Michigan State University
MSU solar

100-acre solar farm approved for Michigan State University campus

Feb. 17, 2020
Officials say the 20-megawatt array will save the university at least $27 million over 25 years.

Michigan State University's Board of Trustees has approved plans for a 110-acre solar array on its East Lansing campus that is expected to save the school more than $1 million a year and  increase the share of renewable energy powering the campus.

The Lansing State Journal reports that the board has voted to pursue a 10-year power purchase agreement for the construction of a 20-megawatt solar array.

The array will help MSU reduce its carbon footprint while tripling its use of solar panels, the university says.

“This project not only furthers MSU’s commitment to renewable energy, it also provides a cleaner future for our campus, the world and the next generation of Spartans," says University President Samuel L. Stanley.

The university expects the array will begin producing power by the end of 2022.

Officials estimate the added solar panels will save MSU at least $27 million over the next 25 years.

Once the project is complete, the solar panels will produce enough energy to power 4,400 Michigan houses.

The solar panels will be similar to the arrays in the solar panel parking bays on lots along the south side of campus.

[FROM 2016: Solar project at Michigan State will go forward]

New electrical generators being installed at T.B. Simon Power Plant as part of a separate $47 million project will complement the array. These engines can be turned on and off more quickly than the engines they’re replacing.

That means when the sun is out, they can quickly be powered down so the university can take advantage of the solar power supply.

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