Solar Energy On College Campuses

Written by Rachel Overby, ESLLC 2016-2017


With a drastically changing climate (and therefore environment) predicted for the near future, previous methods of gaining energy need to be swapped with more sustainable designs. An article in the magazine, 360, describes how some colleges are pushing towards renewable energy on their campuses.

Arizona State

Taking advantage of the large amount of Arizona sun in the area, Arizona State’s addition of solar panels as part of a larger installation project (consisting of 88 total solar systems) in Memorial Union community center has increased use of the area and placed the University as second in the nation for solar capacity. With a goal of creating a “carbon-neutral campus by 2025”, having multiple buildings that produce solar energy as well as further energy reductions will help them achieve this goal.

Hampshire College

With a goal of an entirely-solar oriented (or otherwise renewable) power source, Hampshire college plans to install a 19-acre solar array in its campus as well as power its campus with energy entirely gained from renewable sources.

College of the Atlantic

The College of the Atlantic has the title of the first school to be carbon-neutral in the US—a goal achieved through an offset program that they started before then as well as wind-farm energy and more sustainable sources.

Colorado State University

Despite being located in a primarily coal-powered area, Colorado State University began to install solar panels in 2009 and has considered adding more. Drawbacks to the addition, however, include the fact that renewable energy companies rather than the university own the panels which means that the university owns 3-4% of the solar energy gained from the panel. However, the addition will help the university reach a goal of being carbon neutral by 2050.

*Although the article concludes that not much progress has been made elsewhere (although DU was not mentioned in the article, it should be noted that DU has clubs such as DU Solar (also known as Climate Reality Project) and is involved with acquiring renewable energy on campus and has a made significant impact on campus. More specific information about the colleges listed above as well as others can be found in the article, linked here:



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