Over the next 25 years, the University of Arkansas is expected to save millions of dollars in electricity costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 8.8% due to a new solar services agreement that was signed by UA System President Donald Bobbit on July 18th.
The solar project will be installed on 25 acres off campus and is expected to be completed by Q1 2024.
“This is part of an ongoing campus strategy to be both fiscally and environmentally conscious with all of our projects including our combined heat and power plant, Energy Savings Performance Contracts, and US Green Building Council certified facilities” said Scott Turley, associate vice chancellor of facilities.
After a competitive selection process, the university selected Entegrity Energy Partners of Little Rock to facilitate the project. Entegrity will provide all capital costs, design, permitting, installation, utility interconnection, operations and maintenance of the solar array and provide energy as a service to the U of A campus.
The campus will purchase the entire energy output of the array at a specified rate over the 25-year contract term. The facility has a minimum guaranteed production of 8,688,880 kWh in the first year which is approximately 6.3% of the campus electrical energy requirement.
In 2007, the U of A became one of the first institutions to become a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and establish the goal of net carbon neutrality by 2040. The university as reinforced this position by encouraging more aggressive federal carbon reduction goals. The university is working to reduce its carbon footprint with a combination of sustainable building practices, energy efficiency upgrades and sustainable commuter transportation options.
“The U of A is leading by example,” said Eric Boles, director of the Office for Sustainability. “Simply put, this project saves money, reduces risk, and minimizes environmental impact. We are excited to tell this story and inspire others to look beyond business as usual.”
The University of Arkansas is actively pursuing additional renewable energy development opportunities as part of the ongoing effort to reduce financial risk while being an environmentally responsible campus.
News item from the University of Arkansas
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