Solar Farm - South Campus

Artist rendering of solar farm looking north from the jolly and hagadorn roads intersection

Project Information

Phase

  • Planning/Design

Scope

  • Installation of an up to 20MW fixed or single-axis tilt, ground mounted solar array on 110 acres located south of MSU's main campus near the intersection of Jolly and Hagadorn Roads.
  • Installation of direct-buried and overhead tie lines from the Solar Farm location to the Power Plant.
  • Construction will occur via a fixed-price Power Purchase Agreement of up to 30 years, with option to purchase.

Background

  • Installation of the South Campus Solar Farm will represent another major step towards achieving the goals set by the Energy Transition Plan by producing up to 20MW of electricity annually.
  • The university has sought to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and use more renewable sources multiple ways, including:
    • T.B. Simon Power Plant's switch from coal to natural gas in 2016 has resulted in a 43% reduction in overall CO2 emissions.
    • Solar Carport installation will save the university $10 million in electricity costs over the next 25 years, and will account for a 10,000 metric ton reduction in greenhouse gasses annually.
    • Surplus Store and Recycling Center continues to divert materials from landfill - 60% of MSU's waste was diverted in FY2015-16.
    • Anaerobic Digester produces a sustained 400kW electrical supply from food waste and animal excrement, along with a high-quality organic fertilizer.
    • Bott Building Geothermal Field produces about 20% of the building's energy needs.

Goals

  • Increase the campus' renewable-sourced electrical load from 18% to 50%.
  • Increase the average yearly campus electrical load using renewables from 7% to 20%.
  • Land under solar panels will remain available for sheep grazing and pollinator habitat.

Schedule

  • Construction start: TBD
  • Substantial completion: TBD

Budget

  • Most of the cost of the project will be carried by the power agreement partner, with recapture via fixed-rate sale of energy generated to the university.

Capital project number

  • CP19081

Questions?

Chris Barnes
Project Manager
barne137@msu.edu (517) 355-1628