SUNY Cortland uses solar panels to offset energy consumption

brian kusler/via Flickr
May 12, 2014

SUNY Cortland has flipped the switch on a solar panel field that will supply six percent of the college’s electricity needs.

The 3,600 solar panels are tucked off to the side of the college’s athletic fields. It was a two year project from start to finish.

SUNY Cortland was the first public college in the state to earn a grant worth $3 million for the installation. They’re owned and operated by a Californian solar company that’s leasing the land and supplying the power back to the college.

SUNY Cortland’s campus energy manager, Matthew Brubaker, says it’s an impressive system.

"Technically speaking, this is a utility-grade system. So a residential system pales in comparison to what we have here," says Brubaker.

Brubaker says there isn’t much room left on the campus for more panels. And being close to an airport, large wind turbines aren’t a possibility at the site. So he says the college will look to smaller scale projects to continue reducing energy use.