In 2004, Arizona State University installed it’s first photovoltaic (PV) solar energysystem at its main campus in Tempe, Arizona. Since then, ASU has beenmaking steady progress toward carbon neutrality.
The commitment starts at the top with University President Michael Crow, who is one of the founding backers of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. In late April, Crow told ASU News that he believes solar energy is, “a smart investment in that it will pay back in annual dividends to ASU and to Arizona…”
Staying true to this belief, ASU is taking on a brand-new, 17,000-panel solar energy installation, this time at its West campus in Phoenix, Arizona. Ten thousand solar panelswill be installed in the form of a shade canopy over the top of three of the school’s parking lots. The other 7,000 panels will stand to theleft of the parking lots in an open field. Poles will be punched intothe ground to hold the panels up to the sun.
The new PV system is sure to gain national attention. According toJason Scott, project manager for APS Energy Services, the company thatwill be installing ASU’s new system, the project will be “one of thelargest parking canopy systems in the United States — definitelybragging rights.”
Solar Power Partners Inc. of Mill Valley, California will finance and operate the $34 million solar installation, which is expected toaccount for half of the campus’s energy needs. The energy will be soldto the university at a fixed rate under a 15-year power purchasingagreement (PPA). The rate at which ASU will buy the energy has not yetbeen disclosed.