As of Sept. 6, the four-campus Arizona State University (ASU) system had more than 10 megawatts (MWs) of photovoltaics (PV) installed and operational, making it the biggest higher education user of solar power. And they have more on the way.
With the commissioning of a new 168-kilowatt solar installation at the Verde Dickey Dome ASU’s Tempe campus, ASU’s solar capacity jumped to 10.12 megawatts of solar power, according to Jean Humphries, ASU’s managing director of capital programs management.
“That particular system was the milestone placed us over 10 megawatts,” she said.
ASU will continue to install more solar on its four campuses in the Phoenix-metro area.
“We currently have a number of systems in construction. And we plan to add another 5 megawatts in this calendar year. So by the end of this year, we expect to be around 15 megawatts,” Humphries said. “Right now we have solar installations on two of the four campuses, and by December, we will have it on all four.”
The installed solar is equal to roughly 20 percent of ASU’s peak electricity load and reduces the system’s carbon footprint between 5 percent and 10 percent, according to a press release. Expanding from that the additional 5 megawatts of solar expected to come online by the end of 2011, will account for roughly 30 percent of its peak demand.
The systems on buildings, over parking lots and on the ground were made possible through power-purchase agreements, according to Humphries.
They were also partly facilitated through the APS Renewable Energy Incentive Program.
The university system will likely add more solar power to its campuses in the future, too.
“We intend to keep going,” Humphries said.