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All Charged Up

View of new solar panels at Endicott College
The College heralds Earth Week with new solar panels and a spate of fun, tasty, and meaningful events that coincide with Spring Weekend.
By: Danna Lorch

If you were trundling home before the first big snowstorm turned Endicott into a winter wonderland back in January, you might have noticed a tall crane angled above the parking garage with a crew of workers in hard hats rushing around. Their job? The installation of the new solar canopy on the garage roof. 

“The snow was coming in and they only had a quarter of the panels up by then. They managed to finish putting up the panels in a single day,” said Carly Thibodeau, Associate Director of Sustainability at Endicott. The garage panels represent a 250-kilowatt system that will soon provide about 30% of the annual electricity to the Samuel C. Wax Academic Center and Hempstead Commons. 

Installation of solar panels

This is the third solar installation to charge up Endicott—with the other two systems at the Raymond J. Bourque Arena (installed in 2015) and the solar canopy parking lot (installed in 2009). “In total, about 10-12% of the power to campus is supplied by our on-site renewable energy, a number that is pretty impressive for a school of our size,” said Thibodeau. 

Though one solar system might not make a huge impact on the College and the surrounding community of Beverly, the more solar installations that are created, the more power Endicott produces. “That means that we are putting less of a strain on the electricity grid, and of course, we’re reducing our emissions by using clean power,” Thibodeau explained. 

The new solar panels will begin working later this spring. Spot them on the top deck of the parking garage the next time you drive up. 

And for those who want to make an active and immediate impact on Endicott’s sustainability, Earth Week is coming up from April 19 to April 23 with some fun, tasty, and meaningful events that coincide with Spring Weekend. 

Here are some highlights: 
On April 21, Endicott will host its first Sustainability Career Fair. Ties and resumes are optional. The small, intimate event will offer students the chance to casually network with potential employers and explore different professional paths in sustainability. According to Thibodeau, “Sustainability jobs aren’t just for environmental science majors. There are so many different avenues that other majors can find careers in as well.” Some of the participating companies include Advanced Power Services, New Entry Sustainable Farming, and Interface. 

The eco-warriors amongst us will want to make signs to carry in the College’s first-ever Rally to Fight Climate Change, a walkout taking place on April 22 in support of taking better care of the Earth. The event starts at Lower Callahan at 1 p.m. and ends at the Amphitheater, where a lineup of powerful speakers, including former Massachusetts state senator Ben Downing, will address the impact and meaning of Earth Week. 

The entire Endicott community is invited to chill out at Earth Fest on April 23, a block party-style event in partnership with the Campus Activity Board. Come for a honey tasting, food, and to browse wares by local package-free store Unpacked Living and nonprofit Green Beverly. 

You do not need to be an environmentalist to get involved with Earth Week or appreciate the new solar panels, though you might find yourself becoming one by the time you’ve participated in this impactful lineup of events. 

Peruse a full lineup of Earth Week events or follow @SustainableEndicott to stay up to date with the latest news. Throughout the month of April, the College will participate in the Campus EcoChallenge—click here to join the Sustainable Endicott team!