Rice University Snags 2-Year Contract for Off-site Solar

February 10, 2015 By Linda Hardesty

MP2 Energy logo energy manageMP2 Energy has signed an energy agreement with Rice University that it says represents the first time off-site solar power is being delivered to a commercial entity on a short-term contract, without state or utility incentives in a deregulated market.

The two-year agreement will initially power about seven percent of the university’s campus near downtown Houston. The solar energy will come from First Solar’s Barilla Solar Project, which produces 22 MW and is located in Pecos County, Texas.

MP2 helped the university come up with a two-year contract that worked financially. Rice sells some power to the grid via an on-site cogeneration facility. It also participates in a demand response program. By bundling those together with 3 MW of capacity from the Barilla Plant, MP2 arrived at a solar power rate that was at the market price, reports Renewable Energy World.

With most of its power sold in the real-time ERCOT market, the Barilla plant is suited for offering short-term contracts. MP2, which performs energy forecasting and market interface for the Barilla plant, has worked with First Solar to create a new offtake arrangement for solar generation that works within the competitive Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) retail market.

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