A solar energy generation system planned for Lincoln College has won approval for renewable energy credits from the Illinois Power Agency (IPA).

The credits are tied to a planned installation of solar panels near the Lincoln College baseball and soccer fields, as part of a renewable energy service agreement between Lincoln College, Clean Energy Design Group, Inc., (CEDG) from Springfield, and its financing partner, DynaSolar, a national energy partner out of California.

“This project will not only produce significant energy savings for Lincoln College, it offers educational opportunities for our students to study and monitor solar energy technology right here on campus,” Lincoln College President David Gerlach said.

“We are pleased to partner with Lincoln College on this important project,” said James Holtzman, COO and Dan Griffin, CEO of CEDG. “Whenever possible, we try to incorporate an educational component into our projects and the opportunity to work with Lincoln College was a great fit.”

The awarding of renewable energy credits in the IPA lottery on April 10 clears the way for work to begin on the project, which was announced last fall. Pending the final negotiation and execution of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between Lincoln College and the CEDG development team, construction would be scheduled to begin sometime this year with final completion and commissioning occurring prior to the end of 2019.  Lincoln College would then look at immediate energy savings starting by the beginning of 2020.

CEDG focuses on energy projects that create value by raising public awareness of the benefits and practical application of alternative energy sources and is working with educational facilities throughout the state, including Lincoln Community High School.  Encouraging other public and private sector entities to consider the values of Renewable Energy (RE) brings not only economic benefits and jobs but also helps green our environment for future generations and make the world a better place, according to the company.

Under the terms of the agreement, CEDG and its partners offer to design, finance, construct/commission, and operate and maintain the ground mounted solar energy installation over time.  With no upfront costs or other responsibilities required from Lincoln College beyond a land lease arrangement, the incentive to take advantage of this opportunity is strong.  In return, an energy cost savings PPA, will result in immediate savings for the College, with energy savings that accumulate over the 20-year term of the agreement.

Students and faculty 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.

With an installation capacity equaling 2- Megawatt/DC or 1.5 Megawatt/AC in nameplate size, the system is considered by the IPA as a “behind the meter” solar project in their process of renewable energy credits (RECs) awards.

This means the power generated onsite will be used directly by Lincoln College, rather than being transported and sold over the electric power grid to other users. This allows for a number of advantages including: saving transmission costs and equipment upgrades, immediate use of electric energy produced onsite in real time and requiring minimal maintenance and operation costs than wind turbines, making it a good fit for the College.