AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for UMass Amherst’s new solar projects near McGuirk Stadium Tuesday afternoon.

Baker was joined by Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides, UMass President Meehan, UMass Amherst Chancellor Subbaswamy and additional state officials for a ribbon cutting of the new solar canopies and battery storage units.

In 2017, the university started installing more than 15,000 solar panels across the campus. Many of them can be seen on buildings and solar canopy systems in parking lots throughout the university. It’s expected to cut the university’s electric bill by $6.2 million over 20 years, while reducing the carbon footprint.

“We’re happy to be a supporter of this initiative, not just psychologically by financially. This one will pay back over and over again and accrue to the benefit of the people here at UMass,” said Governor Baker.

UMass Amherst President Marty Meehan told 22News, “Solar energy must be part of the bigger plan for our future energy portfolio. The results will be cleaner and more efficient energy and it will also create more knowledge.”

The university will buy all of the electricity from the $16 million project for direct use on campus through a power purchasing agreement.

The funding was made available through a grant provided by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.