University of Pennsylvania signs 220MW PPA with Community Energy

14 April 2020 (Last Updated April 14th, 2020 12:22)

The University of Pennsylvania has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with clean energy projects developer Community Energy for the construction of a solar power project.

University of Pennsylvania signs 220MW PPA with Community Energy
The Pennsylvania University will be purchasing energy generated by the solar power facilities. Credit: Markus Spiske.

The University of Pennsylvania has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with clean energy projects developer Community Energy for the construction of a solar power project.

The PPA includes two contracts and will see the creation of two new solar power facilities with a combined capacity to generate 220MW of clean energy.

Community Energy executive vice-president Jay Carlis said: “This massive solar power commitment demonstrates impressive and much-needed leadership on climate change.

“This voluntary power purchase agreement with the University of Pennsylvania is the gold standard for renewable energy procurement. This long-term commitment today is needed to make the development of this project a reality for commercial operation towards the end of 2022.”

Under the agreement, Penn will be purchasing energy generated by the solar power facilities for 25 years to meet 75% of the total electricity demand of the academic campus and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Through this initiative, the university aims to move closer to meet its commitment of a 100% carbon-neutral campus by 2042 that was outlined in the Climate & Sustainability Action Plan 3.0.

University of Pennsylvania division of facilities & real estate services vice-president Anne Papageorge said: “This agreement not only allows the University of Pennsylvania to continue to demonstrate strong leadership on climate action, but it also provides a competitive price on electricity.

“The university first laid out its roadmap to environmental sustainability in 2009, and we’ve accomplished much. This PPA is our most recent example of Penn’s commitment to meeting our climate goals.”

Beginning from 2023, the PPA is expected to support the university’s ongoing efforts reduce entire academic campus carbon emissions by 45% from its 2009 levels, while meeting the goal of the Paris Climate Accord seven years early.