Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - SUNY Cortland has been selected as one of only six colleges in the region to be awarded financially by the state for a large-scale solar energy project.
College officials say they don't need full sunshine everyday to create power with the sun.
Actually they say the northeast and New York State often get overlooked for solar power because of the perception it's constantly cloudy.
"It will never be as efficient a source as it is in a place like Arizona or something like that, but it is something certainly, as technology continues to get better and more cost effective, can be used more and more and will be used more and more," explained Fred Pierce, the Director of Public Relations for SUNY Cortland.
There will be a total of three different sites where the college will be putting the solar panels, but only one will be put on the ground for everyone to see. It will be located on the far end of campus, near the bus garage next to Route 281.
"A big part of this whole program for the state is to encourage the installation of more solar facilities, the use of more solar energy panels in New York State, so you do want the public to see it, you do want people to know it’s going on so they know it can be done and it should be,” Pierce said.
About 700 panels will be installed and Pierce says it's only the latest effort by the college to find ways to be more energy efficient.
In all, this project will equal about six percent of the college's total annual energy use.
Construction is expected to start this fall and be completed by July of 2014.
Also for the first time beginning in the fall, the school will be offering a Masters in Sustainable Energy Systems.