Colorado State University is now 20 steps closer to its goal of 100% renewable energy by 2030.
That’s thanks to a two-year solar project that has added 20 new installations to roofs and patches of open land across the University’s Fort Collins campuses – which will create enough electricity to power the equivalent of 827 homes. This nearly doubles the number of solar installations at CSU.
“It shows our commitment to sustainability in a tangible way,” said Carol Dollard, an energy engineer for CSU who helps manage the design and installation of renewable energy systems.
The general public is invited to celebrate solar power at CSU during an event on October 11, where project partners, campus leaders and Gov. Jared Polis will showcase the solar project and highlight the importance of clean, sustainable energy. Learn how to register at col.st/4oBCp.
Project managers will also offer tours showcasing some of CSU’s 41 solar installations.
“We have sites on the Main, South and Foothills campuses – it’s spread around CSU and shows our effort to meet our climate neutrality goals,” said Tony Flores, a CSU project manager.
The project was powered by an agreement with locally-based and Certified B Corporation’s Solaris Energy and Namaste Solar, an employee-owned cooperative based in Colorado. Standard Solar is the project’s long-term owner and operator.
Namaste Solar designed and constructed the solar arrays. Solaris Energy provided the financing, contract, and development services for the project. Standard Solar will be the owner and provide long-term operations and maintenance. CSU will pay a fixed rate for the solar energy throughout the lifespan of the arrays but will retain ownership of the Renewable Energy Credits attributed to the new systems in order to help meet its climate goals.
“We will be paying the same for the power coming out of those solar arrays in 2050 as we do today,” Dollard said. “It’s a great investment for the University and it allows us to get solar on our buildings at a very low financial risk.”
The following buildings are now home to new solar arrays thanks to this project:
Laurel Village (Alpine and Pinon)
Warner College of Natural Resources
Johnson Family Equine Hospital
Nancy Richardson Design Center
Global Foods Innovation Center
South College Parking Garage
Translational Medicine Institute
Equine Performance Analysis Facility
Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center
Natural Resources Research Center (buildings B and D)
CSU Health and Medical Center
Aggie Village North (Cottonwood, Lodgepole and Walnut)
Two ground mounted installations on the SW edge of the Foothills Campus
Powering the future at CSU
Dollard said solar is just one component of CSU’s plan to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2030. The University’s strategy involves everything from energy reduction to wind to the Moby geoexchange system, which was recently recognized by industry leaders as the project of the year.
Solar first came to CSU in 2009, when the University installed its first array on the Engineering Building in partnership with the Colorado Energy Office. It was the largest array in Fort Collins at the time.
Shortly thereafter, the University installed a 30-acre solar plant at Christman Field on the Foothills Campus. The 5.3-megawatt plant provides about 25% of the electricity needs for the 1,438-acre campus.
Other buildings that are home to solar installations include the Lory Student Center, Morgan Library, Student Recreation Center, University Center for the Arts, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Behavioral Sciences Building, Academic Village, Braiden Hall and Edwards Hall.
About the CSU Solar Celebration
When: Tuesday, October 11, from 1-3 pm
Where: The Pavilion at Colorado State University, 920 W. Plum St., Fort Collins
What: Project partners, campus leaders and Gov. Jared Polis will discuss CSU’s latest solar project and the importance of sustainable energy. Appetizers and light refreshments will be served.
For more details and to register, visit col.st/4oBCp.