CU Boulder Adds More Solar
The Center for Innovation and Creativity on the campus at theUniversity of Colorado at Boulder is now ten percent solar powered,courtesy of a 370-solar-panel installation that was recently installed atop the center’s roof. The solarinstallation is the most recent addition to CU Boulder under theuniversity’s long-term sustainability commitment initiative and willproduce enough energy to power 20 medium-sized American homes for a full year.
Lighthouse Solar is helping bankroll the project under a seven-yearagreement. In exchange, the Boulder-based company will receive state tax credits and incentives from Xcel Energy, one of Colorado’slargest electric utility companies. CU-Boulder could have financed thesystem itself, but the partnership with Lighthouse will enable theschool to monetize solar tax credits that would otherwise go unused.We’ll let CU’s Energy Conservation Officer Moe Tabrizi explain:
“The university is not subject to tax; therefore, if we would havedone this project on our own, we would have left a significant amount of tax credits on the table. Another advantage is that at the end of seven years we will have the opportunity to buy the solar panels installed on CINC at a fraction of their original cost.”
The CU-Boulder campus is no stranger to solar energy: it alreadyboasts solar energy systems atop a number of buildings, including itsCoors Event Center, the Housing System Maintenance Center and the WolfLaw Building. This latest installation will be the campus’s fourth, andlikely not its last. Plans are currently in the works to install a solar energy system atop a residence hall that, once complete, would boostCU-Boulder’s total solar power capacity to 336 kilowatts (kW).
Beyond advancing the university’s own commitment to sustainabilityand renewable power, the CU-Boulder solar projects are also inchingColorado toward the fulfillment of Amendment 37, which calls for 20percent of the Colorado’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2020.
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