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The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.76
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

George Washington University
IN-1: Innovation 1

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Meghan Chapple
Director of Sustainability, Senior Advisor on University Sustainability Initiatives
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Title or keywords related to the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Capital Partners Solar Project

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome :

Capital Partners Solar Project is an innovative renewable energy project that will provide solar power from three project sites to the George Washington University (GW), American University (AU) and the George Washington University Hospital (GWUH). It is comprised of 52 megawatts (MWac) of solar photovoltaic (PV) power.

Collectively, once all three solar farm sites are operable by early 2016, the project will deliver 123,000 MWh of renewable energy to the three partners in its first year, with GW taking approximately 70.4% of the total load (equivalent to about 50% of its total electricity demand). At the time of signing, GW's share represented the largest ever non-utility solar PV power purchase agreement (PPA) in the United States in terms of total megawatt-hours contracted over the life of the 20-year contract term.

This project demonstrates how large organizations in an urban setting can partner to significantly reduce their carbon footprints by receiving offsite solar energy. Supplied by Duke Energy Renewables, the solar power will help all three institutions reduce their carbon footprint significantly, abating approximately 60,000 metric tons of CO2 compared to conventional electricity. This is equivalent to taking roughly 12,500 cars off the road. In addition, the project will yield economic savings for each institution as the price of traditional power is expected to increase over the duration of the project contract.

This project is a model for other urban institutions that want to meet their electricity needs using renewable energy. The groundbreaking for the first site located in Pasquotank County near Elizabeth City, NC, took place in summer 2014 and the project began to deliver electricity to GW in January 2015. GW is taking 100% of the solar power generated by the Pasquotank Solar Farm, equivalent to approximately 25% of its total electricity demand. The second and third site locations will be finalized by April 2015, and begin delivering solar power to GW by the start of 2016, at which point the solar generation will produce approximately 50% of GW's electricity.

A brief description of any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation (if not reported above):

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
Which of the following STARS subcategories does the innovation most closely relate to? (Select all that apply up to a maximum of 5):
Yes or No
Curriculum No
Research No
Campus Engagement Yes
Public Engagement No
Air & Climate Yes
Buildings Yes
Dining Services No
Energy Yes
Grounds No
Purchasing Yes
Transportation No
Waste No
Water No
Coordination, Planning & Governance No
Diversity & Affordability No
Health, Wellbeing & Work No
Investment No

Other topic(s) that the innovation relates to that are not listed above:

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.