Solar Energy Helps Bentley’s Hockey Arena Become ‘Most Sustainable’ in USCategory: Project Updates
On June 6, 2018, Bentley University celebrated the fact that its newly constructed Multipurpose Arena received LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) last month. Since the beginning of the project, sustainability, energy efficiency and renewable energy were listed by university officials as top priorities for the development. Bentley’s Multipurpose Arena is the first ice hockey arena to earn LEED Platinum from the USGBC, making it the “most environmentally sustainable” in the country (PR Newswire).
To help the Arena reach USGBC’s highest rating, the University partnered with Rivermoor Energy to develop a 504 kW building-integrated rooftop solar PV system. Rivermoor Energy is providing Bentley with a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that will reduce electricity costs for the business school and enable on-site clean energy production. Zapotec Energy completed the mechanical and electrical designs for the system as Rivermoor Energy's solar electrical engineer and helped Rivermoor Energy with project management services for the installation done by Wayne J. Griffin Electric. The system is expected to generate enough energy to produce 40 percent of the Arena’s annual electricity needs.
“Bentley's commitment to using solar energy to generate 40 percent of the annual electricity needs of its new state-of-the-art arena is impressive,” said John Tourtelotte, Managing Director of Rivermoor Energy, in a recent news release. “The Bentley Arena's thoughtful use of solar technology to power a modern, energy efficient arena demonstrates leadership in building design and is a model for other universities and companies to follow.”
The solar PV system consists of 1,400 solar panels, 15 inverters, 700 optimizers and a solar racking system. The solar panels are mounted to the Arena’s standing seam metal roof, which was designed to be facing south. The inverters are mounted to the lower roof using a customized inverter racking system designed by Norman Hallissey, a Zapotec Energy Design Engineer.
“I am proud to have been a part of the solar project at Bentley Arena,” says Norman Hallissey of Zapotec Energy, Inc. “The unobstructed, south facing roof makes for a highly efficient PV system that can take full advantage of the solar irradiance, increasing the energy production for the building. There were so many talented professionals focused on making the Arena successful – the Bentley team, architects, construction teams, sustainability professionals, electrical contractors – that helped make the Bentley Arena an outstanding example of sustainable design.”
The solar energy installation at Bentley’s Arena aligns with the University’s Climate Action Plan, which lists “installing onsite renewable energy systems” as one of its main strategies to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. The Multipurpose Arena is an example of Bentley’s commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency goals. The Arena is proof that, as a business school, Bentley is putting into practice the values that are taught to students in the classroom.