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.
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Solar Farm 2.0 (Ongoing)
The University of Illinois has two submittals that are recognized as finalists for the 2021 Sustainability Awards:
Solar Power on Campus
- ECE Rooftop Solar PVs
- Install Solar PVs on NCPD
- Solar Farm 1.0
- Rooftop Solar Potential
- BIF Rooftop Solar PVs
- Ground Mounted Solar PVs BRC Research Test Bed
- E37 Parking Lot Solar Lighting
- InSPIRE Solar Powered Outdoors Table (SPOT)
- KCPA Rooftop Solar Feasibility Study
- Solar Farm 2.0
- Solar PVs at Idea Garden
- Solar PVs on Fruit Farm Admin Building
- Solar PVs on I Hotel and Conference Center
- Solar PVs on President's Garden Shed
- Solar Panels on Everitt Lab
- Solar at Willard Airport
- Speech and Hearing Rooftop Solar PVs
- Uni High Gym Rooftop Solar PVs
- Wassaja Hall Rooftop Solar PVs
- SSC Solar Feasibility Study
Solar Farm 2.0 is a 54-acre, 12.32 megawatt (MWdc) solar array on the South Farms of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Located north of Curtis Road, between First Street and Dunlap Avenue near Savoy, Solar Farm 2.0 is producing approximately 20,000 megawatt-hours per year (MWh/year), bringing the total on-campus solar production to approximately 27,000 MWh/year. This project allows campus to achieve the 2015 iCAP objective 3.2 to produce at least 25,000 MWh/year by FY25 from solar installations on campus property.
Solar Farm 2.0 was developed by national solar energy firm Sol Systems, which built the farm with innovative features such as bifacial solar panels, single-axis trackers, pollinator habitat, and zero waste construction practices. This project is among the most technologically advanced and sustainable solar projects in the U.S. Through the firm’s development wing, Sol Customer Solutions, a joint venture between Sol Systems and Capital Dynamics, Capital Dynamics will serve as owners of the project with Sol Systems managing the asset throughout the 20-year term of the agreement.
The $20.1M contract saved 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 for the Urbana campus at a fixed rate of $45.99 per MWh, and the University will receive the associated renewable energy certificates (RECs) and the right to claim the use of clean energy.
The 2015 Illinois Climate Action Plan (2015 iCAP) looked for clean energy solutions for campus and set stretch goals for both the use and the production of clean energy for campus. In April 2017, the Energy Generation, Purchasing, and Distribution SWATeam submitted recommendation eGen007 to "Start a project to expand the existing Solar farm, or install a new large scale solar installation in a new location." In November 2017, the iCAP Working Group completed their assessment of the recommendation, stating "The iWG agrees that this is the most cost-effective method for meeting the iCAP objective of 25,000 MWh/year of on-campus solar generation by FY25. To meet that goal, the Solar Farm 2.0 project needs to begin soon, under F&S direction." 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. Prairieland Energy, Inc. (PEI) will buy the solar energy at a fixed rate of $45.99 per megawatt-hour (MWh) for the duration of the 20 year Power Purchase Agreement, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will receive the associated renewable energy certificates (RECs) and the right to claim the use of clean power.
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Solar Generation from Solar Farm 2.0
- FY 2021:
first year of production
- FY 2022:
first full year
View details for metric: Solar Generation from Solar Farm 2.0
Primary Contact:Mike Larson
Project Leader:Sushanth Girini
- Morgan White
- Rob Roman
- Frank Colacicco
- Mike Larson
- Greg Landes
- Brent Lewis
- Ben Ford
- Kevin Chalmers
- Tony Spurlock
- Pedro Leon de La barra, Sol Systems
- Kent Reifsteck
- Scott Willenbrock
- Mike Marquissee
- Keith Erickson
- Rennie Friedman, Sol Systems
- Matthew Tomaszewski
- German Bollero
- Jason Sweet
- Justin Johnston
- Karl Helmink
- Mohamed Attalla
Proposed April 10, 2017Proposed by Scott WillenbrockInvestigated December 7, 2017Investigated by Chancellor Jones (approved issuing an RFP)Approved September 19, 2019Approved by Board of TrusteesStarted July 22, 2020Started by Sol Systems, LLCCompleted January 29, 2021Completed by Sol Systems
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