Arizona State Leads Way in Use of Solar
By Joanna Schroeder
The U.S.-based University that uses the most solar energy in its mix is Arizona State University (ASU), which exceeds 10 megawatts (MW) of solar-energy capacity. The solar energy produced is enough to power 2,500 average sized homes. This is according to Ameresco Southwest, Inc.
“Surpassing 10 megawatts of solar energy capacity is a tremendous accomplishment for ASU and our partners,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “Over the years we have made several major commitments to sustainability, such as establishing the first school devoted to sustainability, raising awareness of how to live sustainable lives and finding ways to harness natural resources, like our abundance of sunshine. By doing these things, we are making a brighter future for ourselves and the place in which we live.”
When looking at ASU’s total energy use, the solar energy generates about 20 percent of their needs. The first solar energy product took place in October 2004 with a 34-kW installation at one of its parking structures on the Tempe campus. The university reached the 10 MW milestone after installing a 700 panel, 168-kilowatt (kW) ground-mounted photovoltaic installation on Tempe campus. Another solar installation is located at ASU’s West campus.
David Brixen, ASU’s associate vice president of Facilities Development and Management added, “Ten megawatts is a pinnacle for ASU and represents years of dedication to working toward our campus sustainability goals. To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest solar installation at a single university in the United States.”