13 September 2023 • Sustainability Visit the HWS Solar Farm By Ella Weiss '24

To celebrate the Year of the Sun, Professor Tom Drennen will offer insights on renewable energy while leading tours of the HWS solar farm.

Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship Tom Drennen will guide visitors around one of Hobart and William Smith’s two solar farms. The event is part of the Year of the Sun, a series of lectures, programs and activities throughout the 2023-24 academic year leading up to the total solar eclipse that will pass directly over the HWS campus next April. Leading up to the eclipse, Year of the Sun events will explore the sun’s scientific, cultural and historical significance.

The Colleges generate 50 percent of the campus’ electricity from two solar farms, which together represent one of the largest higher education solar installations in New York State. The first farm, located on Route 14 N, went online in 2016, followed the next year by the Gates Road site.

Tours will be ongoing Friday, Sept. 22, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at 3490 Gates Road. Participants are able to meet at the solar farm or take the shuttle from the Medbery Parking lot. Students as well as the Geneva public are welcome to attend.

Drennen is an expert in energy use and climate change. Author of the book Pathways to a Hydrogen Future, as well as dozens of peer-reviewed articles, he holds a Ph.D. in resource economics from Cornell University, a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Minnesota, and a bachelor of science in nuclear engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As a senior economist for Sandia National Laboratories, he developed techno-economic models examining the economic and environmental tradeoffs of alternative energy pathways, including alternative fuels such as ethanol and hydrogen. He is the recipient of the 2018 Senior Fellow Award from the United States Association for Energy Economics.