ASU’s solar projects earn climate impact recognition - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

ASU’s solar projects earn climate impact recognition

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Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 9:45 am | Updated: 1:01 pm, Tue Apr 24, 2012.

Arizona State University (ASU) has been recognized for its cutting-edge work in promoting environmental sustainability by the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), an agreement between nearly 700 colleges and universities to promote sustainability through teaching and action.

The university earned the distinction in large part because of its commitment to rely on solar power to fuel its energy needs. ASU has 57 solar photovoltaic projects with the capacity to generate more than 15 megawatts across four campuses. Combined, they enable the university to reduce carbon emissions by 16,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is roughly the same as the annual emissions of 1,500 homes or 3,000 passenger vehicles, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The projects, which comprise the largest, single university solar installation in the country, now account for approximately 30 percent of the university’s peak daytime power needs. ASUs reliance on renewable energy reduces the university’s costs and helps it build community ties with solar business partners.

The ACUPCC acknowledged ASUs efforts as part of its Celebrating Sustainability series, which identifies signatories that exemplify the initiatives mission to re-stabilize Earth’s climate through education, research and community engagement. Celebrating Sustainability is formally recognizing a different institution every business day in April leading up to Earth Day on April 22.

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