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Capital Partners Solar Project
Solar Project to Bring Energy to Three D.C. Institutions
Capital Partners Solar Project is an innovative renewable energy project that will provide solar power to the George Washington University (GW), American University (AU) and the George Washington University Hospital (GWUH). It is comprised of 52 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) power, and it is the largest PV project east of the Mississippi River.
This project demonstrates how large organizations in an urban setting can partner to significantly reduce their carbon footprints by receiving offsite solar energy. Supplied by Duke Energy Renewables, the solar power will help all three institutions reduce their carbon footprint significantly, abating approximately 60,000 metric tons of CO2 compared to conventional electricity. This is equivalent to taking roughly 12,500 cars off the road. In addition, the project will yield economic savings for each institution as the price of traditional power is expected to increase over the duration of the project contract.
Designed and facilitated by CustomerFirst Renewables (CFR), this project is a model for other urban institutions that want to meet their electricity needs using renewable energy. The groundbreaking for the first site will take place this summer and the project will begin to deliver electricity by the end of the year.
The partnership was announced on June 24, 2014. Below is more information about the sustainability efforts of each partner.
GW works to integrate sustainability into practice, research, teaching and outreach. The university was the first in D.C. to sign the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, agreeing to carbon neutrality goals. The university is undertaking many sustainability efforts, including green power, LEED-certified buildings, student-led projects in D.C. and around the globe, an interdisciplinary sustainability minor and faculty research. GW and Duke Energy are finalizing a memorandum of understanding that will launch a multiyear research collaboration. Duke Energy will provide resources and share data that will provide GW researchers with the ability to describe and communicate the impacts of this landmark energy project.
Sustainability carries throughout AU, through its academic centers, programs, degrees and courses. AU has made a commitment to become carbon neutral by 2020. Faculty members research sustainability on and off campus, such as analyzing AU’s 10 green roofs and others in the District for their environmental benefits. Students lead sustainability efforts through programs, clubs and an organic garden, and participate in research, including in AU’s carbon offset project. New buildings are LEED Gold certified, and 25 existing buildings are also tracked for LEED, as AU is one of only three schools in the world using LEED Volume certification.
Last fall, GW Hospital initiated an internal “Healthier, Happier” campaign to highlight current sustainability efforts and also to garner the support and ideas of frontline staff. The campaign’s combined focus is on healthier food, leaner energy, safer chemicals, less waste and smarter purchasing, and GW Hospital is proud to showcase achievements in all of these areas. From healthier food options in the cafeteria to installing more efficient lighting to increased use of “green” cleaning chemicals, GW Hospital strives to not only excel in clinical care but also in a commitment to sustainability and caring for the environment.
Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy’s Commercial Businesses, is a leader in developing innovative wind and solar energy generation projects for customers throughout the United States. The company has invested more than $3 billion in renewable energy over the past seven years and currently owns and operates almost 1,800 MW of large-scale wind and solar energy facilities across the nation. The company’s growing portfolio of commercial renewable assets includes 15 wind farms and 21 solar farms in operation in 12 states, with an additional 500 MW under construction.
CustomerFirst Renewables is an innovative renewable energy integrator focused on bringing large-scale solutions to businesses and institutions across North America. CFR delivers competitively sourced electricity and environmental attributes from customer-dedicated renewables that replace traditional supply and meet up to 100 percent of power needs regardless of customer location(s), typically cost less than brown power, mitigate uncertainty around future electricity prices and reduce carbon footprint. With more than 100 years of electric industry experience, CFR has a unique ability to listen to customer needs and apply distinctive problem-solving skills and expertise to produce solutions that create tremendous value for customers.