Onsite Solar at UB

Taking Climate Action for a Brighter Future

panels rendering.

The next key phase in a University at Buffalo-led renewable energy project is about to see the light of day, quite literally. Construction will soon begin on two ground-mounted solar arrays on UB’s North Campus.

UB is currently working through structural design with Solar Liberty and is on track to install approximately 12 megawatts of on-site solar within the next year, which will consist of the ground-mounted arrays as well as roof tops. This will increase campus capacity by 15 times current levels. In addition to the on-site work, a consortium of local institutions, including UB, is also drafting an off-site RFP that will boost overall acquisition to 50% of UB’s overall electricity consumption.

Solar Liberty is constructing the ground-mount installations, which will create more than 60 jobs over the life of the project. In addition, the sites will be modeled similarly to UB’s award-winning Solar Strand (located at the Flint Road entrance to the North Campus) and remain accessible with no boundary fencing.

This clean energy work is one of 10 key strategies embedded in the university’s recently revised climate action plan. The plan, called UB’s 10 in 10, is a roadmap of innovative, engaging and digestible strategies the university is taking to increase climate action throughout the university.

To date, UB has reduced its carbon footprint 33% over the past several years, and aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030.

Bizer Creek

South View bizer two.
east view bizer 4.
East view bizer 5 and 6.

A series of solar arrays will be constructed between the John James Audubon Parkway and Bizer Creek. This project will require the removal of some selected trees — many of which have been infected by the Emerald Ash Beetle — with an equivalent amount of new trees being replanted on the campus.

Fast Facts: 
  • The system will cover approximately 6 acres and have approximately 5,850 solar panels.
  • It is estimated to produce 2,900,000 kWh in year one.
    • This is equivalent to offsetting the usage of approximately 487 homes annually.
  • This will create 27 jobs during the project.
  • Solar cells are derived from such silicon dioxides as quartzite gravel (the purest silica) or crushed quartz. This is commonly called sand.

UB Solar Stroll

East view millersport.

Enjoy walking through a solar field! The largest concentration of new solar panels will be placed to the east of Millersport Highway on university-owned property in a large field near the Amherst bike path and 9/11 Memorial Grove. The installation will contain approximately 5 megawatts of generating capacity. Construction will not affect people’s ability to use and/or visit the bike path and memorial grove, as both will remain open and accessible.

Fast facts:
  • The system will cover approximately 24.5 acres.
  •  It will consist of approximately 16,770 solar panels.
  • The system is estimated to produce 8,300,000 kWh in year one.
    • This is equivalent to offsetting the usage of approximately 1,354 homes annually.
  • It will create 37 jobs in the duration of this project. 
  • It is estimated that around six months are needed for a solar panel to produce the energy required to clear the carbon dioxide emitted to produce it.
REV Logo.

This project is made possible by funding through NYSERDA's REV Campus Challenge. For more information on UB's entire REV project, please visit the link below. 

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