The University of California (UC) has signed two power purchase agreements (PPAs) with PV provider Frontier Renewables as part of the largest solar energy purchase by a US higher education institution.
The PPAs will help ensure solar energy at UC's campuses for 25 years and will allow the institution to give 206,000MWh per year of solar energy back to California’s electrical grid.
Earlier this year, UC became a registered Electric Service Provider, which gave the university’s Wholesale Power Program the ability to supply energy to UC Irvine and its medical campus, UC Merced, UC San Diego and its medical centre, UC San Francisco and its medical centre and UC Santa Cruz.
The deals are part of UC’s new sustainability initiative, which has a goal of making UC the first research university to gain carbon neutrality by 2025.
Janet Napolitano, University of California president, said: “As a national leader in sustainability, the University of California is taking on bold, new goals and transforming our approach to procuring and using energy in more sustainable ways. Our partnership with Frontier Renewables will ensure that UC has a steady supply of cost-effective, climate-neutral electricity.”
The projects will use two facilities in Fresno County that have a combined capacity of 80MW. The two installations are expected to be completed and commence operations by the end of 2016.
Napolitano added: “By investing in the development of renewable energy sources like these, UC is doing its part to increase the supply of green energy available for use across California.”