Morton Arboretum Will Soon Use Solar Power For Energy Needs

Solar Power array with trees in background
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The Morton Arboretum has entered into a 30-year power purchase agreement that will allow it to generate solar power to cover 100% of its annual electricity needs.

“As one of the world’s leading tree conservation organizations, The Morton Arboretum is actively pursuing transformative, environmental sustainability throughout its operations,” said James S. Fawley, the Arboretum’s interim president and CEO in a press release. “Just as trees capture and convert their own energy using the sunlight that strikes their leaves, the Arboretum will do the same by sourcing its electricity from the sun.”

On-Site Solar Array

The arboretum’s agreement with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC will cover the installation of a two-megawatt (MW) on-site solar array. Each year it will produce about three million kilowatt hours (KWh).

“We are pleased to be working with The Morton Arboretum to generate their power from clean, renewable solar,” said Matt Ulman, NextEra Energy Resources vice president of distributed generation in the news release. “On-site solar generation provides institutions like The Morton Arboretum both environmental benefits and price stability over the long term and we applaud The Morton Arboretum’s leadership in taking this step.”

Construction Schedule

Construction of the array will begin in the spring of 2023, and should be completed by the fall.

The Arboretum is committed to being a leader in sustainability among botanical gardens,” said Rachel Novick, the Arboretum’s director of sustainability. “Renewable energy is just one aspect of our broader approach, which includes energy conservation, composting, waste reduction and fleet electrification.”

Naperville News 17’s Kim Pirc reports.

photo courtesy: NextEra Energy Resources

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