Electricity has begun flowing from the UVA Hollyfield Solar facility, an innovative partnership between the University of Virginia, its Darden School of Business and Dominion Energy.
The university says the arrangement calls for the university and the business school to buy the entire output of electricity produced at the 160-acre solar facility for the next 25 years.
The facility is in King William County, about a 90-minute drive from the university campus in Charlottesville.
With about 65,000 solar panels, the Hollyfield facility is expected to produce about 17 megawatts of alternating current—enough to meet about 12 percent of the university’s electric demand.
The Darden School of Business is assuming responsibility for about 25 percent of the electricity production, which will enable the school to achieve its long-term zero-carbon goal.
“Nearly 10 years ago, Darden established a vision to become a carbon-neutral enterprise by 2020, and with the UVA Hollyfield Solar project now delivering electricity to the grid, the school has achieved that goal,” says Mike Lenox, Darden’s senior associate dean and chief strategy officer.
The UVA Hollyfield Solar project is one of several solar projects in which the university is involved.
The university also has contracted, under a 25-year agreement, to buy the output of Dominion Energy’s Puller Solar facility, a 120-acre solar farm in Middlesex County that will feature about 58,800 panels. The facility is scheduled to be online in November.
The university also has its own solar project that supplies electricity to Clemons Library. Since February 2017, 324 solar panels installed on the library’s roof have been producing what will amount to about 199,600 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. This accounts for about 15 percent of the library’s annual electric draw.