Sewanee Investigates Possibility of Solar Farm

Thu, 18 Feb 2016 16:00:00 CST  — by: Marvin Pate, Director of Sustainability Integratio

On November 14th, Marvin Pate and Rachel Petropoulos met with upper management of Duck River Electric Membership Cooperative (DREMC, Sewanee’s electricity distributor) to visit their community solar farm in Shelbyville and to discuss Sewanee’s pursuit of our own major solar PV project.

Duck River’s President/CEO, Michael Watson, was reassuring in his commitment to working collaboratively with Sewanee to facilitate navigation of the technical and financial maze this project will require.  Mr. Watson said that Duck River likes to say that they “deliver electricity” rather than “sell electricity,” and this characterization is consistent with their goal of helping all their customers achieve their renewable energy goals.  One caveat is that when they buy electricity to deliver, it must be supplied from TVA.  If the customer makes its own energy, it is a different story and they are eager to help.

For Sewanee to become carbon neutral, as pledged in our Presidents’ Climate Commitment and emphasized in our Sustainability Master Plan, we must combine deep energy conservation, carbon sequestration in our forests, and major renewable energy generation using solar, wind and/or biomass. The infographic below describes these steps.


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