Skip to main content

Innovative Collaborations

Vanderbilt University announced a collaboration with Clearloop in April 2023 to further offset Vanderbilt’s FY21-22 carbon footprint by investing in the development of new solar energy projects that will expand access to clean energy in the Southeast and expanding access to clean energy in communities where significant socioeconomic and environmental benefits can be achieved. Vanderbilt joined more than 30 organizations across the country that have committed to invest in the solar projects to be developed in Panola County, Mississippi – a community at the intersection of the Mississippi Delta and the Appalachian Foothills.  

The 6.6-megawatt Panola I Solar Farm is the first of three solar projects launched in Panola County by Clearloop, a Silicon Ranch company, in partnership with the local power company, Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association, and with the support of the local economic development group, the Panola Partnership. Vanderbilt’s investment is supporting the third project in Panola County.  

Clearloop provides carbon solutions that help organizations decarbonize areas in the U.S. that are under resourced and have historically experienced the most negative economic, health, and wellness impacts from air pollution and energy. Clearloop helps spur investment in new solar projects in areas with the highest sun intensity coupled with the opportunity to displace the most carbon and clean up the electrical grid in socio-economically under-invested areas. This quantitative measurement is known as emissionality, an innovative process that Clearloop pioneered. Combined, the three Panola County projects will prevent more than 1 billion pounds of carbon from entering the atmosphere and generate enough renewable, cost-effective energy to power approximately 3,000 homes annually.    

In 2021, Vanderbilt first achieved carbon neutrality decades ahead of its original 2050 goal by collaborating with Climate Vault, an award-winning nonprofit dedicated to reducing and removing emissions. In addition to neutralizing nearly 300,000 metric tons with Climate Vault to-date, Vanderbilt is stimulating innovation in carbon removal technologies that can have far-reaching benefits for the future.    

Vanderbilt is also a large-scale renewable energy leader within the Tennessee Valley region with a bold community partnership with TVA and the Nashville Electric Service for solar energy that serves as a model for other institutions.    

Additional efforts on campus and in the Nashville community around sustainability include on-site renewable energy, decreased carbon footprint from vehicles, more green spaces on campus, reduced consumption and waste and investments in sustainable infrastructure.