Watch CBS News

Solar panels help CSU fulfill promise of 100% renewable energy by 2030

Solar panels help CSU fulfill promise of 100% renewable electricity by 2030
Solar panels help CSU fulfill promise of 100% renewable electricity by 2030 02:50

Colorado State University is one large step closer to fulfilling its promise of operating on 100% renewable electricity by 2030 thanks to a new commitment to install thousands of solar panels across its Fort Collins campuses. Thanks to a partnership with Namaste Solar, Solaris Energy and Standard Solar.  


"In 2017, we adopted a goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2030. To reach those goals we needed to start implementing large projects," said Stacey Baumgarn, Campus Energy Coordinator at CSU.  

CSU's campuses in northern Colorado have grown in size as well as student and faculty populations. The university has been able to flatten energy consumption as its footprint grows, but they are still working on creating more energy than they consume.  

"We are a large university with hundreds of buildings across multiple campuses. We are a large energy user, but we have a lot of rooftops," Baumgarn said.  

So, in an effort to meet its goal, CSU offered up its rooftops across its campuses to house solar arrays for the companies they partnered with. In return, CSU was able to lock in a fixed rate for its power for three decades. More than 10,000 solar panels have started to be installed on the CSU campus.  


"That is including 4.2 megawatts of solar. That will bring our total solar on campus to 11.2 megawatts in 43 different sites," Baumgarn said.  

The panels have already been installed everywhere from dormitories to classroom buildings and even the campus rec center. And, because they do not own or operate the arrays or the power grid, CSU does not have to invest in the installations.  

 "The university has no real upfront cost," Baumgarn said. 

By purchasing the power created from the arrays, Baumgarn said CSU has been able to assure the university saves power and also money.  


"The price that we pay today for our electricity from these arrays will be the same today as it is in 2050, which in the lifetime of that contract saves the university and the state of Colorado a lot of money," Baumgarn said. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.