Energy Efficiency, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  April 24, 2019

Johns Hopkins covers 2/3 of power with solar PPA

Johns Hopkins University has entered into a long-term agreement to supply its campuses with more than 250,000 megawatt-hours of solar power per year. The 15-year agreement begins in 2021 and will allow the university to meet roughly two-thirds of its overall electricity needs with solar power.

 According to a report on the Johns Hopkins Hub, this deal marks the largest commitment to solar energy in Maryland and one of the most significant pledges to GHG reduction in higher education. The agreement will help Johns Hopkins make a significant step toward its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 51 percent by 2025, reaffirm the university's dedication to environmental stewardship, and position the university as a leader in meaningful sustainability efforts.

"When we pledged to more than halve our carbon emissions by 2025, we knew it would require rethinking how we power and operate our university," Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels said. "This agreement demonstrates the seriousness of our commitment to sustainability for the good of our university and our planet."

Through the agreement, Constellation, a Baltimore-based energy company and subsidiary of Exelon, will buy energy and renewable energy certificates from a new 175-megawatt solar plant being developed in Virginia and will sell the power and project-specific RECs to Johns Hopkins.

In all, the plan is expected to help Johns Hopkins reduce carbon emissions by 123,000 metric tons in the first year, the equivalent of taking 26,115 cars off the road or planting more than 2.3 million trees, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The move is part of a larger sustainability initiative at Johns Hopkins that includes:

  • Divesting from thermal coal in the university's endowment holdings
  • Investing more than $80 million in energy-conserving infrastructure
  • Hiring a new director of sustainability and university energy manager
  • Creating a Sustainability Leadership Council charged with ensuring that the university's environmental educational, research, and operating programs continue to lead locally and globally

 

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