Vanderbilt - Smart Energy Decisions

Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  January 27, 2020

Vanderbilt enters into 20-year PPA for solar energy

Vanderbilt University signed a 20-year agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Nashville Electric Service to receive 35 MW of power from a solar farm to be built in Bedford County, Tenn.

The university previously set a goal to power its campus through renewable energy and become carbon neutral by 2050. This solar farm will be built by Nashville-based Silicon Ranch Corporation and is expected to offset 70% of Vanderbilt’s annual emissions from purchased electricity and be operational by 2022.

“This agreement is one of the largest single steps we can take to reduce our carbon emissions footprint and demonstrates that Vanderbilt is an incubator for solutions of regional, national and global issues,” Susan R. Wente, Interim Chancellor and Provost, said in a statement. “We want this partnership to serve as a model of collaboration that other organizations within our region and beyond can replicate to make long-term, lasting changes to protect our shared environment. We also hope this innovative partnership will provide a number of educational and research opportunities for our academic community.”

Vanderbilt also claims that it is the first educational institution in the Southeast to claim carbon neutrality and set a net-positive goal for on-campus and purchased power. It is also the first customer to partner with a local power company on this type of agreement in the seven-state TVA region.

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