MILWAUKEE —The U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is providing support to the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) and four Midwestern universities to define strategies for growing investment in solar energy both on and off campus. As part of this effort, the MREA will work with the University of Minnesota, Illinois State University, Purdue University and Missouri University of Science and Technology to engage students, campus leadership and local stakeholders to define pathways for solar development on each campus.
The purpose of the student-led initiative will be to showcase the investment and programmatic potential of on-site solar energy projects to university governance boards, advance favorable board policies to govern investments in solar assets and provide a road map for universities across the country to deploy PV on their campus and make investments that advance their foundation and sustainability goals. With nearly $450 billion in endowment assets, U.S. universities represent a large potential market for investment in solar energy.
As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to ensure America’s continued leadership in clean energy and double renewable electricity generation by 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy is leading the SunShot Initiative to drive research, manufacturing and market solutions to make the abundant solar energy resources in the U.S. more affordable and accessible for Americans.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) modules now cost about 1% of what they did 35 years ago. Over the last five years, the total installed cost of solar electric systems has decreased more than 50%. With decreasing prices, innovation in project finance and a demonstrated industry commitment to quality components and workmanship, the solar market continues to grow in the U.S., attracting investments from major financial institutions, electric utilities, businesses and homeowners.
The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization. Founded in 1990, the MREA promotes renewable energy and sustainable living through education and demonstration. To learn more, call 715-592-6595 or visit www.midwestrenew.org.
The SunShot Initiative is a collaborative national effort launched in 2011 that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources before the end of the decade. Learn more at energy.gov/sunshot.