Wednesday, July 24, 2024

University of Denver to go 100% photo voltaic inside three years


The University of Denver’s push for nationwide title recognition in sports activities has confirmed wildly profitable, with one other hockey championship in 2024 and main packages in lacrosse, soccer and gymnastics. Now the southeast Denver anchor is doubling down on being a inexperienced power chief for his friends.

DU, in partnership with Pivot Energy, plans to construct sufficient new photo voltaic panels on campus and at devoted photo voltaic farms in surrounding counties to utterly offset the college’s electrical energy use inside about three years. 12 months.

The drive to put in 23 megawatts of panels devoted to power use at DU is a key a part of the establishment’s dedication to turn out to be web zero in carbon emissions by 2030, mentioned Lynn Bailey, director of power and sustainability for the southeast Denver campus.

Next on the inexperienced power checklist: chopping pure gasoline used to warmth buildings and scorching water in DU.


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DU kicked off the photo voltaic season in 2019, working with Pivot to put in 2.2 MW of panels in 18 campus buildings. In the subsequent section, Pivot will add 1.2 MW to the campus, with a brand new array on the expansive roof of the Ritchie Center sports activities advanced. (The residence of the hockey Pioneers, who final month received their tenth nationwide championship and second in three years, have collected extra trophies than colleges from Minnesota, Michigan and Massachusetts.)

Pivot will construct the opposite 22.2 MW for DU at devoted websites in Larimer, Adams, Mesa and Weld counties, over the subsequent two to 3 years, Bailey mentioned. In most circumstances, DU will draw 100% of its energy from distant photo voltaic arrays, giving Pivot safety and ease to its power clients.

The photo voltaic enlargement alone will erase half of DU’s remaining carbon footprint because it pursues different tasks to satisfy its 2030 web zero carbon purpose.

“We’re at all times looking for different methods to work with DU as a result of we all know they’ve formidable greenhouse gasoline discount objectives,” mentioned Pivot’s vp of strategic partnerships Mat Elmore. . “It’s been an amazing match thus far.”

Pivot says a further incentive for DU and different establishments which can be landlords of huge sq. footage is the Denver and statewide emissions mandates mandated by the brand new modifications. within the rule. Colorado guidelines in search of to cut back greenhouse gasoline emissions from giant buildings require industrial buildings bigger than 50,000 sq. ft to chop building-related emissions by 20% by 2030.

A “photo voltaic tree” subsequent to the Shwayder Art Building, May 1, 2024, on the University of Denver. (Olivia Sun, The Colorado Sun by way of Report for America)

These guidelines at the moment are topic to a lawsuit in search of an injunction filed by giant landlords resembling residence associations, however stay in impact for now and should survive a authorized problem.

Colorado legislation permits DU to get a web metering credit score for the solar energy it generates, even when it is at out of doors places like Pivot’s group photo voltaic websites, Elmore mentioned.

“That program is actually designed for, for my part, giant campuses or giant power customers who cannot simply set up sufficient on-site producing capability to satisfy their wants” however have formidable targets to local weather change, he mentioned.

Pivot has developed 79 Colorado photo voltaic tasks producing as much as 70.8MW of electrical energy, with 124 extra within the pipeline to usher in 530MW. Nationally, the corporate has generated 179MW and has 2,714MW within the pipeline. One megawatt can serve 400 to 1,000 households, relying on the scale of the home or residence and what number of home equipment are electrical.

The variety of off-site, net-metered megawatts allowed to return on-line in a 12 months is proscribed, in keeping with Pivot, which says it’s Colorado’s largest photo voltaic developer.

“Bottom line is we’ve got extra demand than provide for this specific program,” Elmore mentioned.

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