In late October, 20 members of the Clark community—a cross section of students, staff, and faculty—hopped on a bus to tour SolarFlair in Charlton, MA.
Greeted by Matt Arner, founder of SolarFlair, the group heard the story of the farm and the support from Clark that made the solar farm possible. In his quest to apply his technical background in renewable energy technology to international development, Matt worked to help communities in Nepal introduce solar panels to families to reduce dependence on kerosene lamp. He now brings these skills of affordable solar technology to communities in New England.
Clark maintains a financial agreement with SolarFlair to purchase the offsets produced by the solar panels through virtual net metering for the next 25 years. Situated on two parcels of land, these solar panels offset 1.3 million pounds of CO2 equivalent each year, and they account for about 10% of Clark’s energy use.
Aside from being able to frolic among the panels, the solar farm tourists also learned about the publicly available “dashboards” (two total, one for each parcel of land owned by SolarFlair) where anyone can see real-time updates about the energy production of the panels.
This post is a guest contribution from Robin Miller, MBA/M.S. Environmental Science and Policy ’16.