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Off-campus Solar Farm 3.0 PPA (Proposed)

Project History

Associated Collections

Description

To reach our 2015 iCAP objective of 140,000 MWh per year of clean energy usage, we will need to increase our off-campus procurement of clean energy by 90,000 MWh/year.  One proposed solution is to enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with an off-campus solar developer.  This potential project is often called "Solar Farm 3.0" and discussions are ongoing about the costs and benefits of this proposal.

Background

The Energy SWATeam submitted a recommendation in May 2018 to “Explore the option of a PPA with a local solar developer.” Since then, Chancellor Jones and the Sustainability Council have provided direction regarding next steps. In March 2019, an analysis was completed regarding the anticipated costs for a physical PPA, in which the University would receive the solar energy when the sun was shining and the associated renewable energy certifications (RECs). This would require a reduction in electricity generation at Abbott Power Plant, but the fuel required would not change in order remain unchanged due to meet the steam demand on campus. The anticipated costs for a physical PPA were estimated to exceed $2.5M in the first year alone. In January 2020, a legal analysis confirmed the authority of the University Board of Trustees to enter into a Virtual PPA (VPPA), provided that they continue to carefully steward the university’s resources. 

Project Team

  • Primary Contact:

    Morgan White

Themes