Land & Environment

Solar Tops USU's Gateway

The new Gateway Parking Terrace now marks the east entrance to Utah State University’s Logan campus, just past Fine Arts Visual. Both buildings now hold some of USU’s only rooftop top solar panels, including USU’s newest and largest solar array. The 158-kilowatt array will partially power the Logan campus. The array will produce enough electricity to power 26 homes each year, avoiding 151 metric tons of CO2 in that time.

The new array increases USU’s existing capacity by over 50%. Other existing installations include Blue Sky Grant-funded arrays on USU’s South Farm campus in Wellsville and Innovation Campus in North Logan. Student Sustainability Grants and differential tuition from the Caine College of the Arts and College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences funded an installation on Fine Arts Visual. Other smaller installations are dispersed on the Logan campus and statewide.

“The roof of the new parking terrace was an ideal location for the project to interconnect to the USU electrical system and a great usage of the roof space as it won’t impact the life or maintenance of the roof,” said Zac Cook, USU’s energy manager. “Currently, only half of the project is built-out with the capability of adding an additional 200 kW at a future date.”

The panels are a part of a long-term effort by the university to reduce its carbon footprint. The university is reducing the emissions associated with its energy by increasing efficiency and renewables in its energy portfolio. USU has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 18% since 2010.

“We hope this project becomes one of many as we look for future opportunities to procure and develop renewable energy resources,” said Cook. “These projects, collectively with other campus wide efforts, will help the university takes steps toward the carbon emission reduction goals that have been set.”

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