Photo 14700082 © Walter Arce |

Vanderbilt University forms partnership with area utilities to boost access to renewable energy

Nov. 12, 2020
The agreement will give the university access to power generated by a solar farm to be built in Tennessee.

Vanderbilt University and the city of Nashville, Tenn., are entering into a partnership with area utilities to expand the availability of and access to renewable energy.

The university says the partnership the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Nashville Electric Service (NES) will move Vanderbilt closer to its goal of powering its Nashville campus entirely through renewable energy.

The renewable power for Vanderbilt and Nashville will come from a solar farm to be built in Tullahoma, Tenn., by Silicon Ranch Corporation. This marks the university’s second solar project with TVA, NES and Silicon Ranch through TVA’s Green Invest program.

Vanderbilt will be a 25-megawatt co-subscriber to the array for campus operations.

The university will reach its renewable energy goal just over four years after the university made its initial commitment in 2019.

Vanderbilt’s initial partnership, announced in January 2020, will mitigate about 70% of the university’s greenhouse gas emissions by fall 2022. The second Green Invest project will supply enough renewable energy to offset the remaining 30% of the university’s annual indirect greenhouse gas emissions from purchased electricity by fall 2023.

“This is an important step forward as we accelerate our carbon neutrality plan and set a net positive goal for on-campus and purchased power,” says Eric Kopstain, vice chancellor for administration. “Our expanded partnership with the Nashville community is the result of two years of intensive effort to identify the best renewable energy strategy for Vanderbilt on the basis of key criteria that include financial, social and environmental benefits and risk mitigation.”

The new solar farm project is scheduled for completion in 2023.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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