Construction begins on University of Illinois Solar Farm

Aug 12, 2015
Construction of the 5.87 megawatt (MW) Solar Farm on campus is in its second week

CHAMPAIGN, IL (August 12, 2015) – Construction of the 5.87 megawatt (MW) Solar Farm on campus is in its second week. The solar farm is part of a power purchase and land lease agreement with Phoenix Solar South Farms, LLC and is expected to reach substantial completion in December.

Once installed, the Solar Farm will be one of the largest on-site university arrays in the country, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency statistics, producing 7.86 million kilowatt-hours per year, or approximately two percent of the electrical demand for the Urbana campus in fiscal year 2015.

In 2008, the chancellor signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, pledging to be carbon neutral by 2050. As a part of this commitment, specific goals for energy conservation and renewable energy were outlined in the 2010 Illinois Climate Action Plan. The Solar Farm will contribute toward the renewable energy used on campus for at least twenty years.

Established in California in 2010 as the U.S. subsidiary of Phoenix Solar AG, Phoenix Solar Inc. ( is a leader in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of solar photovoltaic power plants in North America. Phoenix Solar Inc. is the contractor for the Solar Farm installation and operation.

Dr. Murray Cameron, CEO & President of Phoenix Solar Inc. said, “We are proud to support the university’s efforts to achieve their renewable energy goals and applaud Illinois for being a leader in sustainability amongst higher education institutions.”

The 20.8 acre solar farm, to be located along the south side of Windsor Road between First Street and the railroad tracks, was first approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees in November 2012.

Solar Farm Fact Sheet PDF