Emory University announces solar agreementImage provided to Decaturish
Atlanta, GA – Emory University will install over 15,000 solar panels across 16 buildings on its Druid Hills campus, which will generate approximately 10 percent of its peak energy requirements and reduce greenhouse gas by about 4,300 metric tons, a press release said.
The University has awarded Cherry Street Energy with a 20-year agreement to install 5.5. megawatts (MW) of solar generation across campus.
“Various Emory rooftops and parking decks will soon be home to an array of solar photovoltaic panels, converting our campus into a significant site for clean energy supporting Emory’s carbon commitment,” Robin Morey, vice president of Campus Services and chief planning officer at Emory University, said in the press release. “This transformational project upholds Emory’s commitment to addressing climate change and building a resilient and sustainable future.”
The investment supports Emory’s revised greenhouse gas emissions goals, which now mirror the latest science articulated by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which requires a 45 percent reduction by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.
Cherry Street will install more than 15,000 solar photovoltaic panels on building rooftops and parking structures across Emory as part of a Solar Energy Procurement Agreement (SEPA), an arrangement made legal in Georgia in 2015 that allows a private investor to install, own, and maintain solar panels with Emory buying the power at rates lower than charged by the utility. Under SEPA, there are no upfront costs to Emory. Construction will begin in May 2020.
Furthering Emory’s commitment to economic inclusion, the installation of solar panels will be conducted as part of a recently launched Cherry Street Energy workforce development program. Shine On is a family of programs that helps workers get the experience and training needed to build a career in solar installation. Emory’s solar installations will provide opportunities to learn the skills necessary to work with cutting edge solar technologies, the press release said.
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