Case Study: Institutions of Higher Education Benefit from RooflessSolar

Case Study: Institutions of Higher Education Benefit from RooflessSolar

Colleges and universities are known for being sustainability leaders in their communities, but the process of implementing sustainable practices and technologies can be daunting for institutions with dozens of campus departments, multiple offices and buildings and typically thousands of students, staff and faculty. Options that allow campus decision makers to cut costs and energy use can be limited. When wanting to incorporate solar energy solutions, options can be even more limited for campuses where many of the buildings are in the shade or when finances don’t allow for upfront investment in an on-site solar system.

 

RooflessSolar™ removes these barriers and gives campus decision makers the ability to enjoy the benefits of solar, without the hassle of a solar system on their property.

 

RooflessSolar Fulfills Campus Sustainability Goals
Campus sustainability was a top priority for the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) and Colorado College (CC), and campus decision makers saw RooflessSolar as a solution to help each campus take major strides towards their respective sustainability goals. RooflessSolar gave each school the ability to participate in a local community solar array by purchasing panels at the Colorado Springs Community Solar Array 1. The offsite solar array connects directly to each school’s utility provider and resulted in several immediate benefits to campus decision makers:

  • No need to invest in installing or maintaining on-campus solar systems.
  • Both Colleges receive credits on their electricity bills, immediately saving them money on electricity expenses.
  • No disruption of campus life as there was no on-site installation.
  • Avoidance of maintenance costs through an off-site solar system that’s maintained by CEC.

 

Below is a closer look at each institution’s decision to incorporate RooflessSolar into their campus sustainability efforts.

 

Colorado College's Cornerstone Arts Center is powered by CEC.
Pictured: The Colorado College Cornerstone Arts Center. Photo courtesy of Colorado College.

 

CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT
CEC Customer: Colorado College
Utility: Colorado Springs Utilities
System Size: 155 kW
20-Year Savings: $45,718
Environmental Benefits: 11,563,026 lbs. of CO2 avoided

 

CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT
CEC Customer: University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Utility: Colorado Springs Utilities
System Size: 155 kW
20-Year Savings: $45,718
Environmental Benefits: 11,563,026 lbs. of CO2 avoided

 

Responsible Campus Growth
At the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Social, economic, and ecological values have been integrated into the policies, programs, and practices of UCCS through the school’s Office of Sustainability. The office unites faculty, staff and students in supporting campus and community development and lifestyles that sustain natural resources and protect the environment. The office is responsible for administering the school’s Climate Action Plan and Sustainability Strategic Plan and ensuring responsible campus growth.

 

Currently, the university spends more than $2 Million annually on electricity and natural gas use. According to the UCCS Office of Sustainability, “Energy is arguably the most important resource
that we manage. Campus energy use from electricity and natural gas sources generate two-thirds of our campus greenhouse gas emissions.” UCCS chose to purchase a 155kW solar panel system to help the campus meet its carbon neutral commitment. In the next 20 years, the investment will save the college $45,718 dollars on its electricity bills and offset 11,563,026 lbs. of CO2.

 

Solar Made Simple at Colorado College
Colorado College’s carbon footprint from energy use in 2008 was estimated at 24,437 metric tons of CO2, and college leaders wanted to improve. In 2009, CC signed the President’s Climate Commitment and pledged to become carbon neutral by 2020.“ UCCS will strive to reduce its contribution to greenhouse gases by reducing energy use, increasing energy efficiency and pursuing the use of renewable energy.”– UCCS Climate Action Plan and Sustainability Strategic Plan

 

To meet the college’s carbon goals, energy and utility cost and consumption has been closely monitored and documented since 2008. A Campus Sustainability Council was also created to collaborate with the school’s Office of Sustainability and help make CC a model for campus and community environmental responsibility. Sourcing more power from renewable energy, like solar, was a priority for campus sustainability leaders.

 

“It is sometimes a struggle for college campuses to implement sustainability initiatives quickly and easily. This is why working with partners who make sustainability simple – like Clean Energy Collective – is so important. We were able to work with the CEC team to find a solar solution that fit our budget and our energy offset needs. Best of all, the panels are offsite so our students, faculty and staff weren’t disrupted by an installation process.” – Mark Ferguson, Campus Operations & Plant Manager, Colorado College

 

A Green Future
Looking ahead, CC has an ambitious 2017 sustainability project schedule, including electrical service upgrades, energy audits and HVAC system replacement at some of the campus buildings. The college may also consider incorporating more RooflessSolar into its sustainability efforts.

 

The Colorado Springs Utilities / CEC community solar array.
Pictured: The Colorado Springs Community Solar Array 1 where the solar panels for both Colorado College and University of Colorado, Colorado Springs are located.

 

Get started today! Call 803-748-2617 or visit us online at: CleanEnergyCo.com/Commercial