Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

Implementation of a large-scale solar photovoltaic system at a higher education institution in Illinois, USA

1 Department of Technology, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, 61790-5100, USA
2 Department of Economics, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, USA

Special Issues: Solar PV Energy

Solar energy has several environmental, economic, and educational benefits for college campuses, but it is difficult for state schools to find funding for these projects. This study shows that a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on Illinois State University’s (ISU) campus is technically and financially feasible. While there have been several solar feasibility studies of higher education institutions in USA, there has been a lack of in depth financial analysis. We conducted solar site assessments on five potential locations on campus, used a solar energy performance model to analyze the technical feasibility of each location, and performed a financial assessment using a professional PV financial modeling tool to compare different financing options. Our results show that three sites on campus can be used to develop a combined solar PV system of one megawatt. Both direct and third-party ownership models are financially feasible for this combined system. Our findings can be replicable as a case study for future solar PV system development on college campuses.
  Article Metrics

Keywords photovoltaics; renewable energy; energy modeling; feasibility study; sustainability; higher education

Citation: Jin H. Jo, Kadi Ilves, Tyler Barth, Ellen Leszczynski. Implementation of a large-scale solar photovoltaic system at a higher education institution in Illinois, USA. AIMS Energy, 2017, 5(1): 54-62. doi: 10.3934/energy.2017.1.54


  • 1. Second Nature (2014) 2014 Second Nature Annual Report. Available from: http://secondnature.org/publication_category/annual-reports/.
  • 2. Hutton T, Kogan L (2008) UCCS Students Support Solar Power. University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Available from: http://pressreleases.uccs.edu/?p=362.
  • 3. Weisbord D (2010) Power Purchase Agreements: Can I Develop Renewable Energy and Keep the Carbon Too? Advancing Education for Sustainability. Available from: https://secondnaturebos.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/power-purchase-agreements-can-i-develop-renewable-energy-and-keep-the-carbon-too/.
  • 4. Groenke M (2014) Libertyville Schools' solar panels help teach, cut costs. Chicago Tribune. Available from: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/libertyville/ct-libertyville-schools-solar-panels-tl-20141226-story.html.
  • 5. Kaduck JR (2015) Harnessing the Sun: A Case Study of Solar Energy Deployment at Agnes Scott College.
  • 6. Aldeman MR, Jo JH, Loomis DG (2015) The technical potential for wind energy in Illinois. Energy 90: 1082-1090.    
  • 7. Jo JH, Loomis DG, Aldeman MR (2013) An assessment of optimum penetration of utility-scale grid-connected solar photovoltaic system deployment in Illinois. Renew Energ 60: 20-26.    
  • 8. SEC Trade (2015) Illinois Supplemental PV Procurement Results - Round 2 November 2015. Available from: http://www.srectrade.com/blog/srec-markets/illinois/illinois-supplemental-pv-procurement-results-round-2-november-2015.
  • 9. Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (2016) Renewable Energy. Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. Available from: http://www.illinoiscleanenergy.org/renewable-energy/.
  • 10. Illinois State University (2016) Permit Prices. Retrieved from Office of Parking and Transportation. Available from: http://parking.illinoisstate.edu/permits/prices.php.


This article has been cited by

  • 1. Jin H. Jo, Kadi Ilves, Tyler Barth, Ellen Leszczynski, Correction: Implementation of a large-scale solar photovoltaic system at a higher education institution in Illinois, USA, AIMS Energy, 2017, 5, 2, 313, 10.3934/energy.2017.2.313
  • 2. C Mac-Lean, L Vargas, C Reyes, Renewable Energy at Chilean Universities: Is it Possible?, IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 2020, 503, 012028, 10.1088/1755-1315/503/1/012028

Reader Comments

your name: *   your email: *  

Copyright Info: 2017, Jin H. Jo, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved