Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., and eight other colleges and universities in North Carolina and Pennsylvania are joining forces to bring an innovative, large-scale solar facility online in western Kentucky.

By collaborating on this Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Davidson College, Dickinson College, Elon University, Haverford College, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Muhlenberg College, Swarthmore College and Wake Forest University are accessing the benefits of renewable energy through a deal typically only feasible for large customers.

“We’re proud to join this consortium of colleges and universities on this large-scale solar energy project. Together, we’re taking a thoughtful step toward addressing climate issues and creating a more sustainable future,” said Nicole Hurd, president of Lafayette College. “It also accelerates our goal to reach carbon neutrality on our campus by 2035 as part of our Climate Action Plan.”

Guided by Coho, an ERM Group Company, the institutions are working with NextEra Energy Resources, the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, and a world leader in battery energy storage. The consortium is supporting the Sebree Solar II project through a PPA that entails purchasing energy for 20 years. The Sebree Solar II project is set to begin construction in early 2025 and commence commercial operation by the end of 2026. The solar site is projected to provide enough energy to annually power more than 24,000 homes when complete.

Cool Springs Solar Energy Center

Cool Springs Solar Energy Center, image by NextEra Energy Resources

The solar facility will be located near the town of Robards, Kentucky, near the Ohio River. The Sebree Solar II project will offer considerable environmental benefits as the project will generate up to 150 megawatts of clean, renewable energy. Over its 30-year lifespan, the solar site will contribute approximately $12 million in additional tax revenue to Henderson County which can be used for roads, schools and other public services.

While electricity generated by the Sebree Solar II project cannot be transmitted directly to the consortium campuses because of distance, the benefits of investing in new additional renewable energy will still be transferred to the schools. Lafayette College will be paying for an amount of energy equal to 100% percent of the electricity used by its campus. In exchange, Lafayette will receive renewable energy credits, which can be used to account for greenhouse gas emissions related to purchased electricity. Lafayette will receive access to data from the Sebree Solar II project for classroom use, as well as campus speaking engagements, site visits, and student internships.

“We are pleased to work with Lafayette College and the other institutions to help them achieve their sustainability goals,” said Anthony Pedroni, vice president, renewable development and M&A NextEra Energy Resources. “This solar energy project will generate homegrown energy and provide millions of dollars in additional tax revenue to Henderson County over the life of the project.”

About Lafayette College

  • Inspired by the desire to honor Marquis de Lafayette and his service to the cause of freedom during the American Revolution, Lafayette College was chartered in 1826 and established with an unwavering tradition of academic excellence and community spirit that has flourished for nearly 200 years.
  • More than 2,700 students from 44 U.S. states and territories and 60 countries come to Lafayette to experience intimate and transformative classes, labs, and field experiences. Lafayette offers a scenic, historic campus with state-of-the-art engineering, science, and performing and visual arts facilities and easy access to Easton, a picturesque river city in eastern Pennsylvania abuzz with fine and casual dining, entertainment, and popular festivals. Lafayette’s pioneering roots and continued impact on Easton, the Lehigh Valley, and beyond will soon be celebrated as the College prepares for its bicentennial in 2026.

About Coho

  • Coho, an ERM Group Company, is a global climate advisor dedicated to helping clients navigate complexity and take ambitious steps on their climate journey. It provides deep market insight, analytical problem-solving, and change management expertise so that clients can switch to renewable energy and make other large-scale climate and water resiliency investments with confidence and internal alignment.
Categorized in: Featured News, News and Features, Sustainability

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