Rice University announced that it has signed a one-year agreement with MP2 Energy to provide 7 percent of the university’s energy. MP2 reports that the energy will come from First Solar’s 22 MW Barilla Solar Project in Pecos County, Texas. Under the contract, Rice claims that it will pay the same rates for solar as it would for fossil-based energy.
One key to signing a contract was to find a provider willing to offer different pricing increments. Historically, the university had bought energy priced for daytime, nighttime, and weekend periods. Under this contract, MP2 agreed to offer an hourly pricing model. University representatives claimed that it was difficult to find a provider willing to offer hourly pricing.
MP2 Energy believes this is the first off-site, solar project delivering energy to a commercial entity under a short-term contract in a deregulated market without state or utility incentives.