Renewable Energy

windmillThe Urbana chancellor signed the Climate Leadership Commitments, 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 Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP). Efforts to meet university renewable energy goals include the wind power purchase agreement (PPA), the operation of major solar installations, and the purchase of renewable energy certificates.

Wind Power Purchase Agreement

From November 2016 through October 2026, the Urbana campus will receive a percentage-based portion of the wind-generated electricity and associated environmental attributes from the Rail Splitter Wind Farm located north of Lincoln, Illinois. The PPA specifies that 8.6% of the total wind generation from the farm will be sold to the university, which is expected to be an annual amount of more than 25,000 megawatt-hours (MWh).  Actual purchased wind power is shared monthly on the Wind PPA iCAP Portal project page.

Solar Installations    

There are eight major solar installations currently generating electrical power for the Urbana campus. The Solar Farm is one of the largest on-site university arrays in the country, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency statistics.

In January 2021, Solar Farm 2.0 came online. This 54-acre, 12.3 megawatt Solar Farm will just about triple the University's on-site generation of renewable energy. This increase in generated power will allow the university to meet the 2015 iCAP objective regarding on-campus solar energy, which aims to generate 25,000 megawatt-hours per year (MWh/year) of solar energy.

In addition to Solar Farm 1.0 and 2.0, there are solar installations at the Business Instructional Facility, Allerton Park, the Activities and Recreation Center, the Business Research Council Laboratory, Wassaja Residence Hall, and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building.
  • Solar Farm 1.0

  • Allerton Park

  • Business Research Council Laboratory

  • Rooftop Solar Panels at the Business Instructional Facility

  • Rooftop Solar Panels at the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Building

  • Rooftop Solar Panels at Wassaja Residence Hall

  • Solar Farm 2.0

  • Solar Thermal at Activities and Recreation Center

Renewable Energy Certificates

F&S approved the purchase of 20,000-megawatt hours (MWh) of Midwest Independent Systems Operators (MISO) wind Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) in FY15. These RECs were executed through Prairieland Energy, Inc. and helped campus meet the FY15 goal of 5% renewable electricity.