New solar panels at the University of Colorado Boulder have doubled the system’s production potential, enabling the campus to produce enough energy to power about 200 homes.
A 498 kilowatt photovoltaic solar array capable of producing 725,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per year was recently installed at the university’s 220-acre CU Research Park, where the university’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy (CASA) and the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building are all located. The ground-mounted arrays are the largest on campus.
The energy produced is used to power the research facilities and other buildings on campus. The university’s long-term goal is to achieve carbon neutrality.
“This project complemented and extended our commitment to leveraging solar power throughout our campus to provide power in a low cost and responsible manner,” Moe Tabrizi, campus Sustainability director for CU-Boulder, said in a written statement.
Additionally, the university recently installed a system at the Coors Events Center, a 11,064-seat multi-purpose arena that is home to the Colorado Buffaloes basketball and volleyball teams. In total, 1,196 photovoltaic panels were placed on three areas of the roof’s surface as part of this 290.44 kilowatt solar installation. Both projects were finished last year.
The installation was designed and built by Panasonic Eco Solutions North America with assistance from Lighthouse Solar. Financing was possible through a combination of methods and sources, including state-enabled rebates, incentives through Xcel Energy, federal tax credits, and third-party financing.
The university has the option of buying the solar panels after seven years and selling power back to Xcel Energy, according to a CU-Boulder release.