Location: Salem, MA
Industry: Education; Public higher educational institutions
Solution: Rooftop Solar

415 kW

solar capacity

Located just 15 miles north of Boston, SSU is one of the largest and most diverse state universities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a vital part of greater Boston’s economic, cultural, and intellectual sphere. Situated in the historic coastal city of Salem, Massachusetts, and spanning over 115 acres and 5 campuses, SSU trains a diverse community of over 9,000 students.


Noted for its commitment to academic excellence, civic engagement, and operational efficiency, SSU has established a rich culture of sustainability through its programs. Since 2007, when the university pledged carbon neutrality by 2050, it has made inspiring strides toward its sustainability goals. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 38%, instituting more than 30 sustainability courses across curricula, and divesting from fossil fuels are some of their green initiatives. As it continues its impressive journey to its 2050 goal, the university seeks to incorporate more renewable energy into its campus infrastructure.


As a longtime member of PowerOptions, the largest energy-buying consortium in New England, SSU was able to take advantage of the organization’s partnership with Solect Energy and install three rooftop solar arrays. The arrays are located atop the Frederick E. Berry Library (175 kW), Marsh Residence Hall (139 kW), and Gassett Fitness Center (100 kW), with the total system size being nearly 415 kW.


The solar arrays are expected to save the university approximately $1 million and avoid 7,000 tons of greenhouse gases over the life of the systems. It will help SSU reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and the financial savings will enable them to make tuition fees more affordable and increase their resources.