University of Pennsylvania
UPenn solar

University of Pennsylvania signs agreement for largest solar project in the state

April 22, 2020
The electricity produced will be equal to about 75% of the electricity demand of the academic campus and the university's Health System

The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the creation of a solar power project that will move the university significantly closer to meeting its commitment of a 100% carbon neutral campus by 2042.

The university says the agreement will result in the construction in central Pennsylvania of two new solar energy facilities with combined capacity of 220 megawatts. They are projected to produce about 450,000 MWh of electricity annually.

Penn will buy all the electricity produced at the sites—equal to about 75% of the total electricity demand of the academic campus and the University of Pennsylvania Health System—for 25 years at a rate competitive with conventional electricity prices. The project partner, Community Energy, expects this to be the largest solar power project in Pennsylvania.

The new Penn solar project is expected to break ground in the fall of 2021 and the electricity will begin to be delivered beginning in 2023.

“This agreement not only allows the University of Pennsylvania to continue to demonstrate strong leadership on climate action, but it also provides a competitive price on electricity,” says Anne Papageorge, vice president of the university’s Division of Facilities & Real Estate Services.

The PPA will supplement the university’s past and ongoing energy conservation and sustainability efforts, reduce carbon emissions on the academic campus by 45% from its 2009 levels, and meet the goal of the Paris Climate Accord seven years early.

The University of Pennsylvania became an early adopter of renewable energy purchases with a 10-year renewable energy contract signed with Community Energy in 2006, for the Bear Creek Wind Farm, one of the first in Pennsylvania.

Thanks to that contract and additional green power purchases, Penn became a perennial leader atop the EPA Green Power Partnership list of college and university renewable energy purchasers.

Sponsored Recommendations

Providing solutions that help creativity, collaboration, and communication.

Discover why we’re a one-stop shop for all things education. See how ODP Business Solutions can help empower your students, school, and district to succeed by supporting healthier...

Building Futures: Transforming K–12 Learning Environments for Tomorrow's Leaders

Discover how ODP Business Solutions® Workspace Interiors partnered with a pioneering school system, overcoming supply chain challenges to furnish 18 new K–12 campuses across 4...

How to design flexible learning spaces that teachers love and use

Unlock the potential of flexible learning spaces with expert guidance from school districts and educational furniture providers. Discover how to seamlessly integrate adaptive ...

Blurring the Lines in Education Design: K–12 to Higher Ed to Corporate America

Discover the seamless integration of educational and corporate design principles, shaping tomorrow's leaders from kindergarten to boardroom. Explore innovative classroom layouts...