Solar - November 11, 2020
Vanderbilt Univ. to cover 30% of electricity with new 25 MW solar farm
Vanderbilt University announced Nov. 10 that it, along with the City of Nashville, has partnered with Tennessee Valley Authority and Nashville Electric Service and will begin to purchase 25 MW of energy from a new solar farm in the state.
The installation is being built in Tullahoma, Tenn., by Silicon Ranch Corporation and will help the university with its goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2023. Vanderbilt University will be receiving the energy from the solar farm through TVA’s Green Invest program, making it the university’s second project with the program.
“We hope this groundbreaking partnership between government, business, and universities will be a model of innovative collaboration to address the most important issues of our time,” Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said in a statement.
The first of the TVA solar projects that Vanderbilt is sourcing energy from, originally announced in January, is estimated to offset approximately 70% of the university’s emissions by fall 2022. This new project should offset the remaining 30% of annual indirect emissions from purchased electricity by fall 2023.
Prior to engaging in these partnerships, Vanderbilt conducted research into ways to increase its renewable energy use, as well as strategies for energy conservation, production of onsite and offsite clean energy and ensuring sufficient storage for energy resiliency.
“This is an important step forward as we accelerate our carbon neutrality plan and set a net positive goal for on-campus and purchased power,” said Eric Kopstain, vice chancellor for administration. “Our expanded partnership with the Nashville community is the result of two years of intensive effort to identify the best renewable energy strategy for Vanderbilt on the basis of key criteria that include financial, social and environmental benefits and risk mitigation.”