The University of Pittsburgh has completed its 20 MW Gaucho Solar project in Findlay Township and Independence Township. The project is built on 58 acres of land near Pittsburgh International Airport and features 55,000 electricity-generating solar panels that will provide more than 35,700 MWh annually.
Construction was completed by Vesper Energy, a Dallas-based renewable energy developer, who also arranged a power purchase agreement with the University of Pittsburgh for the total output of the project for 20 years. The solar project is expected to provide up to 18% of the campus’ electricity usage each year and support its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2037.
The Gaucho Solar project is expected to save the university millions of dollars by allowing them to directly purchase clean energy without requiring any upfront capital or maintenance costs, providing price certainty throughout the contract.
“The University of Pittsburgh is fully committed to achieving carbon neutrality for our Pittsburgh campus by 2037, with our current and future renewable electricity commitments getting us over one-third of the way there,” said Aurora Sharrard, executive director of sustainability at the University of Pittsburgh.
During construction, students had the opportunity to learn about the facility and renewable energy, and the facility will be incorporated into the school’s curriculum.