Higher ed partnership taps offsite solar energy

The George Washington University and American University working toward carbon neutrality

A 20-year agreement to bring solar power from North Carolina to D.C. could become a model for how large urban organizations can meet energy needs by tapping offsite solar energy.

The partnership, involving The George Washington University, American University and The George Washington University Hospital, is the latest step the two universities are taking toward carbon neutrality, which both have pledged to reach.

The project will save money by providing fixed pricing for electricity. Supplied by Duke Energy Renewables, it is reportedly the largest nonutility solar photovoltaic power purchase agreement in the U.S. in total contracted megawatt hours.

By the end of 2015, the Capital Partners Solar Project will:

  • have 243,000 solar panels at 3 sites
  • generate 123 million kilowatt-hours of emissions-free electricity per year, about:
  • 86.6 million kwh for The George Washington University
  • 30 million kwh for American University
  • 6.3 million kwh for The George Washington University Hospital

Portion of electricity needs expected to be met by the project:

  • More than 1/2 for GW and AU
  • More than 1/3 for GWUH’s needs

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