Stanford University is already running on 100% renewable electricity with the commissioning of its second solar power plant

Stanford’s second solar power plant was commissioned this month, completing the university’s transition to 100% renewable electricity and marking a milestone on the road to net carbon emissions on the planet. campus.

Stanford Solar Power Station #2 (SSGS2), Stanford is part of a larger solar power and energy storage project called slate, began commercial operation in mid-March. The 63-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant sits on 1,000 acres in central California near Lemoore.

The station is the latest element of the Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) project, a complete overhaul and transition of Stanford University’s energy system from a 100% fuel-based combined heat and power plant to fossil fuels to grid electricity and a more efficient electrical installation. heat recovery system.

With the commissioning of this new solar plant, Stanford will reach the milestone of producing enough renewable electricity to exceed the university’s consumption. But our work to achieve a more sustainable future has only just begun.

As we green our operations, we are also committed to advancing global solutions through our research and education mission.

Our new climate and sustainability-focused school, which will open this fall, will serve as a focal point for these efforts.

Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President.

SSGS2 includes a 200 megawatt battery energy storage system that helps create a better match between demand (such as electricity consumption at night) and resource (electricity produced during the day). Surplus electricity generated by the plant will help sustain California’s power grid, said Aurora Winslade, director of the Stanford Office of Sustainability.

Recurrent Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Solar, developed and operates the facility. Goldman Sachs Renewable Power bought it from Recurrent, which now serves as project manager.

Stanford is a “purchaser,” or purchaser, of power from the facility, along with Bay Area Rapid Transit, Silicon Valley Clean Energy, Central Coast Community Energy, and the Power and Water Resources Pooling Authority.

Ambitious decarbonization.

In 2015, Stanford transitioned from powering the campus solely with natural gas to a more efficient system of using grid electricity and waste heat to heat and cool the campus, saving money, conserving water, eliminate greenhouse gases and pave the way for a clean environment. energy future. To this end, the innovative power plant was commissioned and the Stanford campus natural gas cogeneration plant was dismantled.

The 54 megawatt Stanford No. 1 Solar Plant in Rosamond, California became operational in 2016.

Now that SSGS2 is also online, Stanford can achieve its goal of powering everything with clean electricity — from kitchen operations in dining halls to burners in labs — at the main campus, Redwood City campus, and Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove.

The university’s sophisticated greenhouse gas reduction programs have reduced peak 2011 levels by almost 80%.

This model is also a good financial investment, as it saves money in the long run. The university projects total net savings of approximately $520 million in energy savings, compared to 2011 costs.


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