Johns Hopkins University Commits to Solar Energy

The 15-year agreement will allow Johns Hopkins to meet roughly two-thirds of the university’s overall electricity needs with solar power.

Johns Hopkins Solar Energy

Marking the largest commitment to solar energy in Maryland and one of the most significant pledges to greenhouse gas reduction in higher education, Johns Hopkins University has entered into a long-term agreement to supply its campuses with more than 250,000 megawatt-hours of solar power per year.

The 15-year agreement with the Baltimore-based energy company Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon, commences in 2021 and will allow Johns Hopkins to meet roughly two-thirds of the university’s overall electricity needs with solar power.

The agreement will help Johns Hopkins make a significant step toward its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 51 percent by 2025, reaffirm the university’s dedication to environmental stewardship, and position the university as a leader in meaningful sustainability efforts.

“When we pledged to more than half our carbon emissions by 2025, we knew it would require rethinking how we power and operate our university,” Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels said. “This agreement demonstrates the seriousness of our commitment to sustainability for the good of our university and our planet.”

Through the agreement, Constellation will buy energy and renewable energy certificates, or RECs, from a new 175-megawatt solar plant being developed in Virginia and will sell the power and project-specific RECs to Johns Hopkins.

With the exception of electricity generated by on-site solar and cogeneration, Johns Hopkins campuses in Maryland and the District of Columbia that will receive solar energy through this deal include Homewood, Peabody Institute, Montgomery County, the School of Advanced International Studies, the Applied Physics Laboratory (which would initially purchase only project-specific RECs), Keswick, and Mount Washington. The electricity needs of the School of Medicine and the Bloomberg School of Public Health will be partially covered through this agreement.

In all, the plan is expected to help Johns Hopkins reduce carbon emissions by 123,000 metric tons in the first year, the equivalent of taking 26,115 cars off the road or planting more than 2.3 million trees, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“With this agreement, Johns Hopkins University is taking an important and proactive step toward reducing its carbon footprint,” Constellation CEO Jim McHugh said.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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