Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels on Campus

Summary of Policy

A policy that calls for the development of solar photovoltaic panels on campus in a responsible manner while adhering to any relevant laws or regulations.

Reason for Policy

Dartmouth wishes to develop solar PV energy in a responsible manner while upholding all laws and regulations.

Affected Parties

All Students, All Faculty, All Staff

Policy Statement

This policy applies to all faculty, staff, and students of Dartmouth College. Privately-owned Greek letter organizations and Society houses develop their own policies regarding solar PV installations.

The installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on Dartmouth properties has aesthetic, regulatory, structural and electrical systems impacts, as well as an impact on Dartmouth's electrical costs and rates.

Financially, there are different mechanisms to fund solar PV panel installations that include two primary methodologies:

  1. Dartmouth funding the installation costs entirely
  2. Signing a purchased power agreement (PPA)

For any campus installation, the following statements apply:

  • All proposed PV panel installations must be reviewed and approved by the Campus Services Vice President of Energy and Facilities upon recommendation from the Director of Engineering and Utilities.
  • The installation must comply with all applicable codes and regulations and the appropriate permits obtained from authorities having jurisdiction.
  • All PV systems on Dartmouth-owned properties shall be owned and operated by the Campus Services Division and maintained as directed by FO&M's Engineering and Utilities department. 
  • Alternative ownership models (PPAs) will be considered on a case by basis, and approved by the Campus Services Vice President of Energy and Facilities.


  • PV generated electrical power supplied to buildings on Dartmouth's Main Campus (for these purposes, the Main Campus includes those buildings that are supplied with electricity from Dartmouth's two (2) primary electric services rather than directly from the Utility Company) shall be metered, and the electric energy credited back to total campus electric system (the "Plant"), similar to our campus cogeneration system, so that all users see the benefit. (For example, if a PV system is located on building A, even if all of the power generated is utilized by building A, the generation is credited to the "Plant", not to building A.)
  • If the PV installation is on a facility not served by the two primary electrical services, or if it is a very small system (10 kW or less), the building shall receive the benefit of the installation (electric savings) and pay any associated installation and O&M costs.
  • A PPA must be approved per Dartmouth's Signature Authority policy, Appendix E – Energy and Utility Contracts. 
  • In the case of a PPA, the vendor must provide energy engineering analyses, financial, contractual, design, construction, and O&M documentation to Dartmouth Facility Services for review and approval.
  • Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) shall not be sold as part of the project financing unless approved by the Executive Vice-President.

Exclusions & Exceptions

Exceptions to this policy may be made pending the review and approval of the Executive Vice President of Campus Services.


Facilities Operations and Management (FO&M)

Policy ID


Effective Date

August 29, 2016

Last Revised Date

May 3, 2024


Campus Services

Office of Primary Responsibility

Campus Services Division

Last Reviewed Date

May 3, 2024

Next Review Date