Finding the light

2 min read

Standing on the roof of the Center for the Study of World Religions (built in 1960), you can see Jewett House (1913), Andover Hall (1911), and now, solar panels (2014).

The juxtaposition highlights the Center’s and Harvard Divinity School’s commitment to sustainability and embracing a very modern technology on a campus steeped in history.

“We, of all places at the University, should be doing this,” said Charles Anderson, assistant director for administration and finance at the CSWR. “The center’s vocabulary has included ‘ecology’ since the 1990s, long before its sibling, sustainability, became part of the modern lexicon. The Center’s commitment to sustainability is evident through the publication of its renowned Religions of the World and Ecology series and current junior fellowship studying nature and the environment. The solar project accentuates the Center’s core interests in the interrelationship of people and the environment.”

The 70 solar panels, capable of producing enough energy to cover 25 percent of the Center’s current electricity needs, were installed beginning the week of October 13 and are expected to come online around the end of the month. The array is the first renewable energy installation on the Harvard Divinity School campus. In total, Harvard has over 1 megawatt of installed solar capacity on its campus including additional installations at the Harvard Business School, Harvard Athletics, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Harvard Forest.