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Choate Rosemary Hall

College preparatory school Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut took big steps to make sure its new environmental education and residence building, the Kohler Environmental Center, walks the walk. Passive solar design, roof-mounted solar thermal panels, waste cooking oil, and a 295.68 kW solar PV system from RGS Energy will meet 100% of the Center’s energy needs and provide its students with real world environmental design and engineering lessons a textbook can’t fully replicate.

The 1,056-panel solar array adjacent to the Kohler Environmental Center has helped the building achieve LEED Platinum status and net-zero energy use.

Carter Wilding-White, formerly Vice President of Commercial Operations and Director of Engineering for RGS Energy, is a 1997 graduate of Choate Rosemary Hall, and is particularly excited about exposing current and future students to renewable energy. “Choate is providing its students with the resources to go beyond the classroom and experience first-hand the applications of technology and science,” he explains. The PV system was installed with production data monitoring that provides students and faculty members with hard numbers they can use to compare the system’s output with the building’s electrical use.

Choate Rosemary Hall’s 295.68 kW solar PV system was completed and switched on in the summer of 2012. All 1,056 solar panels are ground-mounted north of the Kohler Environmental Center.

RGS Energy worked with Shawmut Construction, the school’s construction manager, to design a system that met the needs of both the Environmental Center itself and Choate Rosemary Hall as a whole. “RGS worked collaboratively with Shawmut to optimize the array to achieve the energy production of a Net Zero Energy project within the budget and site constraints,” said Mike Kearns of Shawmut Construction.

Size295 kW
Production342,028 kWh/year
PV modulesSuntech 280W (1,056 modules)
LocationWallingford, CT
Online since2012
System Offsets*AnnualLifetime
Pounds of CO2519,95412,998,850
Miles driven541,46413,536,600
Trees planted6,047151,175


*Calculations based on EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalency Calculator. System lifetime is assumed to be 25 years.