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Projects Updates for key objective: 43. Campus Power Contracts for Renewables

  1. Solar Farm 3.0 possibilities on UIUC owned land?

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hi Geri and Anita,


    At the Sustainability Council, you said there are University-owned lands that could potentially support our Solar Farm 3.0 goals.  I think you said there is one possibility near UIS.  Is there another location, as well?


    I’d appreciate a description of the potential sites and locations, so we can talk with the energy consultant about those sites.






    The UIS farmland adjacent to that campus could be considered for a solar project.  Decisions pertaining to the development of a solar project at UIS would be done through that campus.  Our UIS contact is Chuck Coderko, Associate Vice Chancellor, Facilities and Services. There are approximately 256 total acres of which 235 are tillable acres (in crop production) managed by Ag Property Services   UIF has approximately 75 acres near the UIS campus as well.  UIF farmland is managed by Heartland Bank. 

    From my email exchange with Chuck, “several discussions with Springfield’s City Water Light & Power (CWLP), the sole provider of UIS’s electricity, who owns the lines/power grid. They are investing in solar in other areas of Illinois, and after several meetings, proposed ideas, etc., it appears they are not interested in what UIS would offer, and we would be on our own. But the city’s leadership changed a couple of months ago, and future opportunities may exist. Without CWLP or another partner, we would be generating electricity for the campus. We would also like to include other potential entities we could provide power to (Lincoln Land Community College, etc.), but we haven’t gotten that far.  We are looking for opportunities. As we currently stand, working through a P3 or Energy Service Company would be our most likely scenario, but much feasibility research will need to be done. UIS can’t bank a solar farm alone, and I am leery of levying a multi-million dollar debt on the university.”


    Ag Property Services manages farmland for the College of Engineering:

    Reifsteck Farm is located in Champaign County.  There are approximately 247 total acres of which 210 are tillable.  There are research projects on a portion the non-tillable areas. 

    VRO Farm is located in Vermilion County.  There are approximately 320 total acres of which 95 are tillable.  The farmland borders timber/woodland on two sides.  The Illinois Natural History Survey may be conducting research in the timber/woodland. 


    If you have additional questions, please let us know.


    Thank you,

    Anita Million

  2. FW: Solar Farm 3

    Associated Project(s): 


         I have attached a study that I did in 2020 for an on-campus Solar Farm 3, in case it is of use to you or anyone else.  The numbers have changed since 2020, of course, but it is likely that the conclusions of the study remain the same.  This study supports the comments I made to you about an on-campus Solar Farm 3 when we spoke last week.



    Attached Files: 
  3. Draft Solar Farm 3.0 report - with questions

    Below is an email exchange between Morgan White and Tony Spurlock:

    Hi Ehab, Rob, and Tony,


    I’ve put the Solar Farm 3.0 slide show from Dec. 9 into the attached report. I referenced the slides with thumbnail images, and we could take some out and increase the size of some, depending on what we prefer to do.


    Tony, I would appreciate your assistance with filling in the UIC total contract costs.  I’ve included comments for each of the spaces where that info is needed.  Could you please also look at the other questions I commented.


    Rob, there are two questions that I hope you can help answer. 

    1. If we lease the land for the onsite solar option, can it still be "behind the meter"?
    2. We currently conclude with this statement: “We feel that the hybrid option meets several goals as it has great savings potential, adds renewable energy to the regional MISO network, which supports our local provider Ameren, and directly increases the capacity of the network we use to purchase the balance between what we consume and what we produce at UIUC.”  Is a MISO project somewhere other than in Illinois going to support Ameren and increase the capacity of the network we use?





    I added all of the UIC totals and attached the updated calculations.


    I do not think the hybrid option benefits Ameren (we are not taking additional delivery and it appears the new array would be outside the Ameren territory).


    Should we include a statement related to how this fits into our strategy?  Here is a thought to get the ball rolling.  “This hydrid option allows the University to continue its leadership in Sustainability by leveraging best practices and expanding its portfolio of renewable strategies that provide a more comprehensive approach to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.”