Two Washington DC Universities Combine For Country's Largest Non-Utility Solar Energy Purchase
Two universities in the nation's capital have made the largest non-utility solar energy purchase in the U.S.
George Washington and American universities on Monday announced their joint Capital Partners Solar Project, a 20-year agreement to reduce the carbon footprints of the two universities and the George Washington University Hospital. At 52 megawatts (MW), it is the largest solar photovoltaic project east of the Mississippi River.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
"We'll be directly sourcing our electricity from three solar energy sites," George Washington University President Steven Knapp told the Associated Press. "We're not just buying certificates for renewable energy. We're actually directly sourcing from renewable energy. The impact of that is pretty huge."
The solar power will fuel more than half of the electricity needs for George Washington and American universities and more than one-third of GWU’s hospital's needs when it is operational in late 2015.
The energy will come from Duke Energy Renewables and avoid about 60,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide when compared to conventional electricity. The project is enough to power more than 8,000 homes, while its carbon reduction equates to taking 12,500 cars off the road.
Designed by Customer First Renewables, the project is a way for the universities to meet goals within their climate action plans at no additional cost. Solar power generated at panel sites in North Carolina will move through a North Carolina grid, into Washington DC's regional grid.
“American University is firmly on its way to achieving carbon neutrality by 2020,” AU President Neil Kerwin said. “We are home to the largest combined solar array in the District, are resolved to growing green power through our purchase of renewable energy certificates and are now a partner to the largest non-utility solar energy purchase in the United States.”
In 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized American University as one of four universities across the country helping to advance the development of the country’s voluntary green power market through purchase of renewable energy certificates. The college has 10 green roofs and is also one of three universities in the world using the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Volume certification program. New buildings there are LEED Gold certified, and 25 existing buildings are also tracked for LEED.
George Washington University was the first in D.C. to sign the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, agreeing to reduce its total carbon footprint by 40 percent by 2025. The university also has four green roofs, eight LEED-certified buildings, with six more targeting certification.
France moved one step closer this weekend to banning short-haul flights in an attempt to fight the climate crisis.
- Could a Tax on International Travel Fund a Country's Response to ... ›
- Most People in the UK Back Limits on Flying to Tackle Climate Crisis ... ›
- To Fly or Not to Fly? The Environmental Cost of Air Travel - EcoWatch ›
Four gray whales have washed up dead near San Francisco within nine days, and at least one cause of death has been attributed to a ship strike.
- Drones Capture Stunning Footage of Humpback and Gray Whales ... ›
- Ninth Gray Whale in Two Months Washes Up Dead in Bay Area ... ›
- As Extreme Weather Events Increase, What Are the Risks to Wildlife? ›
- 'Existential Threat to Our Survival': See the 19 Australian ... ›
- Cyclone Harold Batters Fiji, Tonga Could Be Next - EcoWatch ›
- 2 Killed, Thousands Evacuated as Cyclone Yesa Slams Fiji ... ›
By Rishika Pardikar
Search operations are still underway to find those declared missing following the Uttarakhand disaster on 7 February 2021.
Biden Refuses to Shut Down Dakota Access Pipeline, Despite Campaign Pledges on Tribal Relations and Climate
By Jessica Corbett
Indigenous leaders and climate campaigners on Friday blasted President Joe Biden's refusal to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline during a court-ordered environmental review, which critics framed as a betrayal of his campaign promises to improve tribal relations and transition the country to clean energy.
- After Court Rules Dakota Access Pipeline Operating Illegally, Dems ... ›
- Environmentalists Applaud Biden Selections of Granholm, McCarthy ... ›
- Biden Urged to 'Honor Indigenous Sovereignty and Immediately Halt ... ›