Rutgers University hires DSD Renewables for 14.5-MW solar carport project


DSD Renewables has been selected by Rutgers University to install 16 solar carports totaling 14.5 MW in parking lots across multiple campuses in New Jersey.

Credit: Rutgers University

This is the first sustainability initiative to be rolled out since University President Jonathan Holloway announced the university’s commitment to the Climate Action Plan in September 2021. The project, which is expected to generate 18 GWh of clean electricity annually, will push Rutgers toward its goal of becoming carbon neutral. by 2040 and will add to the school’s existing solar arrays that currently cover the 33-acre Livingston campus.

“In addition to the obvious environmental and societal benefits of aligning with the Rutgers Climate Task Force’s recommendations and goals and the work they do, just as importantly, lowering our utility costs will have a positive impact on our students and their families. In terms of the cost of attending Rutgers,” said Antonio Calcado, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Rutgers University.

At no upfront cost to the university, the projects are funded through a power purchase agreement (PPA) in which DSD will design, build, own, operate and maintain the solar arrays on campus for 15 years. Power generated during that time will be purchased by Rutgers’ Institutional Planning and Operations (IP&O) at a discounted rate compared to local utilities.

“It’s a non-traditional project because we’re not spending university funds, but accumulating significant benefits,” said Frank Wong, IP&O’s vice president of campus planning and development. “The project will significantly reduce our energy costs over time and will be a visible sign of our ongoing sustainability efforts.”

Construction is currently underway on several campus parking lots, with projects expected to be completed by the end of 2023. Once complete, the parking garages will create a shaded parking overlay, reducing the urban heat island effect of surface parking and providing coverage. precipitation while providing clean energy to campus buildings and operations.

“It is an honor to be able to work with such a well-known and highly regarded university as Rutgers,” said Kevin Brooks, DSD’s Senior Director of Commencement. “This is an exciting portfolio of projects that will provide students at Rutgers’ five campuses with access to renewable energy and ultimately bring the university closer to its sustainability goals by saving money on electricity.”

DSD was awarded the project through a competitive bidding process and was selected for its expertise in developing large-scale solar solutions for customers in the MUS market.

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