LEXINGTON, Va. (WFXR) — Washington and Lee University (W&L) will now match 100% of its annual electricity consumption.
It is part of a deal between the university and solar energy developer SunEnergy1 — which built, owns, and operates a 17-megawatts offsite solar farm. This farm will provide 11 megawatts to the Lexington university.
This partnership will help lower its greenhouse gas emissions, reduce long-term energy cost uncertainty, and push the university in the right direction to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
“This project represents a huge step forward, creating new solar capacity in a way that advances renewable energy in our region, not just on our campus,” said Jane Stewart, director of sustainability at W&L. “Meeting climate-related challenges requires us to widen our perspective and think about systems and solutions in a new way. In committing to this project, W&L has done just that. I am so grateful to our leadership for having the vision and resolve to make this happen.”
The university has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 42% over the last decade. According to the school, this agreement will help reduce emissions by 63%.
“We are very proud of the progress we’ve made on our sustainability initiatives in recent years,” said W&L President William C. Dudley. “Thanks to the leadership of Steve McAllister and Jane Stewart, the good work of our university facilities staff, and the guidance of the University Sustainability Committee, we have consistently surpassed the original targets outlined in our Climate Action Plan. This new partnership will significantly advance our commitment to attaining carbon neutrality, and we look forward to making further progress through a thoughtful review of purchasing, transportation, and sustainable office and living practices.”