Emory Univ. plans 5.5 MW solar project - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Storage, CHP, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  May 20, 2020

Emory Univ. plans 5.5 MW solar project

Emory University announced May 12 that they will be installing 5.5 MW of solar generation on campus and expect the project to cover 10% of the university’s peak energy requirements.

The Atlanta-based university completed a 20-year Solar Energy Procurement Agreement with Cherry Street Energy, who will install the 15,000 solar panels across 16 buildings on Emory’s Druid Hills campus. The university expects to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by around 4,300 metric tons with the clean energy generated.

“This is a crucial step for Emory in reaching our sustainability goals and reaffirms our dedication to generate at least 10 percent of energy on campus through clean energy alternatives like solar, furthering our efforts toward 100 percent clean energy in partnership with the City of Atlanta by 2035,” Ciannat Howett, associate vice president of Resilience, Sustainability and Economic Inclusion at Emory, said in a statement. “Through this project, Emory will have one of the largest deployments of on-site solar power at a higher education institution in the Southeast.”

The university will have no upfront costs due to the nature of the agreement and Cherry Street will install, own and maintain the solar panels, from which Emory will then purchase the power at a lower rate than charged by the utility.

Emory recently revised their greenhouse gas emissions goal to reflect those enacted by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, aiming to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 and be net-zero by 2050. The university has a longer term goal to eventually increase their energy resiliency by tying the solar panels into a campus microgrid featuring CHP and battery backup. 

Construction is expected to begin by the end of the month.

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