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MSU signs contract with NextEra Energy for 20 MW solar array

By District Energy posted 12-09-2020 09:20


The State News


Taking a step forward in sustainability, Michigan State signed a contract to establish a 110-acre, 20-megawatt solar panel array on south campus along Hagadorn Road, between Bennett Road and Jolly Road.

The contract, signed with NextEra Energy, allows for the university to purchase the electricity at a fixed rate over the agreement’s 35-year duration. In exchange, NextEra will build and maintain the array. 

MSU will have the opportunity to buy the project’s assets over the course of the term, meaning that they may own the panels and related equipment once the contract expires.

Although the project is still in a planning and design phase, Infrastructure Planning and Facilities, or IPF, Communications Manager Fred Woodhams said in an email that construction will likely begin in spring 2022 and the array should be operational by December of that year, with little to no road closures in-between.

“Michigan State University has ambitious sustainability goals and the new solar arrays are a big step toward further reducing MSU’s greenhouse gas emissions,” Woodhams said.

He also said that in signing the agreement, the university is being more cost-effective.

“We are expecting that this will save the university $40 million over the course of the power purchase agreement,” Woodhams said.

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