THE SOLAR PROJECT AT STRAWBERRY FIELD
Hartwick College is committed to sustainability and we look for ways to reduce energy costs and minimize our carbon footprint.
Lease Agreement with Nexamp, Inc.
The College has entered into a ground lease agreement with Nexamp, Inc., a leading renewable energy generator and solar provider to install a pre-metered, five-megawatt solar field located on campus at the top-most part of Strawberry Field. The project is slated for completion in 2022.
Hartwick College and Nexamp provide a walk through of the Hawk Hill Solar Project
On June 15, 2021, Hartwick College invited our neighbors in the Suncrest Terrace area to a walk through of the solar project. Liza Schepps, Business Development Manager for Nexamp, led the group and answered questions about the project size and scope. Representatives from Hartwick College were also present.
Hartwick’s neighbors gather on Suncrest Terrace for the walk through as Liza Schepps of Nexamp hands out maps of the project area.
Liza Schepps talks to Hartwick’s neighbors at the site location on Strawberry Field.
Update for June 2021:
Nexamp is currently in the process of obtaining required documentation through the City of Oneonta Planning Commission. Please visit the Planning Commission website for the latest information, updated project maps, and Planning Commission meeting dates and times.
Update for July 2021: Site Location Map
Update for July 2021: Site Utility Map
February 2021: Nexamp conducts pre-permit testing
April 2021: Permits are filed with the Town and City of Oneonta
2021: Public forum for community members to comment and ask questions (aligned with the Town and City permitting process).
Spring/Summer 2022: Construction begins
SOLAR PROJECT BENEFITS
In addition to cost savings and reducing the Hartwick College carbon footprint, residents of Suncrest Terrace will be given the opportunity to sign up for a percentage of the energy produced by the project which will offset their utility costs.
Nexamp will provide on-site experiential learning opportunities for Hartwick College students. Plans include educational site visits to the solar field and exploring Flightpath opportunities to enhance career interest for Environmental Sustainability and Society majors along with other fields of study.
Hartwick students, faculty, and staff and Oneonta community members will have access to real-time system performance and weather data from the site collected by Nexamp’s Data Acquisition System (DAS) via the internet.
SOLAR PROJECT FAQS
Due to its elevation, the solar field will most likely not be seen by residences and the existing tree line directly behind the properties on Suncrest Terrace will remain intact. The College has expressed to Nexamp the need for walking path access and the possibility of a viewing platform. Plans will also include provisions for an access road, stormwater runoff and maintaining the vegetation under the panels.
The access road will be located on the south end of Suncrest Terrace where a current access road to the Campus currently exists.
The exact location of an underground and/or overhead utility line will be determined once Nexamp does a geotechnical analysis and gets the impact study back from the utility. The attached site plan shows the underground/overhead line running from the array out to the west and connecting along Winney Hill Road.
Yes, a walk-through for Hartwick’s neighbors will be arranged during the spring or summer of 2021.
Nexamp will be required to submit a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), which will explain in detail the stormwater management practices.
There will be no blasting. Nexamp will install piles six feet deep into the preexisting groundcover. This is the only penetration other than the access road and pads for the electrical equipment.
Nexamp is proposing a single axis tracker. This system tracks the sun east to west through the course of the day.
Nexamp will either mow underneath the panels twice per year or use sheep grazing which has been successful with other projects like the Newfield Project.
The College will post a Project Community Bulletin Board on this page: www.hartwick.edu/solarproject and it will be updated with the latest construction news as the project progresses.