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Projects Updates for Solar Power on Campus

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  1. Apprentice program for electrical work

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hi Josh,


    Do you know if we could request apprentices work on the 15kw solar install?  That could potentially bump us from a tax credit of ~$5500 to $33,000 if this goes through.





    How much of the labor has to be apprentice? 

    Joshua Robin


    15%  thanks!

    Morgan White


    Thanks Morgan!


    With a small crew, if they had one apprentice, that might catch what we need. 


    I overestimated below at 6x the base $5500, where apprentice would make it 5x, so only 27,500. 




    Thanks all. The contractor can put one apprentice on there.  Tech services and in house work would not have an apprentice most likely.  Is there a dollar value required for the apprentice labor or just 15 percent of total hours worked?  Are certified payrolls needed?


    Thank you



  2. RECs for small solar rooftop arrays

    Hi Rob and Tony,


    Tim Mies asked me who “owns” the RECs from small scale solar arrays at individual buildings.  I said I’d have to check into it.


    At first I thought all RECs are owned by central campus (UES), but then I questioned myself.  For a rooftop solar array, we don’t include it in the M-RETS program, and at ECE, we only “sold” them the solar farm 2.0 RECs.  We let them count their rooftop solar directly and they have the DOR accordingly. 


    So is it appropriate to tell him that the RECs associated with the 14.7 kW array he is planning to install at the Energy Farm (not the SCAPES project) will be considered “used” at the Energy Farm?


    I would caution that we do not want individual departments to get into selling RECs, without a much broader discussion.  So perhaps we should say that he can use/retire them at his site, but he cannot sell them without further discussion?


    What do you recommend?





    Good questions. I think that if the department “owns” the REC, then they should also be able to sell the REC. I am interested in others views on the topic, and agree that it would lend to a much broader discussion.

    Rob Roman


    I agree that a broader discussion would be helpful.





  3. Solar Powered Trash Compactor question

    Hello my name is Saif Malik and I am a graduate student in the Energy Systems program. Some classmates and I are working with the Student Sustainability Committee on proposing 2 pairs of solar compactors to be set up by the main union. 

    I understand that in the past there was a compactor that broke down/ caused issues. I was hoping to get any information on this so we can look into if this is still viable or what improvements would be needed from what you encountered.

    Thank you for your time!

    Saif Malik


    Morgan, would you be able to assist with the below?


    Jerry Dinnin

  4. 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.”  






  5. Solar Urbana-Champaign

    From: Marta Monti <>
    Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2022 4:34 PM
    To: White, Morgan <mbwhite at>
    Subject: Solar Urbana-Champaign is back!


    Alternate text



    Solar Urbana Champaign is back for 2022


    2022 marks the seventh year for the Solar Urbana Champaign program. Since 2016, this non-profit-led program has educated 1,292 people about their solar opportunities with our Solar Power Hours presentations, and of those folks, 242 properties decided to go solar.


    In partnership with our competitively-selected installer, GRNE Solar, and with support from the Citizens Utility Board (CUB), the City of Urbana, and our growing partners, we're excited to help central Illinois residents go solar and save on their energy costs!   



    Find us online:





    First Benchmark Reached!


    Our group buy program uses the power of bulk purchasing to create an economy of scale: the more people who participate, the larger the savings become! This year's program has already passed the first 50 kilowatt benchmark, meaning that participants can look forward to additional savings. Join today and share with friends so we can achieve lower costs for everyone!


    Please help spread the word:


    Please share the program website or this email with your friends and neighbors or post it on your social media pages.


    Remember: the more people that go solar through the Solar Urbana Champaign program, the lower the cost for all!





    Pull out your yard sign, it's Grow Solar season!


    Not sure where it went? No worries, it's been a while. Let us know where to drop it off and we will get you a new one. 




    Share this schedule with a friend and invite them to start their solar journey with you!


    8/11, Thursday: Solar Power Hour, 6:00-7:00 p.m. at Papa Del’s Pizza Factory, 1201 S Neil St, Champaign, IL

    8/17, Wednesday: Solar Power Hour, 6:00-7:00 p.m. at Danville Public Library, 319 N Vermilion St, Danville, IL

    8/26, Friday: Solar Power Hour, 6:00-7:00 p.m. at Big Thorn Farm & Brewery, 14274 600 North Rd, Georgetown, IL – co-hosted by Big Thorn Farm & Brewery

    8/31, Wednesday: Solar Power Hour, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Zoom (click to register)







    Throughout the program, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please let me know. I can be reached at


    Marta Monti

    MREA Solar Program Manager

    Midwest Renewable Energy Assn (MREA) 



    The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration. To learn more about our work, visit



  6. Illinois Solar Renewables Resources

    Associated Project(s): 

    For Homeowners:

    Citizens Utility Board (Community Solar) -

    EnergySage -

    Google Sunroof -

    IL Solar Energy Association (IL Solar Ambassadors and vendor lists) -


    For specialized organizations:

    Midwest Renewable Energy Association -

    Clean Energy Buyers Association -

    Elevate -



    City of Chicago -

    Cook County -

    Illinois Solar for All (Community Solar) -

    Illinois Shines -

    EPA (Solar Resources) -


  7. Solar Sites Open House

    UIUC SOLAR SITES OPEN HOUSE - October 15, 1:00-2:30 pm

    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, Morgan White will provide a guided tour to virtually visit ten locations on campus. Learn more about the amazing solar installations on campus!

    This event will take place online from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, October 15, 2021, at*

    *Chrome browser on desktop or laptop required.

  8. Table Installed and Inspected, Waiting on Solar Panel Installation

    A Belson recycled picnic table was installed and inspected.

    The solar panels for the table are yet to be installed.


    Pictures of the table are attached below.

    The email regarding this event is also attached below.