When students returned this fall to the campus of Bristol Community College they were met with a dazzling sight—New England’s largest solar parking canopy. The 3.2 megawatt solar array, which can produce enough power to meet half of the campus’ energy needs, covers 800 parking spaces on the Fall River, Massachusetts campus. Over the next twenty years, the solar canopy will save Bristol Community College more than $1.75 million in energy costs, and will reduce the college’s carbon emissions by more than 1,500 tons per year.
“This is an extraordinarily important renewable energy project,” said Kevin Sullivan, PE, LEED AP, vice president of Fuss & O’Neill Inc., the project’s designers. “Not only will the solar canopy promote sustainability on campus, but it will save Bristol Community College tens of thousands of dollars a year in energy costs. Bristol Community College’s solar canopy project is a great example of how universities, community colleges, and other institutions can save millions of dollars by promoting sustainability.”
The Bristol Community College solar canopy is one of three solar arrays designed by Fuss & O’Neill for Massachusetts institutions of higher education. Last year, a Fuss & O’Neill-designed solar canopy went online at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass., and later this year another will begin operations at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Fuss & O’Neill is also currently designing a ground-based solar array for Tufts University in Medford, Mass.
Fuss & O’Neill, Inc. has provided consulting engineering services for over 90 years. With a staff of over 260, the firm collaborates on projects from offices in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and South Carolina, Fuss & O’Neill, delivering a comprehensive suite of services across the breadth of scientific, engineering, planning, and design disciplines.
— Solar Builder magazine