William & Mary - Smart Energy Decisions

Finance, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  February 3, 2020

William & Mary to source 50% of electricity from solar

College of William & Mary announced Jan. 30 that they signed an agreement that will allow them to source nearly 50% of the campus’s electricity needs through solar energy.

The Williamsburg, Va.-based university signed a 20-year PPA with Dominion Energy for power from a 20 MW project developed by Strata Solar, which will be located in James City County. Construction of the solar facility is expected to begin within the next few months and should begin producing solar energy by 2021.

“It is a great benefit to the W&M carbon neutrality goal, but it also makes business sense,” Calandra Waters Lake, director of sustainability at W&M, said in a statement. “By knowing how much we will be paying for electricity over the next 20 years, our institution can plan appropriately. As the price of electricity fluctuates, and likely goes up, then there is also a chance for W&M to save money.”

William & Mary also expects the agreement to begin to save the university money after about six years. They began exploring the possibilities of PPAs when they created a sustainability plan in November 2018 after encountering issues with installing on-site solar at the campus.

Last fall, the university committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 in partnership with the University of Virginia.

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