Under a new partnership the 52 megawatt Capital Partners Solar Project in North Carolina will power George Washington University (GW), American University (AU) and the George Washington University Hospital (GWUH). The project, being built by CustomerFirst Renewables and is owned by Duke Energy Renewables, will begin delivering energy to the facilities this year and will be completed next year. The project is being called the largest PV project East of the Mississippi.
“Thanks to this innovative partnership, the George Washington University will now derive more than half of all its electricity from solar energy,” said GW President Steven Knapp. “This will greatly accelerate our progress toward the carbon neutrality target we had earlier set for 2025.”
“American University is firmly on its way to achieving carbon neutrality by 2020,” said AU President Neil Kerwin. “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.”
The project is unique in that the sites that will benefit from the solar power are more than two states away. While some of the giant solar projects delivering power to California are in Arizona, for instance, that’s still just one state away. This project shows that even large organizations can use offsite solar power to get clean energy at a long-term, fixed rate while reducing their carbon footprints.
“Great organizations define the future. They embrace new ways of thinking and become part of something bigger than themselves,” said Barry Wolfman, CEO and managing director of GWUH. “Joining this partnership to embrace alternative power reflects our daily work as health advocate….It’s simply the right thing to do, and we are proud to be a part of it.”
The project is also looked forward to by those in North Carolina. “We believe our support of solar energy is creating excitement about making investments in our community,” said Jon Crouse. He is a trustee for one of the parcels of land that will be used in the first phase the project. 25 percent of the farmland will host solar panels while the remaining 75 percent will still be used to grow.
“The opportunities the project presents—hundreds of construction jobs, the sale of materials and consumables and an increase in the tax base—are huge for our county. For the landowners and farmers, it enables us to diversify from a fully agricultural portfolio, build economic sustainability and become part of a larger effort to be good stewards of the environment,” Crouse said.Tweet