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Off-Site Large-Scale Renewable Energy

Our Goal: Vanderbilt will power its campus entirely through renewable energy and commits to carbon neutrality by 2050.

Large-Scale Renewable Energy

Vanderbilt University entered into an agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Nashville Electric Service through TVA’s Green Invest program to procure off-site large-scale renewable energy to help mitigate the campus’ greenhouse gas emissions. Through this partnership, Vanderbilt is tackling climate change head-on by working towards its goal of powering its campus entirely through renewable energy and committing to carbon neutrality.

Vanderbilt is the first customer to partner with a local power company on this type of agreement in the seven-state TVA region. The 20-year agreement will support Vanderbilt’s goal to power its campus entirely through renewable energy and become carbon neutral by the year 2050. This collaboration also allows the region to take a bold step forward in expanding availability and access to renewable energy at a critical time in global efforts to address the threat of climate change.

Vanderbilt’s initial Green invest project was announced in January 2020.  The solar farm, located in Bedford County, Tennessee, mitigates approximately 70 percent of the university’s indirect greenhouse gas emissions from purchased electricity. The solar farm opened in April 2023, with a “Flip the Switch” event on April 11.

The second Green Invest project will supply enough renewable energy to offset the remaining 30 percent of the university’s annual indirect greenhouse gas emissions from purchased electricity. This second planned solar farm will be located in Moore County, Tennessee.

Nashville-based and VU alumni-founded Silicon Ranch is funding both solar farm projects and overseeing constriction. The company will own, operate and maintain the Vanderbilt solar farms, which will offer opportunities to engage faculty and students to learn more about solar energy.

The Green Invest partnerships are the result of two years of intensive effort through The Large-Scale Renewable Energy Study by Vanderbilt to identify the best renewable energy strategy for the university on the basis of key criteria that include financial, social and environmental benefits and risk mitigation.

Vanderbilt I Solar Farm (Bedford County) Media

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