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Brown University selects wind, solar projects for campus electricity needs

Brown University in Rhode Island has selected a 50-MW solar project that Exelon Corp. subsidiary Constellation NewEnergy Inc. will develop on a 240-acre field on a former gravel pit in North Kingstown, R.I., to meet most of the campus' electricity needs.

The university will obtain and retire project-specific renewable energy credits related to the project under a 25-year power service agreement with CustomerFirst Renewables LLC. Energy Development Partners will own the land, while Brown and Constellation will lease it.

The solar plant is expected to produce the equivalent of about 70% of the university's power consumption. The output of an 8-MW wind farm under development in Texas will offset the remaining 30% of power supply needs. The builder of the Texas project was not named.

Brown said in a Jan. 17 news release that the two projects were selected through a request for proposals that received responses from 30 developers. The selected projects, along with other actions, will help the university reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by 67% by 2020 compared to a 2007 benchmark, it said.