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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities
Solar array rendering

Electrical distribution - renewable energy

Project phase: Construction

Solutions are needed to address the increased demands created by campus growth, the addition of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams and other research and academic endeavors, and to maintain the reliability and cost-effectiveness of MSU's power supply.  These tasks also must to be accomplished in a manner that achieves the goals of the Energy Transition Plan.  Thus far, the planning has resulted in projects to upgrade the electric substation and transmission lines on campus and to install an additional pipeline to deliver gas to the T.B. Simon Power Plant, and the announcement in April 2015 that MSU would cease to burn coal in the Power Plant by the end of 2016. Much progress has been made, but the grand goals set by the university and the Energy Transition Plan require diligence and creativity.

Project Details:

The university plans to enter into a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for renewable energy that would be generated from the construction of large scale solar arrays over five parking lots.  The chosen solar power developer has proposed to install solar arrays on parking lots 83 (Service Road east of Harrison and university Services), 89 (Farm Lane and Mt. Hope), 91 (Service Road and Hagadorn Road), 92 (Service Road north of the Clinical Center), and 100 (Service Road east of Radiology). MSU will connect the electrical output of the solar arrays to the MSU electrical grid in the parking lots selected for installation. The university will purchase all power produced by these solar arrays at a fixed rate over the life of the agreement. The university will have the option to purchase the arrays at one or more times after the sixth year of operation by the solar power developer.

This project will provide financial benefits to MSU by allowing MSU to purchase power at a fixed price over the next 25 years. The project will also significantly advance the Energy Transition Plan's goals of improving the environment, investing in sustainable energy research and development, and positioning MSU as a leader in the realm of sustainable energy.

Infrastructure Planning and Facilities Building Services will design and install the interconnection of the solar power to the MSU electrical grid.

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Questions, comments, concerns?

Construction representative