University of Arkansas signs PPA for 5.1-MW solar array

The University of Arkansas is expected to save millions of dollars in electricity costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8.8% over the next 25 years thanks to a new solar services agreement signed on July 18 by UA System President Donald Bobbit.

The solar project will be installed on 25 acres off campus and is expected to be completed in Q1 2024.

“This is part of an ongoing campus strategy to be both fiscally and environmentally conscious with all of our projects, including our cogeneration plant, energy-saving performance contracts and certified facilities from the US Green Building Council,” said Scott Turley, associate vice chancellor of facilities.

After a competitive selection process, the university selected Little Rock’s Entegrity Energy Partners to facilitate the project. Entegrity takes care of all capital costs, design, licensing, installation, utility interconnection, operation and maintenance of the solar panel and provides energy as a service to the U of A campus.

The campus purchases the entire energy output of the array at a specified rate during the 25-year contract period. The facility has a guaranteed minimum production of 8,688,880 kWh in its first year, which is approximately 6.3% of the campus’s electrical energy needs.

In 2007, the U of A became one of the first institutions to become a charter signatory to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and set the goal of net carbon neutrality by 2040. The university reinforced this position through more aggressive federal carbon reduction targets. The university is working to reduce its carbon footprint with a combination of sustainable building practices, energy efficiency upgrades and sustainable commuting options.

“The U of A is leading by example,” said Eric Boles, director of the Office for Sustainability. “Put simply, this project saves money, reduces risks and minimizes environmental impact. We are excited to tell this story and inspire others to look beyond the ordinary.”

The University of Arkansas is actively pursuing additional renewable energy development opportunities as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce financial risk while being an environmentally friendly campus.

News release from the University of Arkansas

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