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Projects Updates for BIF Rooftop Solar PVs

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  1. FY21 Green Power Partnership Renewed

    F&S completed the renewal of our recognition as a Green Power Partner through the US Environmental Protection Agency. Green Power Partners of our scale now have to use renewable power for seven percent of their annual consumption. Fortunately, the FY21 green power supply for FY21 was 9%, which is a +1.72% increase from the FY19 supply of 7.28%. See attached file.

    Overview submitted: 

    The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is proud of its sustainability initiatives and success in achieving Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) goals (https://icap.sustainability.illinois.edu/). The iCAP is the university’s strategic plan to meet the Climate Leadership Commitments, including being carbon neutral as soon as possible and building resilience to climate change in the local community.

    The Urbana campus on-site renewable energy portfolio meets more than 12 percent of annual electricity needs (https://fs.illinois.edu/services/utilities-energy/production/renewable-e...). UIUC’s Solar Farm 2.0 was energized in January 2021, producing 20,000 MWh/year. Combined with Solar Farm 1.0 and other rooftop and ground-mounted solar installations, the Urbana campus generates more than 27,000 MWh/year, ranking UIUC third amongst U.S. universities in on-site clean power production. Incorporating renewable energy continues to be a focus of new facility construction and major renovation projects. Most notably, the innovative Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Building features 970 rooftop panels. Since production started in April 2019, 11 percent of all power supplied to the ECE Building has been from the array, while additional output is reserved for research and educational activities. In September 2016, the university also signed a ten-year wind power purchase agreement for 25 million kWh/year and the rights to the environmental attributes.

  2. BIF (#1206) Solar Panel Info

    Associated Project(s): 

    In May 2021, Allison Biernacki analyzed documents regarding the BIF solar project located at Building #1206. These files were provided by the Project Manager, Kevin Price. According to Biernacki, there are 19 panels at 345W with 97% efficiency.

    See the attached file to view the original source of data, including Module & Inverter Cut Sheets, as well System Specifications for the project.

    Attached Files: 
  3. 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-...

  4. FY20 Green Power Partnership renewed

    F&S has renewed our campus' recognition as a Green Power Partner for FY20 through the Environmental Protection Agency. This voluntary program promotes the use of green power, and the combined supply for the Champaign-Urbana campus during FY20 was 7.2% of the total electricity usage. 

    Please see the attached file to see a more in-depth look at the green power supplied and generated on campus

  5. Mailbag solar article: Suggestion for UI solar panels

    "Why doesn't the company installing the solar panels at U of I put them over the parking lot? I would provide shade for the cars underneath and would eliminate having to kill whatever would be underneath them in the fields."

    The best option for building solar panels is ground-mounted, said Morgan White, the associate director for sustainability at the University of Illinois.

    "As part of our Climate Leadership Commitments the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a goal of producing at least 25,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) per year from on-campus solar," she said. "When we evaluated options for meeting this goal, rooftop solar, solar over parking areas, and ground-mounted solar were all considered. The most cost-effective option is ground-mounted solar, and it also allows for larger-scale installations.

    "For a sense of the scale, the two solar farms will be a total of 75 acres, while the largest parking lot on campus is less than 15 acres.

    "When installing solar panels over parking areas, there are additional infrastructure and labor costs to raise the solar panels above the ground level. Although we do not currently have any solar over parking areas, Facilities & Services is working with the Parking Department to evaluate potential locations for a pilot installation. We are also continuing to install rooftop solar on individual buildings."

    Solar panels are on the following five Urbana campus buildings:

    — Business Instructional Facility

    — the Activities & Recreation Center

    — Wassaja Residence Hall

    — University High School Gymnasium

    — Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Building.

    "I'd also like to emphasize that the ground-mounted solar panels do not harm the plants under them. After building the first Solar Farm, we learned that there was an excellent opportunity for growing useful plants under and around the panels," said White. "This is a great opportunity for creating a multi-functional ecosystem, with pollinator supportive plants and protected areas for small animals and insects."

    https://www.news-gazette.com/toms-mailbag/toms-mailbag-june-26-2020/article_65ef2976-09b9-526a-848d-1419c905b0ec.html

     

  6. FY19 Green Power Partnership renewal submitted

    F&S completed the renewal of our recognition as a Green Power Partner through the US Environmental Protection Agency. Green Power Partners of our scale now have to use renewable power for seven percent of their annual consumption, an increase from the previous requirement of three percent. Fortunately, the FY19 green power supply for FY19 was 7.28%.  See attached file.

    Overview submitted: The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is proud of its sustainability initiatives, as documented in the Illinois Climate Action Plan. The first project was a 32.76 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) array on the Business Instructional Facility in 2009. The 14.7 kW PV array, ground mounted at the Building Research Council, is a research platform for the Information Trust Institute. The most significant on-campus renewable energy generation project to date went into operation in December 2015, with the completion of the 5.87 megawatt (MW) Solar Farm, producing approximately 7,200 MWh/year. In December 2015 another solar array was installed on the new Wassaja Residence Hall roof with a capacity of 33 kW. In September 2016, campus signed a ten-year Wind Power Purchase Agreement for 25 million kWh/year. Most recently, the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Building had 970 rooftop panels installed. Since production began in April 2019, 11% of all power supplied to the ECE Building has been from the rooftop panels, not including the panels that are used for student-oriented research. The University will soon be home to Solar Farm 2.0, which is projected to produce 20,000 MWh/year, nearly tripling on-site production.

  7. 18F Semesterly Report - BIF Rooftop Solar

     

    The BIF project was initially scheduled to begin in January 2018, but was on hold until F&S and the College received word from the state regarding the general contractor award.  The kickoff meeting took place in March 2018 and a planning meeting followed in April. 

     

    On Monday, May 21st, construction kicked off and is expected to be complete summer 2019.  Thus far, the following work has been completed (64% complete):  removal of rooftop garden; insallation of steel, metal, and concrete decking; roof membrane installed; installation of roof drain lines; installation of exterior and interior walls;  window and ductwork installation; HVAC updates/upgrades; above ceiling mechanicals and sprinkler lines installed; GWB taping and sanding with painting underway. 

     

     

  8. BIF Solar Installation Agreement

    A strategic goal of both the UIUC and the College of Business is to attract and attain the best faculty. In order to do that, it is essential to provide faculty with office space that allows them maximum productivity. The fourth floor of BIF has proven to be excellent space where faculty can work on research. The fourth floor faculty offices are highly sought after by research faculty due to quality of space, location, convenience, and security. As the College expands the fourth floor to include sixteen new offices, there is an opportunity to include a PV solar panel system. The Student Sustainability Committee has agreed to fund $60,000 toward the total initial cost of $157,340 to fully fund all $48,000 of direct construction and equipment cost for a 12.5 kW array as well as $12,000 in general conditions and contingency. Any other costs will be funded through the College of Business. This proposal directly funds: 1) Solar panels and inverters 2) Limited installation costs 3) Some contingency and general conditions.

  9. Urban Legend - debunked

    "As the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign considers installing more solar photovoltaic modules on the roofs of buildings, the discussion turns to the type of mounting systems to consider. This discussion often elicits the tale of the modules that were originally installed on the roof of the Business Instructional Facility (BIF) using a ballast-mounted system, that is, a mounting system held down using heavy weights such as concrete blocks. The story goes that a few of the PV modules blew off the roof of the building, and this subsequently led to the modules being installed with a racking system attached to the roof of the building.

    This story is an urban legend..."

    Read file for more information and photos.

     

    Attached Files: 
  10. The Sustainability of the Photovoltaic Solar Panels on the Roof of Business Instructional Facility

    The photovoltaic panels on LEED Platinum certified Business Instructional Facility (BIF) rooftop harvests solar radiation as a clean renewable energy source for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign facility. The solar system has a combined maximum output of 40 kilowatt per hour (kWh), and has an annual production of 60,000 kWh. The system is expected to produce approximately eight percent of the building’s total electricity demand. However, solar panels require unobstructed access to solar radiation for most or all of the day to be effective

    Attached Files: 
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