FSU and City of Tallahassee Agree to 15-year Solar Energy Pact

FSU and City of Tallahassee Agree to 15-year Solar Energy Pact

By Britney White, FSU News

An updated agreement between Florida State University and the City of Tallahassee will double the amount of solar-generated electricity the university can draw from the city for the next 15 years. 

The move marks an extension and expansion of terms FSU agreed to in 2018 as part of its participation in the City of Tallahassee Solar Program and allows the university to tap solar power from two city-owned solar farms. It also fits squarely within the university’s strategic plan to make solar-generated electricity account for 20% of its overall consumption.

Preliminary projections from FSU Facilities anticipate that a total of 30% of campus energy consumption will come from solar as early as next year. That’s a five-fold leap from when the agreement was first signed in 2018 when solar accounted for about 6 percent. 

Kyle Clark, FSU vice president for Finance and Administration, said the agreement marks another step toward sustainability for the university.

“FSU is excited to expand its participation in the city’s optional solar program and affirm our commitment to campus sustainability,” he said. “The university is always looking for ways to be a better steward of natural resources and improve our carbon footprint.”

Elizabeth Swiman, director of Campus Sustainability, said the agreement promises to have multiple positive effects across campus.

“The fixed-rate cost outlined in the updated agreement allows for increased stability in long-term planning, hedging against the risk of future inflation and rising energy costs, particularly in the natural gas sector,” she said. “Expanding the amount of solar energy capacity available decreases the amount of natural gas needed to power campus resulting in impactful shifts in our green-house-gas profile and emissions footprint.”

The agreement secures the last of the city’s available solar capacity for the near future, and there are currently no other local options available.

“I’m enthusiastic about the increased solar capacity and our enhanced partnership with the City of Tallahassee,” said Dave Irvin, the associate vice president of Facility Services at FSU. “This reinforces to our communities and higher education peers that Florida State and FSU Sustainability and Facilities teams strive to be the best in the nation.”

8 Responses to "FSU and City of Tallahassee Agree to 15-year Solar Energy Pact"

  1. Lived in south Florida in the early 1950,s in a CBS house with a solar HWH system …………………even down there , cloudy days resulted in limited or no hot water……had to install an electric “booster”, ……..and up here in Leon Co., there are MANY more cloudy days, colder weather , etc.,…………………and yes , I know you will point to the more updated systems as more efficient, etc., however it is basicly the same coils of pipe in a black painted heat absorbing pan that ,by , convection, moves the heated water to a storage tank……………its not rocket science, folks. Now the size , and implied efficiency of the huge City solar field down by the airport for generating electricity ,needs to have a detailed accounting as to actual contruction cost, maintenance cost, and volume of end product as compared to other forms of generating electricity, OVER THE SAME TIME FRAME as an efficientcy study available and published to all Leon Co. tax payers.

  2. @ Jon… the solar farm was able to be built (financed) on a Bond issuance, based on enough people signing up for the ruse. Many have figured the ruse out and have dropped their commitment… thus the need to sign a new larger contract with FSU to cover the guaranteed revenue, feign interest in the ruse, and ease the growing concern of the Bond holders.

    …shhh, but don’t tell anyone I told you the truth

  3. Still waiting for a report on whether the solar farm is generating the power it promised, what it costs to produce, how much were paying, and comparison to other forms.

  4. This is just a shell game.

    The solar farm can produce a finite amount of power. That a set amount goes to FSU so that they can claim to be 30% dependent upon solar is meaningless as the provider, Tallahassee Utilities, will produce the same amount of power regardless of the source or destination.

  5. OK, I am thinking this Solar thing is a Tallahassee Scam. The last I heard, the City had a huge waiting list to get on the Solar Deal (pay a higher set amount for each KW now and it will not go up for 20 Years). They built the Solar Farm and when the City did the math, they had more customers than the Farm could handle so they built a Second Farm. The waiting list customers took that over as well. NOW you are saying that FSU is jumping in. Either you are going to have to Kick people off of it to handle FSU or build another Solar Farm or this is a Scam. The last I heard, both Solar Farms generated enough power to only run 10% of the Homes in Tallahassee through the Power Plant meaning all Homes and Businesses are getting power from the Power Plant and the Solar Panels are hooked up to the Power Plant to help out so, even though you signed up to pay more for Solar, you are not 100% Solar, maybe 10%. BUT, look at the bright side, you can feel all warm and fuzzy when you brag to your friends that you are on Solar………just don’t say how little.

  6. The City of Tallahassee has jumped into “the green new deal” with both feet. They have purchased a lot of battery powered lawn equipment and cars with little regard to the upkeep and maintenance. The cost to replace the batteries in an electric car is approximately $16,000.00. The batteries that are typically warrantied for 65,000 miles. And guess who pays for the replacement batteries? The big winner is China where most lithium batteries are manufactured.

  7. If 20 million dollars for FSU’s stadium wasn’t a big enough waste of taxpayer money, now we have to pay for their electricity? I’d be “enthusiastic” if someone else was gonna pay for my electricity too. I don’t really give a dad gum about FSU’s “Sustainability and Facilities team as long as we have a crime wave in our neighborhoods and shootings at every Circle K in town.

    Dave Irvin isn’t doing jack for the people paying his way, none of this means a dang thing to anyone trying to figure out how to pay their property taxes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.