Solar college campuses far to the north: why not at VSU?

This spring, the University at Buffalo did it, and now Rutgers is doing it: installing solar arrays for power and profit. Rutgers is in New Jersey, the #2 state in solar power. We have a lot more sun down here. How about we catch up and get ahead in solar power, starting with VSU?

Brita Belli wrote for ecoemagination 25 September 2012, Renewable U: College Campuses Invest in Renewable Energy

Over the summer, crews at Rutgers University's Livingston Campus began transforming a 32-acre, 3,500-spot parking lot into one of the largest solar canopy arrays in the nation. The array will have a capacity of 8 megawatts, enough to power 1,000 homes.

The canopy is more than just eco window dressing — Antonio Calcado, Rutgers vice president for facilities and capital planning, expects that with the financing structure, grants and energy credits, the investment will return about $28 million to the university over the next 20 years. A previous solar project had a similarly rapid payback.

“Combined with the electricity we produce, it's a winner all around,” says Calcado. “We're an institution of higher learning—we teach this stuff—so we should also lead by example. It's a living laboratory in many respects.”

Lead by example: now there's an idea! An idea that might even attract businesses.