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- Solar Farm 2.0 Energized
Solar Farm 2.0 Energized
Watch Facilities & Services Executive Director Dr. Mohamed Attalla and Associate Director of F&S, Sustainability Morgan White recap the Solar Farm 2.0 project and the start of operations at the array.
Solar Farm 2.0 was energized on January 29, 2021, and is producing 20,000 MWh/year. The installation is an innovative project that incorporates bi-facial solar panels, uses a tracking system (the panels move each day to follow the sun from east to west), and was built with zero waste construction (over 90% of the installation waste materials were recycled). Solar Farm 2.0 will also have pollinator-friendly plants installed this spring, to support the nearby ecosystems. We are also using this site for research collaborations with UIUC and UIC researchers.
• Solar panels capture energy from the sun and convert it into electricity.
• This solar farm will have tracking panels that point east in the mornings and shift to the west during the day, “tracking the sun.”
• It will also have the latest technology in solar farms: bifacial panels. These panels capture solar energy on both the top side facing the sun and the bottom, capturing reflected light off the ground.
• One important note about both campus solar farms is that they are both “behind the meter” which means that the energy produced on the site is delivered straight to the campus grid – without going through the Ameren distribution lines. This cuts costs significantly because there are no transmission and distribution charges.
• In addition to a reduction in the campus’ carbon footprint, the local benefit of using clean energy is a reduction in pollution, both with cleaner air and cleaner water for our region.