CSU to Install 1,100 kW of Solar on Campus

September 8, 2014 By Karen Henry

csu-foothills-energy-manageColorado State University (CSU), Fort Collins Utilities and Namaste Solar, a Colorado-based commercial solar service company, are collaborating on the construction of a 1,100 kW solar array on the roofs of the university’s Student Recreation Center, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, the Durrell Center, and Braiden, Parmalee and Corbett residence halls.

Fort Collins Utilities selected and approved the project proposal as part of its pilot project, the Solar Power Purchase program (SP3), according to an article in the Rocky Mountain Collegian.

Combined with the solar energy from the 15-acre solar field on CSU’s Foothills Campus (pictured), these new solar panels will bring CSU’s total solar energy production up to 6,600 kW.

Braiden Hall will be the first to receive the panels in the fall. The solar installation on the other buildings will begin in the spring of 2015 with an expected completion date of June 2015.

In addition, after the first round of the 2014 Green Energy Challenge, students in CSU’s National Electrical Contracting Association (NECA) chapter were in first place out of 15 teams, beating out teams from Purdue University, Ball State University and San Diego State University.

The competition challenges NECA student chapter teams to develop solutions to real energy challenges. This year, teams were challenged to conduct a detailed analysis of a student union facility and provide recommendations for energy efficiency improvements. The CSU team’s plan would decrease energy consumption in Hartshorn Medical Center by up to 60 percent through a combination of lighting renovation, solar panel installation and the implementation of an online energy monitoring system. The total projected cost of the project would be about $500,000.

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