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Projects Updates for Topic: Solar Farm


  1. Morgan Johnston speaks to Parkland Board of Trustees

    In support of installing solar PVs at Parkland College, Morgan Johnston spoke to the Parkland College Board of Trustees, as requested by their VP of Institutional Advancement and Sustainability Coordinator.  Ms. Johnston shared the benefits and lessons learned from the university's solar farm installation.

  2. EGEN SWATeam Meeting (4.13.17)

    The EGEN SWATeam held another bi-weekly meeting. Topics covered include:

    • Ximing Cai's [in attendance] vision for iSEE and SWATeams
    • Developing a recommendation to expand UIUC solar farm.
    • Developing a recommendation for another clean energy PPA
    • Cost savings for geothermal systems and opportunities for implementation at solar farm and new building sites
  3. EGEN SWATeam Meeting (1.20.17)

    The EGEN SWATeam held their first meeting for the Spring 2017 semester. Topics covered include:

    • Review draft recommendations for 1) on-campus solar and 2) petascale offsets
    • An update from Morgan Johnston on the Associate Director of Campus Sustainability position
    • Updating iCAP portal project pages for EGEN objectives
    • Clean Energy PPA
    • Potential for future solar farm
    • Asking for feedback from EGEN team members regarding recommendation proces
  4. Correction to system generation capacity

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Solar Farm system capacity is 4.68 MWac and 5.87 MWdc. Original materials produced before 2017 generally referred to the capacity as 5.87 MW, which does not match the industry standard of using the AC generation capacity.  The correct figure to use is 4.68 MW, when sharing information about the Solar Farm on the UIUC South Farms.

  5. News Gazette Mailbag question about Solar Farm

    Associated Project(s):

    UI solar farm

    “The solar panel field located near the corner of Windsor Road and First Street has become overgrown with tall weeds. Do the panels still work with that much foliage under and above them? Also, would hiring sheep or goats to ‘mow’ the weeds be harmful to the sheep or goat (heat from the panels)?”

    The Solar Farm on the University of Illinois campus was implemented as a power purchase and land lease agreement with Phoenix Solar South Farms, LLC, said Steve Breitwieser of the UI’s Facilities & Services Department.

    “The agreements designate Phoenix as responsible for all maintenance of the Solar Farm during the 10-year contract, and this includes vegetation control.

    “A contractor hired by Phoenix was on site in mid-June, and they are performing additional weed control activities this week.”

    When the agreement with Phoenix ends, Breitwieser said, the UI will assume Solar Farm maintenance responsibilities.

    And — how about this? — preliminary discussions have begun with research faculty regarding the use of sheep or low-height food crops in the future, he said.

    Meanwhile, neighboring plant growth has not impacted solar production, said Breitwieser.

    Solar array data can be viewedat:

  6. Renewable Energy Program award application

    F&S submitted an application for the 2016 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award, on behalf of the Renewable Energy Program on campus and the Solar Farm.  The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is proud of its sustainability initiatives, and Facilities & Services (F&S) is honored to support the campuswide Illinois Climate Action Plan. One of the most important and challenging initiatives is a shift from conventional energy to a future of renewable energy.

    F&S is submitting this application to the Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award for the Renewable Energy Program and specifically the new 20-acre Solar Farm. Five major Renewable Energy Program projects have been implemented since signing the Climate Commitment in 2008. The first Renewable Energy Program project was a 32.76 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) array on the roof of the Business Instructional Facility. The 14 kW PV array at the Building Research Council is a research platform for the Illinois Center for Smarter Electricity Grid. Solar thermal panels on the Activities and Recreation Center roof heat the swimming pools. The fourth project was the purchase of 20,000 Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from Midwest Independent Systems Operators (MISO) wind power in April 2014. The most significant project went into commercial operation in December 2015, with the completion of the 5.87 megawatt (direct current) Solar Farm. The Solar Farm will produce an estimated 7,860 megawatt-hours annually and is expected to generate up to 91% of its original output even in Year 20 of the project. F&S is monitoring the efficiency of the Solar Farm, compared to the design specifications, and in February 2016 the Solar Farm produced 100.2% of the anticipated electricity for that month.