The community is invited to come celebrate Earth Day at UB's
Solar power plants are often located behind fences, on rooftops
or in hard-to-reach places.
The University at Buffalo’s Solar Strand, believed to be
the nation’s most publicly accessible photovoltaic array, is
an exception. On Monday, April 22, as the world observed Earth Day,
UB and the Western New York Environmental Alliance introduced the
public to the one-of-a-kind facility with a 90-minute event that
highlighted how environmental initiatives are redefining our
economy and improving our quality of life.
“The Solar Strand has attracted a great deal of attention
as a renewable energy landscape that produces enough clean energy
to power hundreds of student apartments. More than that, it’s
a focal point for sustainable education and research,” UB
President Satish K. Tripathi said. “This is a valuable
resource for the university as well as the public, who are able to
learn, teach and discover in this remarkable facility.”
The event featured short speeches from people working to create
a more sustainable future in Western New York and beyond. Among
them: Samina Raja, UB associate professor of urban and regional
planning; Jill Jedlicka, executive director of the Buffalo Niagara
Riverkeeper; Kenneth Shockley, UB associate professor of
philosophy; Justin Booth, executive director of GObike Buffalo; and
Aaron Bartley, executive director and co-founder of PUSH
Robert E. Knoer, an attorney who serves as the environmental
alliance’s chairman, noted that it represents more than 100
organizations and support groups. He said the event “will be
an opportunity for them to build on existing connections with UB
and to tap into the human energy that the university’s
The event included tours of the Solar Strand, music and an Earth
Day awards ceremony presented by Ecology and Environment Inc.
About the Solar Strand: Designed by celebrated landscape
artist Walter Hood, the Solar Strand contains 3,200 solar panels
laid out in the pattern of a DNA fingerprint. Since UB flipped the
switch a year ago, it has generated more than 882,556 kilowatts of
clean, renewable electricity. That equates to nearly 72,000 gallons
of gasoline saved or the abatement of 633 tons of carbon dioxide.
Note: These figures are as of April 19 and subject to change. For
more information, visit: www.buffalo.edu/sustainability/solar-strand.html.