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- 3.2 Expand On-Campus Solar Energy Production
- 2015 Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP)
- 3. Energy Generation, Purchasing, and Distribution
Key Objective: 3.2 Expand On-Campus Solar Energy Production
The 2015 iCAP, chapter 3, objective 2 is "Expand on-campus solar energy production. By FY20, produce at least 12,500 MWh/year, and by FY25 at least 25,000 MWh/year, from solar installations on campus property."
Solar Energy Generation on Campus (Tracked by Fiscal Year)
- FY 2008:
iCAP baseline year
- FY 2009:
Production started at BIF
- FY 2014:
Production started at BRC
- FY 2016:
Production started at Wassaja and Solar Farm
The campus has a 33 kW photovoltaic array on the roof of the Business Instructional Facility (with an annual production of 44 MWh/yr) and a 14.7 kW ground-mounted array at the Building Research Lab (20 MWh/yr). During FY15, we began installation of a 300 kW array on the roof of the new Electrical and Computer Engineering Building (402 MWh/yr), and the 5.87 MW Solar Farm on the south campus (7,860 MWh/yr). There is also a solar thermal array on the roof of the Activities and Recreation Center. There are many other buildings, parcels of land, and parking lots that are well positioned to host sizeable photovoltaic and/or solar thermal arrays. Although each array in itself would make a small contribution to campus energy generation, taken together the contribution could be significant.
Identify best solar locations and implement solar projects
The solar consultation group is identifying the best places to install the next round of photovoltaic projects, and planning to move forward on several projects simultaneously. Solar thermal may make sense in some situations, as well. Student design teams could be organized through classes and volunteer groups to assist with the planning and prioritizing of on-campus solar installations.
Require solar PV on rooftops for new construction and major renovations
The best time to plan for the installation of photovoltaics on a building is during the design phase. The campus could implement standards requiring that all new construction and additions include solar photovoltaics on the roof. In some cases it may also be effective to install photovoltaics on the exterior walls of the buildings.