U of I Plans Solar Farm 2.0

Mar 04, 2019


Solar energy is growi
Solar Farm - Campusng rapidly across the state, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is planning to grow its solar energy production as well by more than doubling its current on-site renewable electricity capacity with the addition of Solar Farm 2.0.

Facilities & Services (F&S) is working with Prairieland Energy, Inc. (PEI) to seek proposals for a second utility-scale solar array on university property.

The Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) is the campus strategic action plan for sustainability, and one of the 54 specific objectives is to generate 25,000 megawatt-hours per year (MWh/year) of solar energy. That is enough to power over 2,300 typical American homes.

F&S Executive Director Dr. Mohamed Attalla said, “Solar Farm 2.0 will be a great addition to our energy portfolio. With this solar energy, the U of I will be the third largest user of on-site renewables for higher-education facilities in the United States. It also directly supports the Climate Leadership Commitments, signed by the Chancellor, and provides extensive data opportunities for our researchers.”

The first Solar Farm, which began commercial operation on December 11, 2015, produces approximately 7,000 MWh/year of electricity. To reach the goal of 25,000 MWh/year, F&S worked with PEI to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a 10-or-20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that will produce at least 18,000 MWh annually. Solar Farm 2.0 will be located on 54 acres between Duncan Road and First Street, and the area will include pollinator habitat under the solar panels.

Proposals are due April 3, 2019, with construction expected to begin after the fall harvest. The selected vendor will design, build, operate, and maintain Solar Farm 2.0, for the duration of the contract period. PEI will purchase the solar energy at a fixed rate, on behalf of the Urbana campus.


Media Contact:
Steve Breitwieser
Customer Relations & Communications
Facilities & Services


Department Contact:
Morgan White
Associate Director for Sustainability
Facilities & Services



Facilities & Services (F&S), provides and maintains a physical environment that is conducive to supporting learning, discovery, engagement, and economic development at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. www.fs.illinois.edu

Prairieland Energy, Inc. (PEI) is a wholly-owned and founded by the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the University of Illinois. PEI, an Illinois Corporation, founded by BOT in 1996 and functions as a university-related organization. PEI’s primary mission is to provide energy commodities that support the reliable provision of energy services to each of the University of Illinois locations. https://www.plandenergy.com/