The University of Virginia continues to expand its portfolio of carbon-free generation and achieve key sustainability targets with another partnership with Dominion Energy.
Under a 25-year agreement, the University will purchase the entire output of a proposed 120-acre solar facility in Middlesex County. The solar power facility, developed by Coronal Energy, will be constructed and owned by Dominion Energy.
It will produce an estimated 15 MW of alternating current, or about 9 percent of the university’s electric demand.
The UVA Puller Solar facility joins the previously announced UVA Hollyfield Solar facility. In total, the two sites will produce 32 MW of solar energy and will offset about 21 percent of the university’s electric demand.
The solar facility will enable the university to reduce its carbon footprint by more than 15,000 metric tons a year, as well as reducing more than 19 metric tons of nitrogen, positioning UVA to meet key sustainability milestones.
UVA has pledged to reduce its carbon and nitrogen footprints by 25 percent by the year 2025 below 2009 and 2010 levels, respectively.
UVA’s five-year sustainability plan, launched in April 2016, compiles new ideas, as well as feedback generated over the past several years, while building upon the university’s many existing initiatives, documents and accomplishments to continue to advance sustainability. It puts forth new and existing goals with more than 100 actions to move toward those goals as well as achieve a longer-term vision.
With the Facilities Management’s Delta Force program, which pursues deep energy savings, the University has reduced consumption in 51 of UVA’s most energy-intensive buildings, which constitute more than 4.6 million square feet of built space. This has contributed to a 10 percent reduction in overall building energy use intensity since 2010.
The UVA Puller Solar Facility was acquired as a development asset from Coronal Energy, a solar development company with regional headquarters in Charlottesville, Va. The facility will feature about 58,800 solar panels, enough to power about 3,750 homes at peak output. Construction is slated to start in late 2017, with commercial operations occurring by the end of 2018.
Dominion now has announced 421 MW (alternating current) of large-scale solar facilities in Virginia under development or already in operation. This amounts to enough electricity at peak capacity to power more than 105,000 homes.