The Solar Farm 2.0 construction is on schedule to be in service by 1/28/2021. Currently the project is installing approximately 4,400 posts in ground for the panel foundations.
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Solar Farm 2.0 (In Progress)
Sol Systems and F&S hosted visitors from Illinois State University today, to initiate development of a Virtual Reality tour of Solar Farm 2.0.
Solar Energy 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
- KCPA Rooftop Solar Feasibility Study
- Solar Farm 2.0
- Solar PVs at Idea Garden
- Solar PVs on Fruit Farm Admin Building
- Solar Panels on Everitt Lab
- Speech and Hearing Rooftop Solar PVs
- Uni High Gym Rooftop Solar PVs
- Wassaja Hall Rooftop Solar PVs
- SSC Solar Feasibility Study
- Solar Thermal at ARC
Construction of a new 54-acre, 12.1 megawatt (MWdc) Solar Farm has been approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees as the sole member of Prairieland Energy, Inc. Referred to as "Solar Farm 2.0," the new utility-scale array will be located north of Curtis Road, between First Street and Dunlap Avenue in Savoy. Solar Farm 2.0 will produce approximately 20,000 megawatt-hours per year (MWh/year), nearly tripling the university’s existing on-site renewable energy generation. Completion of this project will then grant the University of Illinois with the title of being the third-largest user of renewable power generated on-site for all higher education facilities in the entire country.
In April 2017, the Energy Sustainability Working Advisory Team (SWATeam) recommended that to increase our campus’ generation of solar power, either an extension should be built onto the original Solar Farm or additional solar panels be installed across campus rooftops. From there, the idea of Solar Farm 2.0 was born. 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. A twenty-year contract was negotiated, and the overall project is on track to be completed by the end of 2020.
Sol Systems will be responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance for Solar Farm 2.0, and like Solar Farm 1.0, the Urbana campus will use all the generated power. The $20.1M contract is anticipated to save 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 at a fixed rate of $45.99 per MWh, while the University of Illinois will receive the associated renewable energy certificates (RECs) and the right to claim the use of clean energy.
Other innovative features of Solar Farm 2.0 include the incorporation of a pollinator habitat located beneath the panels. Indigenous plants will be planted throughout the farm to welcome local and migratory birds and insects. Specifically targeted towards butterflies and bees, Solar Farm 2.0 will be a welcoming environment for wildlife, as well as being a demonstration site for meeting the requirements of the Pollinator Friendly Solar Site Act. A landscaped buffer will also be included in the final design of Solar Farm 2.0, creating visual screening of the solar panels along the south edge of the farm bordering Savoy.
In 2014, the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment led the development of the 2015 iCAP, which included "stretch goals" for renewable energy. At that time some stakeholders were concerned that the renewable energy goals in the 2015 iCAP were unacheivable, but Interim Chancellor Wilson agreed with iSEE that we need to set stretch goals in order to make notable progress.
Primary Contact:Morgan White
Project Leader:Sushanth Girini
- Mohamed Attalla
- 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
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, LLC