UPenn Announces PPA for Largest Solar Project in Pennsylvania

UPenn has signed a PPA for the creation of a 220 MW solar power project moving it significantly closer to meeting its carbon-neutral by 2042 commitment

UPenn Solar PPA

The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the creation of a solar power project moving the University significantly closer to meeting its commitment of a 100 percent carbon-neutral campus by 2042, as outlined in its Climate & Sustainability Action Plan 3.0.

The agreement (consisting of two contracts) will result in the construction in central Pennsylvania of two new solar energy facilities that combined can generate 220 megawatts of electricity. Penn will purchase all electricity produced at the sites—equal to about 75 percent 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, Radnor, Pennsylvania-based Community Energy, expects this to be the largest solar power project in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The scale of the PPA, delivering 220 MW, enables this agreement to cover both the University academic campus and the Health System, and ranks it at the top of solar and wind installations created by Penn’s Ivy League university peers to offset their carbon emissions.

Penn intends to retire all Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Credits produced by the project, meaning that the solar power generated will be above and beyond Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard requirements, and will be key to meeting the campus’ carbon reduction goals. This project, comprised of two facilities, would not be built without this commitment from the University of Pennsylvania.

“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,” said Anne Papageorge, vice president of the University’s Division of Facilities & Real Estate Services. “The University first laid out its roadmap to environmental sustainability in 2009, and we’ve accomplished much. This PPA is our most recent example of Penn’s commitment to meeting our climate goals.”

Starting in 2023, the PPA will supplement the University’s past and ongoing energy conservation and sustainability efforts, reduce the University’s entire academic campus carbon emissions by 45 percent from its 2009 levels, and meet the goal of the Paris Climate Accord seven years early.

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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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