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Project Updates for collection: Renewable Energy Projects

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  1. archived info - prior project description

    Associated Project(s): 

    Construction of a new 54-acre, 12.32 megawatt (MWdc) Solar Farm has been approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees as the sole member of Prairieland Energy, Inc. Referred to as "Solar Farm 2.0," the new utility-scale array will be located north of Curtis Road, between First Street and Dunlap Avenue near Savoy. Solar Farm 2.0 will produce approximately 20,000 megawatt-hours per year (MWh/year), nearly tripling the university’s existing on-site renewable energy generation. Completion of this project will then grant the University of Illinois with the title of being the third-largest user of renewable power generated on-site for all higher education facilities in the entire country.

    Project Inception

    In April 2017, the Energy Sustainability Working Advisory Team (SWATeam) recommended that to increase our campus’ generation of solar power, either an extension should be built onto the original Solar Farm or additional solar panels be installed across campus rooftops. From there, the idea of Solar Farm 2.0 was born. In November of that same year, the Sustainability Council approved the concept of this new solar farm, and a site selection was completed during spring 2018. 

    In the summer of 2018, after discussions with our neighbors in Savoy, the Chancellor’s Capital Review Committee approved the location, and a request for proposals was initiated. Different vendors from across the nation submitted proposals and various designs for this new solar farm, with nineteen submissions in total. By May of 2019, Sol Systems of Washington, D.C. was chosen to complete the project. A twenty-year contract was negotiated, and the overall project is on track to be completed by the end of 2020.

    Project Overview

    Sol Systems will be responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance for Solar Farm 2.0, and like Solar Farm 1.0, the Urbana campus will use all the generated power.  The $20.1M contract is anticipated to save the university $300,000 in the farm’s first year compared to electricity purchased from the wholesale MISO market. Prairieland Energy will buy the solar energy at a fixed rate of $45.99 per MWh, while the University of Illinois will receive the associated renewable energy certificates (RECs) and the right to claim the use of clean energy.

    Pollinator Habitat

    Other innovative features of Solar Farm 2.0 include the incorporation of a pollinator habitat located beneath the panels. Indigenous plants will be planted throughout the farm to welcome local and migratory birds and insects. Specifically targeted towards butterflies and bees, Solar Farm 2.0 will be a welcoming environment for wildlife, as well as being a demonstration site for meeting the requirements of the Pollinator Friendly Solar Site Act. A landscaped buffer will also be included in the final design of Solar Farm 2.0, creating visual screening of the solar panels along the south edge of the farm bordering Savoy.

  2. Pollinator Planting happening soon for Solar Farm 2.0

    The Solar Farm 2.0 developer will be planting the Solar Farm 2.0 site next week.  On May 7, 2021, they will spray an herbicide mixture to prepare the site.Here are the details they provided:

    Glyphosate 41 herbicide and/or Ranger Pro.  They are both generic glyphosate-based herbicides. Ranger Pro includes a water-based surfactant in their formulation.    We will be adding a methylated seed oil for a surfactant.  We will not be using a spray dye in the mix to avoid residue on the panels.

  3. archived info - previous project description

    When built, the University of Illinois Campus Instructional Facility (CIF) will be a four-story building dedicated to academic and classroom use. CIF will serve 31,000 students daily and will leverage sustainable design to decrease its carbon emissions. The ground source heat exchange system will consist of approximately 60 wells arrayed under the John Bardeen Quad. It will be designed to be expandable, with the ability to be connected to other buildings, allowing for multiple phases. This SSC grant covers approximately 13% of the cost of the geothermal system, and this building project is the first public-private partnership on campus. As the campus works towards being carbon neutral by 2050, this project will not only reduce UIUC’s reliance on fossil fuels, but pave the way for new construction projects to use geothermal systems on campus. 

  4. Welcome Note for Earth Day Solar Open House

    Happy Earth Day, 2021!!! 

    Welcome to the UIUC Solar Sites Open House!

    • Nine campus solar power installations are available to visit at this virtual open house.
    • Contact people for each site are standing on the yellow stars by their facility, on Earth Day from 9-10:30 AM.
    • There are also links for further information about each solar site.

    Hints for Using Topia

    • Zoom out on your browser to see more of the campus at once.
    • Click on a destination to move your avatar to that site, or use the arrow keys to navigate
    • Send messages in Topia to people you meet here, with the mailbox icons.

    ***MAKE SURE TO USE GOOGLE CHROME AS YOUR BROWSER*** 

    Invitation - Open to All

    Ever wonder how far the university has come in solar energy use? Come out to the UIUC Solar Sites Open House hosted on Topia, an interactive online platform, to learn about different buildings and areas across campus that are producing solar energy! During the Open House, contacts for each location will be available to answer questions about the solar installations at nine locations. Learn more about the amazing solar installations on campus!

    This event will take place online from 9-10:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 22 (Earth Day!), at https://topia.io/uiuc-solar-sites.*

    ***MAKE SURE TO USE GOOGLE CHROME AS YOUR BROWSER*** 

    Attached Files: 
  5. New Solar Panels at BIF

    Associated Project(s): 

    The new 12.5 kW array will be the second rooftop installation at the facility. The current array, on top of Deloitte Auditorium, produces about 41,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, – or about 3.4% of the electricity needed to power BIF for an entire year. The new array will be smaller but will supply enough power to offset the anticipated energy usage of the fourth floor addition by contributing 15,500 kWh per year.

     

    https://giesbusiness.illinois.edu/news/2019/04/22/solar-panels-added-to-...

  6. Archived info - previous project description

    Associated Project(s): 

    The new ECE building is designed to include Solar Panels on its roof. The panels will provide about 11% of the building's energy needs.  The infrastructure for connecting these panels to the building electric supply was included in the original design and construction costs for the full building, while the solar panels themselves were funded separately. This specific project is to have a series of photovoltaic solar arrays on the roof of the building with a 300 kW peak power rating, capable of generating an estimated 470 MWh of electricity annually. (This project is distinct and separate from the project to install solar panels on the roof of the North Campus Parking Deck.) The scope of the project is to provide a structure located on the existing roof of the ECE Building which will support 950 solar panels and provide all components to connect them to the building electrical system for a fully operational system

  7. Adapthaus inauguration coming soon!

  8. Earth Month is Here!

    Earth Month is here! Can you believe it? I would like to first draw your attention to the iSEE Sustainability Calendar as a reference point for the many virtual and in-person events (maintaining COVID-19 safety and social distancing precautions) held this month and beyond. If you notice a missing event on the calendar, there is a link to submit an event yourself.

    Here are a few highlights:

    • TED Talk: Eco-Edition series - iSEE’s second TED Talk: Eco-Edition event, will be held from 7 – 8 PM CST, March 30. To complement our recent Plastic Free Challenge, this gathering will focus on plastic waste. Participants will view a prerecorded TED Talk, presented in September 2019 by Andrew Forrest: "A Radical Plan to End Plastic Waste." Afterward, all are invited to participate in a guided discussion and roundtable, hosted by Maddy Liberman (NRES/F&S Intern) and Shantanu Pai (ISTC/F&S). Registration is required; sign up here.
    • iSEE Congress – “The Future of Water”, April 6, 14, 20, 23 at noon. Over a series of Zoom webinars, iSEE Congress – Spring 2021 brings together a diverse group of researchers, educators, journalists, and activists to dive deeper into the topic. Our modified “teach-in” will introduce the Illinois campus and community to cutting-edge thinking from highly influential scholars on topics ranging from drought to the global politics of water to pollution, public health, and biodiversity.
    • Trash pickup event at Boneyard Creek, sponsored by iSEE and F&S, April 7, 3-5 PM. We will meet at 3 PM behind Engineering Hall and disperse from there (maintaining COVID-19 safety and social distancing precautions). Drop in and stay as long as you are able. Bags and supplies will be provided. More details here.
    • Sustainability Rocks on the Main Quad, April 8, 11 AM – 5 PM. Come paint a rock outside the Union with a sustainability/environmental theme (maintaining COVID-19 safety and social distancing precautions). Bring your own rock, or use one of ours! After you finish creating your rock, place it somewhere around campus for others to find! More details here.
    • Careers in Sustainability Panel Discussion (virtual), April 9, 12 – PM. Interested in careers in sustainability? Join us to hear a panel discussion from industry professionals and learn how the field is changing and how to pursue a career in sustainability. Registration is required; sign up here.  
    • Facilities & Services hosts a Virtual Open House of UIUC Solar Sites on Earth Day, April 22, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. April 22 on Topia (must use a computer, not a smart phone)Click this link to attend the Open House
    • TED Talk: Eco-Edition series – Earth Month, April 29, 7 – 8 PM. In celebration of Earth Month, this month’s topic will focus on environmental activism and action with a discussion hosted by iSEE Communications Intern and Earth, Society, & Environmental Sustainability student, Maria Maring. Registration is required; sign up here.
    • UIUC Arbor Day Celebration at CCNetApril 30, at Noon, on ZoomClick this link at noon on Arbor Day to join the CCNet Zoom call

     

    We invite you to participate in any of the above opportunities (or celebrate in your own way!) to get “Caught Green-Handed!” this Earth Month! Get featured . . . Click here to let us know how you’re celebrating the Earth. Please reach out if you have any questions. Be sure to sign up for the iSEE newsletter to stay up-to-date on more sustainability opportunities. Have a great Earth Month (and don’t forget to continue the momentum beyond April)!

    Check it out: 

  9. F&S March 2021 Insider: Solar Farm 2.0 & Geothermal Energy

    In its March 2021 edition, the F&S Insider addressed two of UIUC's innovative sources of energy: Solar Farm 2.0 and Geothermal Energy. The story highlights the origin, installation, and wide array of benefits stemming from the projects.

    To read this story in-depth, please see the attached file below.

  10. Meeting with Joyce, Nynika, and Morgan

    Associated Project(s): 

    We met today to discuss the plans for the ECE Net-Zero Energy certification.

    • Joyce and Nynika found that we had lost access to the certification site, so Joyce is going to work with the certification agency to get us back into their system.
    • Joyce and Morgan agreed that based on the feedback from the certification agency, we will need to wait for the official designation until the Solar Farm 2.0 has been live for a year.
    • Nynika is going to review the guidebook (attached here) and their website FAQs (at https://support.living-future.org/collection/59-help-desk) to help us clarify the expected answers to the certification questions.
    • Morgan checked the building records and found a site plan and the 3d renderings.
    • Joyce will look for some building photos to include and send them to this group.
  11. Net-Zero Energy meeting

    Associated Project(s): 

    During the first meeting, Morgan gave Nynika (undergraduate volunteer) an overview on details relating to the certification including RECS and how the certification program works. Her next steps include:

    • Writing up a small spiel for the International Living Future Institute as to why we would like to use the "use data" from the calendar year of 2020 with the production data from 2021 towards the certification.
    • Looking through the Living Institute's certification requirements and understanding what information is needed and where to find it.

    The next meeting will be on March 10th.

  12. ECEB Net-Zero Updates & Clarifications

    As of March 01, 2021, many small edits and content ideas were suggested for ECEB-related project pages on the iCAP Portal. These suggestions to update the pages were provided by Joyce Mast and include the following:

    • The North Campus Parking Solar Project was canceled.
    • The ECE department was looking to buy Solar Farm 2.0 Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from F&S to try and achieve net 0 emissions.
    • They are working to secure grant money for a monitor inside the ECEB where students can interact with their current progress. I attached more information about it.
    • The ECE Building Audio Tour video can also be used to identify any additional and supplementary information.

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