U of I officials announce solar farm construction

CHAMPAIGN - University of Illinois and state officials have approved the construction of a 5.87 megawatt solar farm on the school's Urbana-Champaign campus.

The announcement was made shortly after officials approved power purchase and land lease agreements with Phoenix Solar South Farms, LLC.  The project was first approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees in 2012.  

Officials say the solar farm will be located along the south side of Windsor Road, between First Street and the railroad tracks, and that this solar farm will be one of the largest on-site university arrays in the nation.  Construction is set to begin in the spring of 2015.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the solar farm could produce up to 7.86 million kilowatt-hours per year, or about two percent of the Urbana campus' electrical demand in fiscal year 2015.

The solar farm is approved under the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, a pledge that campuses can make to be carbon neutral by 2050.  The pledge was signed by University of Illinois officials in 2008.
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