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UVA, Darden and Dominion Virginia Power Announce Solar Partnership

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In an ongoing attempt to slash carbon emissions, the University of Virginia and its Darden School of Business have announced a 25-year solar power partnership deal with Dominion Virginia Power.

As part of the agreementcalled the UVA Hollyfield Solar Project—UVA and Darden will purchase all of the electricity produced over the next 25 years at a new, 160-acre solar facility in King William County. The facility—which will be constructed, operated and owned by Dominion—is expected to produce roughly 17 megawatts of alternating current, equivalent to about 12 percent of the schools’ electric demand. Darden will assume responsibility for about a quarter of that production, putting the business school on track to achieve its long-term, carbon-zero goal.

Overall, the initiative will help Darden and its parent university cut approximately 18,000 metric tons of carbon emissions per year—part of an institution-wide goal of reducing total emissions by 25 percent by 2025.

Darden Aims for Carbon Neutrality by 2020
Darden, for its part, aims to become completely carbon neutral in less than four years. “By supporting the solar energy project, Darden will reach carbon neutrality by 2020 and will be one of the only top-ranked business schools in the United States to realize this accomplishment,” Mike Lenox, Darden senior associate dean, professor and chief strategy officer, said as part of an article on the school’s website. In addition to this newest solar energy initiative, Darden has embarked on an array of other energy-efficient initiatives over the past eight years that include composting, recycling and energy-use reduction, Lenox added.

“This is an exciting day for the University of Virginia and for the commonwealth,” Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said in a statement. “Last year, I announced a state commitment to power our operations with more renewable energy, and today’s announcement helps to fulfill that commitment. With this project, the state is now a third of the way to meeting its 8 percent procurement goal in fewer than 12 months.”

You can read more about the new partnership on Darden’s website.

Matthew Korman
Matthew Korman is a contributing author and editor for Clear Admit. Since graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism and political science, Matthew has worked with numerous academic institutions, in addition to roles as a music industry writer, promoter, and data analyst. His works have appeared in publications such as NPR and Sports Illustrated.