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Partnership to increase solar energy generated on CSU campuses

By District Energy posted 10-28-2020 17:30


Colorado State University


Colorado State University will soon have twice as many reasons to sing “Let the sunshine in.”

A recently signed partnership with Namasté Solar and Solaris Energy has the potential to double the amount of solar energy on the Fort Collins campuses, bringing the university closer to its goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2030.

“CSU is a leader in many aspects of sustainability and we are always proud of that,” said Carol Dollard, CSU utility engineer. “Sustainability in operations is actually the area where we have the most room for improvement and this project helps us close that gap. More solar installations will continue to advance carbon reductions and help us on the path to 100% renewable electricity.”

The solar partnership will save CSU money and hedge against future electricity rate increases since the rate of solar energy is fixed for the length of the contract, typically 20-25 years. It will also reduce carbon and other emissions associated with electricity from the grid, Dollard said.

Namasté Solar and Solaris Energy are working with CSU’s sustainability and CSU Facilities Management staff to identify site feasibility for installation on rooftops, carports, and ground mounts. Construction and installation is slated to begin in the first half of 2021 with project completion set for late 2022.

Through the agreement, Namasté Solar, an employee-owned cooperative based in Colorado, will develop, design, and construct solar arrays at up to 30 sites at CSU’s campuses and provide long-term operations and maintenance. CSU will retain ownership of Renewable Energy Credits attributed to the new systems and locally-based Solaris Energy will provide the needed financing for the project, then own and manage the systems as a part of its larger asset portfolio.

“When institutions such as CSU partner with local businesses like Namasté Solar, it positively amplifies their impact in multiple ways,” said Jason Sharpe, co-owner and CEO at Namasté Solar. “We believe that investing in renewable energy is one of the best paths to economic recovery and a healthier environment and working with local entities creates well-paying green jobs in the community.”

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