George Washington University recently made a major move toward its Climate Action Plan goal of being carbon neutral by 2040, announcing a collaboration with American University and George Washington University Hospital for the largest non-utility solar purchase in the U.S. The deal brings 52 megawatts of clean energy to their respective campuses. GW will cover half of its electricity needs with the project after spurring the creation of a new solar farm in North Carolina, replacing old tobacco fields with hundreds of thousands of photovoltaic solar panels. The 20-year deal locks in an electricity price that is actually lower than what the three partners already pay, and will stay fixed as energy prices rise over the course of the agreement. The environmental impact is significant: estimates suggest a 60,000 metric ton reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, which the University says is equivalent to taking 12,500 cars off the road.
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