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Posted by Morgan White on November 23, 2015

Construction of a 5.87 megawatt (MW) Solar Farm on campus is under construction, after university and state officials approved power purchase and land lease agreements with Phoenix Solar South Farms, LLC.

Once installed, the Solar Farm will be one of the largest on-site university arrays in the country, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency statistics, producing 7.86 million kilowatt-hours per year, or approximately two percent of the electrical demand for the Urbana campus in fiscal year 2015.

Facilities & Services Executive Director Al Stratman said, “We are very pleased to see this long awaited agreement completed and signed, so the installation can begin. This unique and challenging project was only made possible through the dedication of many people working together and focused on achieving our renewable energy goals.”

In 2008, the chancellor signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, pledging to be carbon neutral by 2050. As a part of this commitment, specific goals for energy conservation and renewable energy were outlined in the 2010 Illinois Climate Action Plan. The Solar Farm will contribute toward the renewable energy used on campus for at least twenty years.

"The Solar Farm represents the success of numerous efforts, including those made by the many hard-working students committed to advancing renewable energy and environmental sustainability,” said Amy Liu, chair of the Student Sustainability Committee. “Its construction will be a historic project and a source of great pride for campus."