Colorado State University will be expanding its 2MW solar power facility, which was completed in December 2009, with the help of Fotowatio Renewable Ventures. The 3.3MW expansion will be constructed next to the existing system on CSU’s Chrisman Field and be completed within four months. With the additional solar project installation, the University is set to have 5.3MW of solar power production on their campus, which they claim is the largest solar plant at a U.S. university.
Using Trina Solar modules on a stationary/fixed-tilt ground mount installation, the project will produce 8.5 million kWh of electricity per annum. FRV will own the solar facility and oversee the operation and maintenance under the new 20-year contract. FRV and CSU have signed a new PPA, which allows CSU to buy the electricity from the system at a fixed rate for 20-years with no upfront costs. At the end of the 20-year period, the University has the option to buy the system at fair market value and lay claim to the full value of the renewable energy credits.
“By securing solar power through a power purchase agreement rather than major capital investment, Colorado State University will benefit from a renewable energy system that is cost-effective for years to come,” said Jose Benjumea, president of FRV. “This collaborative effort serves as an example of how successful public-private partnerships can help universities and other public institutions make the most of financing, including tax credits and other incentives available for solar energy.”