On-site Renewable Energy

On-site renewable energy


MIT has a number of small-scale, on-site renewal energy systems on its Cambridge campus. On campus today, there are five rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Together, these systems are designed to produce an estimated 80,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean energy annually.

In 2002, the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust (now the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center) awarded MIT a grant to fund three solar photovoltaic systems on campus totaling 20 kilowatts of electrical generation capacity. The three rooftop systems are on buildings W20, E52, and 14. MIT Department of Facilities was the program manager for the project, in collaboration with MIT’s Laboratory for Energy and Environment (now the MIT Energy Initiative).

In 2007, in response to the Great Dome exterior re-lighting project, a 40 kilowatt capacity solar panel system was added to counterbalance the electricity needed for lighting the Dome. This system produces an estimated 50,000 kWh of clean energy annually. Located on the roof of the Alumni Pool, these panels comprise the biggest single PV system on campus. In 2011, a fifth solar PV system was installed on campus at the Sloan School of Business building, E62.

A 2015 study by MIT students conducted an assessment of new roof-top solar PV system potential and identified several possible promising locations that are under consideration as part of a comprehensive roof assessment program.

The solar PV systems not only provide locally generated electricity, they also offer opportunities for research and academic initiatives. MIT’s recent purchase of off-site solar energy through a collaborative power purchase agreement will provide future opportunities for on-site research.

Solar panels


In 2015, the MIT Bates Lab located in Middleton Massachusetts completed the installation a 10 KW wind turbine. The project was backed by a grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, awarded to Keystone Tower Systems, with MIT Bates Lab as a project participant. Read more here.

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