 years.
The LBE Solar Canopy Grant Program has awarded more than $1.4 million for solar canopy projects at state agencies and colleges, which will result in the installation of more than 6 MW of solar canopy systems by the end of 2016. Additionally, 17 EV charging stations will be installed as part of these projects and other LBE efforts.
The grant program is funded from Alternative Compliance Payment (ACP) funds. ACP funds are paid by electric retail suppliers if they have insufficient Renewable or Alternative Energy Certificates to meet their compliance obligations under the Renewable and Alternative Portfolio Standard programs.