Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University Unveils Solar Installations

Aerial shot of one of the two solar panel installations at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.
Aerial shot of one of the two solar panel installations at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.
June 5, 2017

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Tara Pettinato

GRAFTON, Mass. (June 5, 2017)—Two new solar installations at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University will generate 40 percent of the school’s electric power and are expected to save Tufts University up to $5.3 million over the next 20 years.

The arrays were installed by and are owned, operated, and maintained by NRG Energy, Inc., a leading national integrated power company whose portfolio includes several solar projects at academic institutions in New England. NRG retains the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for Cummings School’s installations.

A power purchase agreement was negotiated by PowerOptions, a 500-member energy consortium that helps nonprofits consolidate their energy buying.

“We spend about 60 percent less for solar-generated power than we do to purchase electricity,” said Betsy Isenstein, director of facilities technical services at Tufts University, who is managing the project.

The solar installations, the largest allowed by existing regulations, will be supplemented with power from National Grid. The installations sit on eight acres south of the Bernice Barbour Wildlife Medicine Building and on four acres near Grafton Science Park, a research and office complex on the western edge of campus near the Grafton commuter rail station.

“This initiative will support the sustainability goals championed by Tufts President Anthony Monaco, who has made the reduction of energy consumption, greenhouse gases, water use and waste a priority of his administration,” said Deborah T. Kochevar, D.V.M., Ph.D., dean of Cummings School.

The installations at Cummings School are the largest on Tufts University’s campuses. The university is assessing solar potential on its Medford/Somerville campus in addition to the photovoltaic system that was installed in 2014 on the roof of Dowling Hall, which houses a variety of student and administrative services as well as a parking garage.

Photos are available upon request.

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About Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

Founded in 1978 in North Grafton, Mass., Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is internationally esteemed for academic programs that impact society and the practice of veterinary medicine; seven teaching hospitals and clinics that combined log more than 80,000 animal cases each year; and groundbreaking research that benefits animal, human, and environmental health.  

About Tufts University

Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.