A solar energy generation system is planned to be installed near the Lincoln College baseball and soccer fields, as part of a new renewable energy service agreement between Lincoln College and Clean Energy Design Group, Inc., (CEDG).
“This project has the potential to produce significant energy savings for Lincoln College,” Lincoln College President David Gerlach said. “But even more exciting is that it will offer educational opportunities to our students for studying and monitoring solar energy technology right here on campus.”
“We are pleased to partner with Lincoln College on this important project,” said James Holtzman, Chief Operating Officer of CEDG out of Springfield, IL. “Whenever possible, we try to incorporate an educational component into our projects and the opportunity to work with Lincoln College was a great fit.”
Holtzman added that energy projects such as this also are valuable in raising public awareness of the benefits and practical application of alternative energy sources, encouraging other public and private sector entities to consider renewable energy.
Under the terms of the agreement, CEDG will finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the solar energy installation, with no upfront costs to Lincoln College. A cost savings Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), will result in immediate capital expenditure savings for the College, with energy savings that accumulate over the 20-year term of the agreement.
Students and facility will be able to monitor energy production in real-time from a computer display to be located on campus, in addition to having direct access to data in science labs and technology classes.
According to Holtzman the 2.0 Megawatt installation is a “behind the meter” solar project, meaning that the power generated will be used directly by Lincoln College, rather than being transported and sold over the electric power grid to other users. As a solar project, Holtzman said it requires less operational and maintenance costs than wind turbines, making it a good fit for the College.
The project will proceed pending an award of renewable energy credits, or RECs, from the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) to assist in the development and financing. Projects will be designated early in 2019.