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updated: 11/3/2012 9:06 AM

U of Ill. plans solar-energy complex

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Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The University of Illinois plans to build a solar-energy complex that could eventually supply about 2 percent of the campus' power.

The university says it would have to spend about $15.5 million on the solar-energy farm over its first 10 years but would then be able to use energy that would all but cost-free.

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The News-Gazette newspaper in Champaign reports http://bit.ly/VirC2L that university trustees are expected to consider the plan at their meeting Thursday.

If trustees OK the plan the complex would be built and for its first 10 years operated by a California company, Phoenix Solar Inc. The university would buy the energy the first 10 years, but be able to use it without cost after that.

Construction is expected to be completed and the complex operating next fall.

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