Arizona State University Capitalizes on Solar Power

February 29, 2012 | By | Reply More

Arizona State University is in the lead among the most environmentally conscious higher education institutions in the United States. In 2007, the university launched its ASU School of Sustainability (the first school dedicated toward sustainability in the nation) and ever since then, Arizona State University has worked toward becoming a model of logical sustainability. One way this is done is by their commitment toward solar energy. In 2004, ASU began a program to outfit its campus with solar panels. These solar panels are now spread throughout two of ASU’s four campuses and they serve to provide shade as they take advantage of the strong Arizona sun. Today, ASU’s solar panel system exceeds a ten megawatt capacity (enough to power 2,500 Arizona homes for a year) of solar-energy (Arizona State University). President of ASU Michael M. Crow states that ASU’s west campus is the only campus in the United States that, during the day light hours, all of the electricity that is consumed is provided by solar electrical systems located on the campus. This number puts it in the lead as the school with the highest solar capacity in the United States. An article found on ASU’s news website explains a little more about the “tremendous” success of the energy program. The article explains that “Ten [megawatts] represents roughly twenty percent of ASU’s peak load, and reduces its carbon footprint between five to ten percent” (ASU News). ASU’s success doesn’t stop there. ASU’s Executive Vice President and Treasurer, Morgan Olsen, states that ASU has a goal of doubling their solar system by the year 2014 to reach twenty megawatts of solar generating capacity. Doubling their solar capacity in such a short amount of time seems like quite a challenging task, but ASU led projects such as the upcoming Power Parasol (a new set of suspended solar panels that will generate another two megawatts of electricity) seem to show that Arizona State University is more than up to the challenge.

Craft, Wendy. “Sun Devils Soak Up Solar Power.” ASU News. Arizona State University, 6 Sept. 2011. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.

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About the Author ()

Hi, my name is Steven Soto. I am currently a Junior at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, Arizona. I believe that the IEA can be a great tool and resource for other students (no matter which continent that they live on) to explore new types of efficient energy, while helping them spread the concept of sustainability to further environmental change.

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