Solar energy for universities and academic institutions

There has been significant growth in the implementation of solar energy in the U.S. – much of it driven by the implementation of solar by major educational institutions such as Oberlin College, University of Florida, Texas A&M University and the University of Maryland. Opportunities in solar are exponential, as it incorporates lower costs, government incentives, as well as economic, environmental and social benefits. And universities and academic institutions are uniquely positioned to reap the benefits of solar energy for a number of reasons.

  • School buildings, often with large, flat roofs, are naturally a good fit for solar panel installation. Using this space makes an impression on current and prospective students, and on the community.
  • The long-term cost savings can contribute to sustained financial stability of an academic institution.
  • Solar implementation creates a rich learning experience. For example, Cedarville University in Cedarville Ohio has stated that the process of implementing solar allowed students to see firsthand how it works. Students can become partner to the daily monitoring and correlation of energy consumption and costs while learning about green energy.
  • Using solar energy demonstrates leadership in energy efficiency, sustainability and  environmental stewardship. Beyond cost savings, solar power is part of a larger sustainability strategy that can reduce a school’s carbon footprint in the future.

Our firm can assist in all aspects of your solar energy development projects, including those that involve multi-million dollar rehabilitations of historic buildings, state and federal tax credit syndication, and new markets tax credit allocation and funding. We will help you with securing financing and taking advantage of the tax credits available to encourage investment in renewable energy and to drive down the cost. 

  • Represented a non-profit, private college in structuring a pre-paid power purchase agreement and in all aspects of the 2.2MW solar photovoltaic project, including negotiating and documenting the project site lease, bridge loan financing, security interests, and interconnection agreement, and reviewing the EPC contract and operation and maintenance contract. This was the largest photovoltaic array on any college or university campus in Ohio.
  • Represented an institution of higher education in all aspects of its $35 million rehabilitation and modernization of a historic building, including development agreements, construction documents, commercial debt financing, obtaining and syndicating federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits, and new markets tax credits, applying for and complying with the requirements of state and federal grants and subsidies and, assisting with capital campaign activities.
  • Represented a non-profit, private college in delivering a 1.2MW wind project.
  • Served as general counsel to a non-profit developer of an off shore wind project.


Dale R. Vlasek
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