Three Washington D.C. universities plan 52 MW PV project

Three leading higher education establishments in Washington D.C., U.S., will soon boast direct access to their own solar plants totaling a combined PV capacity of 52 MW.

George Washington University, American University and the George Washington University Hospital have each signed up to the Capital Partners Solar Project, which has been orchestrated by CustomerFirst Renewables (CFR) with the intention of helping the nation’s capital meet its climate action plan commitments.

Local energy company Duke Energy Renewables will supply all of the 243,000 solar panels required at the three sites, which are to be located in North Carolina. Once complete, the solar plants will offset the effects of 60,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, the equivalent of removing 12,500 cars from the city’s roads. All power generated will flow from the North Carolina electrical grid to the regional grid in the D.C. area.

"Thanks to this innovative partnership, the George Washington University will now derive more than half of all its electricity from solar energy,” said Steven Knapp, the university’s president. "This will greatly accelerate our progress toward the carbon neutrality target we had earlier set for 2025."

Construction is expected to begin on the first site in the summer, and all three projects are planned to go live before the end of 2014. Under the agreement of the project, George Washington University will receive 86.6 million kWh of solar power, American University 30 million kWh, and the George Washington University Hospital 6.3 million kWh.

"Duke Energy Renewables looks forward to working with these leading D.C. institutions on an innovative solar project that demonstrates their leadership in sustainability and, at the same time, provides them with low-cost energy at a stable price for years to come," said Duke Energy Renewables president Greg Wolf.