University of Illinois
U Of I Press Release Photo Solar Farm 2

University of Illinois builds solar farm to produce clean on-site power for the Champaign campus

May 27, 2021
The project makes the institution the third-largest producer of on-site clean power among U.S. universities.

The Solar Farm 2.0 project at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is near completion.

The project is the second solar farm constructed at the university and achieves clean energy sustainability goals outlined in the university’s Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) is nearly four years ahead of schedule. Clean energy production will now support about 12% of the school’s annual electricity demand.

The planting of the project’s native pollinator habitat bookmarks the solar farm’s unique array technological and sustainable features.

The site’s 54 acres will serve as a major demonstration and research location for pollinator-friendly solar arrays. The University of Illinois Solar Farm 2.0 project exceeded the required 85 minimum points established by the State of Illinois’ Pollinator Friendly Solar Site Act.

With 134 points achieved on the pollinator scorecard, including the adjacent landscape buffer, the solar array officially “Provides Exceptional Habitat.” The custom seed mix designed by Natural Resource Services, with more than 21 different plant types that are native to the area, will make the land between and around the panels more resilient and create a natural habitat for a variety of local and migratory birds and beneficial insects.

In total, the site will contain more than 6.5 million flowering plants and native grasses. Solar Farm 2.0 was developed by national solar energy firm Sol Systems, which built the farm with innovative features such as bifacial solar panels, single-axis trackers, pollinator habitat, and zero-waste construction practices.

YouTube video of Solar Farm 2.0:

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