U Penn - Smart Energy Decisions

Solar  -  April 14, 2020

UPenn plans solar facilities to generate 75% of campus electricity

The University of Pennsylvania signed April 13 a PPA for two solar projects that will generate 75% of their total electricity demand.

The two solar energy facilities will have a combined capacity to generate 220 MW annually, all of which the university will purchase for 25 years to provide power to their academic campus and the University of Pennsylvania Health System. The two systems will be built in central Pennsylvania in partnership with Radnor, Pennsylvania-based Community Energy.

Once operational, the two projects are also expected to reduce the university’s carbon emissions across campus by 45% from a 2009 baseline, allowing them to meet their Paris Agreement goals ahead of schedule.

“This agreement not only allows the University of Pennsylvania to continue to demonstrate strong leadership on climate action, but it also provides a competitive price on electricity,” Anne Papageorge, vice president of the University’s Division of Facilities & Real Estate Services, said in a statement. “The University first laid out its roadmap to environmental sustainability in 2009, and we’ve accomplished much. This PPA is our most recent example of Penn’s commitment to meeting our climate goals.”

UPenn will retire all Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Credits produced by the project to advance their clean energy goals. The university has previously set a commitment to be 100% carbon neutral by 2042.

The project is expected to break ground in the fall of 2021 and begin delivering electricity in 2023.

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