Work on U of I solar field could start this year

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- University of Illinois officials hope work could begin later this year on a field of solar panels that will supply about 2 percent of the school's electricity.

 

The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports the nearly 21-acre "solar farm" is a key part of the university's renewable energy efforts. The project had been delayed because of concerns from state officials who questioned the public-private partnership between the school and Phoenix Solar Inc.

 

But the newspaper reports state procurement officers have signed off on the complex financial arrangement.

 

Phoenix Solar will design, build and operate the farm for the first 10 years. After that, it will be turned over to the school.

 

The Champaign school will spend about $1.5 million a year to buy the power that's generated from the panels.

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