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Key Objective: 2.3.1 140,000 MWh/yr Clean Power

The iCAP 2020, objective 2.3.1 is: “Use at least 140,000 MWh/year of clean power by FY25.” The responsible campus unit for championing this objective is F&S. Progress is tracked in the iCAP Portal project page for Use Clean Power.

Associated Metric

Total Purchased Clean Power (Tracked by Fiscal Year)

Annotations

  • FY 2008:

    Baseline

  • FY 2009:

    Production started at BIF

  • FY 2014:

    Production started at BRC

  • FY 2015:

    bought 20,000 RECs

  • FY 2016:

    Production started at the Wassaja and Solar Farm

  • FY 2017:

    PPA signed with RainSplitter Wind Farm in Nov 2016

  • FY 2018:

    Includes thermal renewables at ARC and the Energy Farm, plus wind and solar power

  • FY 2021:

    includes first five months of Solar Farm 2.0

Explanation

As one component of Objective #2.3, campus will continue transitioning to clean energy sources for power. When calculating our total clean electricity use, we include only power that has associated Renewable Energy Certifications (REC) in our possession. Thus, the changes in the regional electrical grid,[1] sometimes referred to as “greening of the grid,” do not impact our reporting of clean power consumed. This is consistent with the requirements of the EPA’s Green Power Partnership reporting system and the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides.[2]

Figure 12 illustrates the sources for all electricity used on campus in FY19. As shown, approximately 7.3% of our power was generated directly from clean energy sources. The total of 31,854 MWh/year of clean electricity was acquired from both on-campus solar energy (7,128 MWh) and off-campus wind energy (24,726 MWh). Completion of Solar Farm 2.0 will increase campus clean energy usage to more than 50,000 MWh/year, which will surpass 10% of our existing power demand. This is excellent progress.

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Figure 12: FY19 Campus Power Sources

To continue building on these successes, we have set the goal to use 140,000 MWh/year of electricity from clean power sources (i.e., approximately 35% of our annual power demand) by FY25. This requires purchasing clean energy from off campus, and we have been investigating options to do so. The Energy SWATeam submitted a recommendation in May 2018 to seek an off-campus solar PPA for meeting this objective. We are hopeful that a VPPA for 90,000 MWh/year of solar power will be a viable method for achieving this objective and launching a new solar array in Illinois for clear additionality.

 

[1] Campus is in egrid subregion SRMW = SERC Midwest, see https://bit.ly/31618rh 

[2] https://bit.ly/3fmG31f 

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