Nashville Electric Service and Tennessee Valley Authority have signed a landmark agreement with Vanderbilt University to procure off-site large-scale renewable energy to help mitigate the campus’ greenhouse gas emissions. The 20-year agreement will support Vanderbilt’s goal to power its campus entirely through renewable energy and become carbon neutral by 2050.
The renewable power will come from a 35-megawatt solar farm which will be built in Bedford County, Tennessee, by Nashville-based Silicon Ranch Corporation – the U.S. solar platform for Shell and one of the largest independent solar power producers in the country. Vanderbilt is the first customer to partner with a local power company on this type of agreement in the seven-state TVA region.
The renewable energy supplied by the solar farm will supply an amount sufficient to offset close to 70 percent of Vanderbilt’s annual indirect greenhouse gas emissions from purchase electricity – the equivalent of nearly 7,000 cars drive for one year or 5,000 homes using electricity for one year. Per the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies
The next phase of the project is an environmental review of the Bedford County location. Upon successful completion of that review, Silicon Ranch will begin construction and targets fall 2022 for the facility to be operational.