Solar Farms

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Solar Farm 2.0
Construction of a new 54-acre, 12.1 megawatt (MWdc) Solar Farm has been approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees as the sole member of Prairieland Energy, Inc. Referred to as "Solar Farm 2.0," the new utility-scale array to be located north of Curtis Road, between First Street and U.S. Route 45, will produce approximately 20,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) annually, almost tripling the university existing on-site renewable energy generation. Solar Farm 2.0 will generate the equivalent electricity use of more than 2,000 average American homes. For more information, see the story.

Solar Farm near First Street and Windsor Road
The University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved construction of a 20.8-acre solar farm in November 2012. The construction was delayed due to changes in State of Illinois procurement laws. Located along the south side of Windsor Road between First Street and the railroad tracks, Solar Farm 1.0 has been operational since December 11, 2015.

Phoenix Solar South Farms, LLC, was hired by the university in 2015 to design, build, and operate the Solar Farm at the Windsor Road site. The Solar Farm produces an approximately 7,200 megawatt-hours (MWh) annually or approximately 2% of the annual electrical demand for the Urbana campus making this site one of the largest university solar arrays in the country.

The university signed a 10-year power purchase agreement with Phoenix Solar to purchase all electricity produced by the Solar Farm and deliver it directly to the campus grid. In addition, the university will own/receive all current and future Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and emission credits associated with energy from the 4.68 megawatt (MWac) Solar Farm.

Research estimates the Solar Farm will generate up to 91% of its original output even in year 20 of the project.

Solar Farm Dashboard by AlsoEnergy will provide hourly information on the solar array’s renewable energy production and impact to campus as well as solar data for research and education.

Solar Farm Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
With the November sun reflecting off 18,867 solar panels, Executive Director of Facilities & Services Al Stratman welcomed President Timothy Killeen, Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson, Board of Trustees member Karen Hasara, and other project partners to celebrate the historic completion of the university’s first utility-scale solar array. [more]

Solar Farm Construction August – November 2015

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Solar Farm Aerials

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Solar Farm Panel Installation