On July 15th, 2016 a new 446 KW solar array went online at The Putney School. Tucked into a field at Lower Farm, the array is part of a long-term sustainability initiative aimed at creating a net zero campus. The 1400-plus solar panels, in combination with a smaller array beside the LEED-Platinum-certified Field House, offset 70% of our current electricity needs.
The array, like many ecological, agricultural, and technological systems at Putney, creates curricular opportunities for place-based learning.
The project is financed through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in partnership with The Atmosphere Conservancy, whose executive director is Putney alumnus Alex Blackmer ’75. The Colorado-based organization helps non-profit organizations carry out renewable energy projects, allowing them to achieve their sustainability goals and mitigate carbon consumption.
The array was constructed by Namasté Solar, in collaboration with Vermont-based E&S Electric. The Putney School retains ownership of the environmental attributes, known as renewable energy credits.
With the solar array complete, we are now continuing various energy-efficiency projects including insulating older buildings, like Gray House, and designing two new renewable-ready dormitories.