Bard College

Project Details

Where: Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Dedication Date: 6/24/2014

Donation Type: Hybrid Solar Hot Water & Electric

Size: 7.5 kW

Claim to Fame: Pioneering a New Hybrid Solar Technology!

Project Overview

Bard College is an innovator in education with undergraduate programs in all the sciences, environmental and urban studies, and graduate programs in environmental policy, climate science and, most recently, a sustainability-focused MBA. This is the programmatic piece of a long-standing interest in sustainability at the college, from food co-ops, to a working farm, to a geothermal heated greenhouse. In fact, they lead the country in per capital geothermal power on a campus! A $35,000 donation by the Sun Club is a visible testament to the college’s ethos of environmental stewardship and an important test-case for potentially expanding such technology throughout the campus.

This remarkable system, possibly the only one of its kind in the U.S., is a hybrid of solar electric and hot water technologies. The pollution-free electricity generated on the roof of the South Hall dorm is used by the hot water heating system first. Any excess electricity is then consumed by the rest of the building. Sometimes the array will generate more than the building needs, at which time  the meter will run backwards and the power will be redistributed to other buildings on campus. This array is an important step towards the college’s goal of being completely carbon-free by 2035. An impressive feat and one which the Sun Club is very proud to support!

While on campus the Sun Club team also ran preschoolers in the day care center through a solar  education program which featured building solar s’mores ovens and learning a silly play about how a solar panel creates electricity from the sun. They performed the play for the attendees of the dedication ceremony after the ribbon was cut. These little smarties are well on their way of helping the next generation build a more sustainable, solar future.