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University of Illinois Explores Expanding Solar Farm

The University of Illinois is considering an expansion of its solar farm.

The University of Illinois South Farms has been idle since October, when on-site electrical system issues occurred. But it's scheduled to resume operations soon.

University officials have discussed expanding the 21-acre solar farm to help meet renewable-energy goals outlined in the Illinois Climate Action Plan, known as iCAP.

Under the plan, the campus is expected by 2050 to be "carbon neutral," emitting no net carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

Professor Evan DeLucia is a member of the campus Sustainability Council. She says the expansion is just one idea under consideration.

The university signed a 10-year power purchase agreement in 2015 with Phoenix Solar LLC, which built and operates the farm.  In 2016, the university paid almost $1.4 million to Phoenix Solar.

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