Clarkson University Goes Solar with Community Energy Solar Plant

Solar Generation Comes On Line to Supply University Campus in Upstate NY

Solar Generation Comes On Line to Supply University Campus in Upstate NY

(Radnor, PA, December 18, 2014) – Community Energy, Inc. today announced commercial operation of a 2.3 MW solar power plant delivering power to Clarkson University in the Town of Potsdam, NY.   The solar power will be delivered to the University under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement and credited to the university’s utility account as part of the remote net metering program in New York State.

The Clarkson University Solar project is owned and operated by Community Energy and financed with an incentive from NYSERDA through the NY Sun Competitive PV Program, and debt financing provided by Key Equipment Finance, an affiliate of KeyBank and one of the largest bank-held equipment finance companies.

“Clarkson University is pleased to be setting an example for sustainability in the face of climate change,” said Jim Fish, Clarkson University’s Chief Financial Officer.  “We wanted to purchase local solar energy and leave a smaller carbon footprint.  And as a research university we also wanted this project as a ‘living laboratory’ to educate all of us, and especially our students as the next generation of leaders, on clean, sustainable energy.  In partnership with Community Energy we accomplished those objectives with this solar project.”

Sited on land owned by the University about a mile from campus, the solar power plant uses 7,700 Yingli 300-watt solar modules interconnected to the National Grid distribution system at 13.2 kilovolts with Advanced Energy inverters.  The project will generate about 2.8 million kilowatt hours per year of solar-generated electricity, about 10% of Clarkson University’s campus electric use.

Namasté Solar, headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, served as general contractor with on-site construction work provided by Sustainable Energy Developments, based in Rochester NY. Support for this project came from Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative, which is administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). NY-Sun is a $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move the state closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry.

“As the renowned research university they are, Clarkson University was a leader on this project from day one,” said Brent Alderfer, President of Community Energy.   “Their willingness to step up on climate change now, is how New York State will get to its goal of 1000s of megawatts of solar power sooner rather than later.”  He added, “NYSERDA gets credit for continuing to innovate and incentivize renewable energy in New York, and we look forward to working with both NYSERDA and KeyBank in financing more solar projects like this one.”

About Clarkson University
Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise. Find out more about Clarkson on the Web at

About Community Energy
Since its inception in 1999, Community Energy has developed more than 1000 megawatts solar and wind power plants.  As a leader in community energy marketing programs, the Company has led the markets in new financing structures, development expertise, and delivery of projects under public funding and policy support, all within its mission to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy at scale.  With headquarters in Radnor, Pennsylvania and offices in Boulder, Colorado., Community Energy has a strong presence in both eastern and western renewable energy markets. For more information about Community Energy, please visit

About KeyBank
Key Equipment Finance has been in the equipment finance business for 41 years and is one of the largest bank-based equipment finance providers in the U.S. The company provides tailored equipment lease and finance solutions for commercial clients and government entities. Through its manufacturer and vendor alliances unit, equipment finance programs are developed for manufacturers, distributors and resellers.  Key Equipment Finance’s specialty finance group includes a lease capital markets team to support corporations looking to optimize risk and revenue, and a lender finance team, which provides structured facilities to various sectors of the specialty finance market. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, Key Equipment Finance manages $9.1 billion in assets and originates $4.3 billion of equipment financing annually. For more information, visit

KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) was organized more than 160 years ago and is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. One of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, Key has assets of approximately $89.8 billion at Sept. 30, 2014. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management and investment services to individuals, small and medium-sized businesses under the name of KeyBank N.A. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit KeyBank is Member FDIC.

Tom Tuffey
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