University of Lynchburg has partnered with a Tesla company and the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia to bring 1.3 megawatts of solar power to campus.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced the partnership, which currently includes 1.9 megawatts of solar capacity to be installed at four colleges, in Richmond today. The announcement took place at Virginia Union University, one of the four schools statewide which have signed contracts Solar City, a company owned by Tesla. In addition to Lynchburg and Virginia Union, Randolph-Macon College and Washington and Lee University have signed agreements for solar projects in collaboration with CICV.
“This event highlights the leadership of Virginia’s private colleges in embracing renewable energy,” said Robert Lambeth, president of CICV.
“Beyond making our facilities more energy efficient, these solar installations also will serve as a ‘living classroom’ for our students pursuing careers in this tremendous growth industry. Our faculty and students will have access to industry-leading engineering and scientific discoveries that are driving solar technology advancements. CICV is excited to be able to give our students first-hand access to these innovations, which will provide them with valuable, hands-on experience that will translate to careers in renewable energy. Renewable energy is an increasingly large piece of our country’s power generation mix. Through the Sunshot Initiative, CICV’s students will have access to the tools and training to enter this high-growth workforce.”
Virginia’s private colleges have been the Commonwealth’s trailblazers, not just in the higher education community but among all public and private sector institutions, in adopting renewable energy. These advances have spanned a variety of clean energy sources, including solar and others. Six CICV schools, including University of Lynchburg, have signed contracts with Collegiate Clean Energy for electricity generated by landfill gas. The solar projects supported by the DOE’s Sunshot Initiative will build on more than 660 kW of prior solar installations at the following CICV member schools in recent years.
Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initiative, the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia will develop and implement its Solar Market Pathways collaboration and install solar panels at member colleges. These solar programs will provide CICV member schools with state-of-the-art solar technology and educational opportunities for students to learn more about renewable energy. The announcement today highlighted the innovative efforts of Virginia’s private colleges to help put the Commonwealth on the path to a clean energy future.
Over the next year, Solar City will install solar panels on the rooftop of Lynchburg’s Graduate Health Sciences building and in several parking lots on campus. Solar City will own and maintain the solar panels and sell the electricity they generate to University of Lynchburg, which expects to save about $900,000 over the next 20 years by using solar energy, including about $500,000 in projected sales of renewable energy credits.
Twelve additional schools are participating in the DOE Sunshot grant project, and CICV anticipates that these schools will sign contracts in the coming months to install solar panels on their campuses. A list of all 16 CICV member schools participating in the DOE Solar Market Pathways grant program follows:
- Appalachian School of Law
- Bridgewater College
- Eastern Mennonite University
- Emory and Henry College
- Ferrum College
- Hampton University
- Hollins University
- University of Lynchburg
- Mary Baldwin University
- Marymount University
- Randolph College
- Randolph-Macon College
- Roanoke College
- Shenandoah University
- Virginia Union University
- Washington and Lee University
About the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV)
The Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV) was founded in 1971 and is a nonprofit organization representing 28 accredited nonprofit independent colleges and universities in Virginia. CICV advocates for its member institutions and their students, encourages collaboration among member colleges, conducts research on the role of independent higher education and promotes the contributions of Virginia’s independent colleges to the public. To learn more, please visit http://cicv.org/.