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N-G Mailbag question: Output vs. expectations for UI solar farms

Posted by Quinn Connolly on October 3, 2023

Hi, Steve. A News-Gazette Mailbag question for you:


"The University of Illinois has 2 large solar farms near Savoy.  How are they doing compared to expectations?  What percentage of the UofI power do they provide?  Are there any plans for more? If so ... where and when will they be built?"



(I rooted around a bit on the F&S energy/utility pages, and found a lot of info. Figured I'd best ask you, though, for the most current data.)



Thank you,



Hi Morgan/Mike/Tony,


Do we have updated FY23 data that can be shared to answer the question about current output of both arrays as it relates to expected performance and the percentage of electrical demand?


A similar question was answered in March 22', please see attached. I have addressed the second part with the below statement previously (let me know if there is any update is needed there as well or if that can be used again).


The university is evaluating the potential procurement of additional clean energy through an off-campus virtual power purchase agreement to meet Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) goals.


I would like to finalize the information and reply by Wednesday, October 4. Thanks for your help with this.


Steve B.




Here is the information being requested.  I would like Rob to have a chance to comment on the last sentence before you respond.


Both Solar Farms are performing as expected.  Solar Farm 2.0 produced 99% of the vendor’s guaranteed production in the first two years of operation.  Solar Farm 1.0 produced 96% of estimated production over a two year period.  In FY23 the solar production was 6.6% of the campus electricity demand.  The University is considering another solar project, but the location and timing have not been determined yet.






I would suggest that the final sentence state something such as: “While there are no immediate plans to add further solar capacity to the system, the University continues to evaluate and consider a multitude of carbon neutral energy solutions that would provide benefit to the Universities energy portfolio, including additional solar array capacity.”

Rob Roman