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Arizona State U Surpasses 10 MW Solar Capacity

Arizona State University has surpassed 10 megawatts of solar energy capacity.

According to information released by the university, the milestone makes it "the only higher education institution in the United States to have a solar capacity of this size."

The initiative, known as the campus solarization program, began in 2004 with the installation of a 34 kW photovoltaic array on top of the Tyler Street Parking Structure. The latest project, a 700 panel 168 kW installation, pushed ASU's capacity past the 10 MW mark.

Ten MW, enough to power 2,500 Arizona homes according to Ameresco Southwest, is approximately 20 percent of the university's peak load and reduces the institutions carbon footprint by up to ten percent.

Currently, the project has lead to solar installations on two of the university's four campuses, Tempe and West.  Several projects are under construction or planned and will include the other two campuses, Polytechnic and Downtown Phoenix. Projects underway include:

  • A 706 kW installation at the Vista Del Sol Parking Structure;
  • A Music Building installation that will produce 94 kW;
  • A 74 kW installation at the Psychology North building;
  • A 64 kW installation at the Computing Commons;
  • A student Services Building array that will generate 188 kW; and
  • A 497 kW project at the Wells Fargo Arena.

"Harnessing the sun's power across ASU campuses allows us to benefit from our natural resources and expand our clean-energy capabilities, while also providing future opportunities to reduce our energy costs; monies that can be invested in other sustainability related projects," said Morgan Olsen, executive vice president, treasurer, and CFO at ASU.
The campus solarization program has been facilitated by Arizona Public Service's Renewable Incentive Program, which is designed to help APS customers take advantage of renewable energy sources through financial incentives. Other organizations that have supported ASU's solar efforts include:

More information on ASU's campus solarization program is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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