Renewable Energy Project Will Further Pitt’s Push for Carbon Neutrality
PITTSBURGH (June 23, 2020) — Lendlease, a leading international property and infrastructure company, and the University of Pittsburgh today announced a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the 20-megawatt (MW) Gaucho Solar project. Pitt will purchase all of the 33,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of annual energy production from the solar project to be located on 70 acres in the Independence and Findlay Townships of Beaver and Allegheny Counties in Pennsylvania, adjacent to electric utility Duquesne Light Company’s Clinton substation. Subject to project approvals, the solar installation will begin operations in mid-2022 and the site will become one of the largest solar projects in Western Pennsylvania.
The agreement will advance the University’s sustainability goals, including its commitment to be a carbon neutral campus by 2037, by supplying approximately 13 percent of the Pittsburgh campus’ annual electricity usage. Lendlease also has agreed to install pollinator-friendly landscaping at the site, in line with Pitt’s Sustainable Landscape Design Guidelines.
Combining this PPA for clean solar power with Pitt’s plan to purchase hydropower from a plant to be built along the Allegheny River, it is anticipated that at least 38 percent of the University’s electricity will come from local, renewable sources by 2023.
“Working with the University of Pittsburgh has been a rewarding experience, and Lendlease is proud to help the University meet a portion of its annual electricity usage through local, renewable sources and help it meet its sustainability goals,” said Craig Carson, General Manager of Lendlease Energy Development. “That is why 100 percent of the electricity and renewable energy credits from the Gaucho solar project will go to the University of Pittsburgh.”
“We are excited to partner with Lendlease to advance the University of Pittsburgh’s carbon reduction goals,” said Dr. Aurora Sharrard, the University’s Director of Sustainability. “The University has committed to a carbon neutral Pittsburgh campus by 2037, our 250th anniversary. This dovetails with the Pitt Sustainability Plan goal to halve greenhouse gas emissions between 2008 and 2030, while sourcing 50 percent of campus electricity from renewables by 2030.”
Electricity generation accounts for about half of the University’s greenhouse gas emissions, so a commitment to local, renewable solar power is an important part of Pitt’s ongoing sustainability progress.
“Solar power is not only clean energy, but it’s cost effective as well — and expected to help reduce the University’s utility costs long-term. At the same time, renewable power benefits the entire community by eliminating local pollutants from electricity generation that harm the region’s air quality,” she said.
Learn more about Pitt’s carbon commitments here.
The project aligns with the University’s commitment to community by helping to develop the Pennsylvania solar market and strengthen rural communities.
The project requires township approvals, and public hearings are scheduled for June 23-24, 2020. A conditional use permit and final development approvals will be necessary for the project to proceed.
Lendlease develops and finances utility-scale solar and energy storage projects throughout the United States. The current project pipeline exceeds 2 GW. The team has previously developed, built and transferred ownership of the 8 MW Cooperative Solar Farm One facility in Clark County, Kentucky. Lendlease recently announced the sale of Wallingford Renewable Energy, a 16 MW project in Wallingford, Connecticut, and Rancho Seco Solar II, a 160 MW project in Sacramento County, California.
Learn more about Lendlease’s energy expertise here.
Lendlease is a leading international property and infrastructure group with operations in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Our vision is to create the best places; places that inspire and enrich the lives of people around the world.
Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, Lendlease has approximately 13,000 employees internationally.
Our core capabilities are reflected in our operating segments of Development, Construction and Investments. The combination of these three segments provides us with a sustainable competitive advantage and allows us to provide innovative integrated solutions for our customers. Our integrated approach means we harness the expertise in infrastructure, design, development, investments and management to deliver a project from conception to completion.
About the University of Pittsburgh:
A nonsectarian, coeducational, state-related, public research university founded in 1787, the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) is a member of the prestigious by-invitation-only Association of American Universities and internationally renowned as a leading center of learning and research in the arts, sciences, humanities, professions, and health sciences. Comprising a Pittsburgh campus, which is home to 16 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools, and four Western Pennsylvania regional campuses, Pitt offers nearly 500 distinct degree programs and confers more than 8,500 degrees annually. Pitt has ranked among the top 10 recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1998 and is ranked among the top 10 American research universities nationally in terms of total federal science and engineering research and development obligations. For more information, visit www.pitt.edu.
InkHouse for Lendlease Americas
Kimberly K. Barlow
University of Pittsburgh Office of University Communications