Solar and Biomass

Solar PV arrays on campus

  • CSU has 20 solar arrays across its campuses.
  • In 2009 Colorado State University installed its first solar PV array in partnership with the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office, an 18.9 kW system. Located on the Engineering Building, overlooking the Lory Student Center plaza, this array was the largest array in the City of Fort Collins at the time.
  • A 5.3 megawatt (5,300 kW), 30-acre solar plant is located at Christman Field on the Foothills Campus (Phase 1 completed, Dec. 2009 and Phase 2 completed, Dec. 2010). The plant provides one-third of the electricity needs of the entire Foothills Campus. This is one of the largest solar PV arrays located on a university campus in the United States.
  • A total of 1.5 megawatts (1,497 kW) of solar PV are located on the rooftops of campus buildings. Buildings hosting solar PV include: Academic Village, Braiden Hall, Behavioral Sciences Building, Edwards Hall, Engineering, Facilities Services North (bike shelter), Lake Street Parking Garage, The Study Cube at Morgan Library, Parmelee Hall, Powerhouse Energy Campus, Student Recreation Center, Research Innovation Center, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and The University Center for the Arts. There are also four at arrays at three of CSU’s Branch Stations: the Agriculture Research Development and Education Center (ARDEC), the Arkansas Valley Research Center, and the Western Colorado Research Center.

Check out a full listing of the solar projects on campus.

Biomass boiler

The Foothills Campus biomass boiler — located at the Infectious Disease Research Center (IDRC) — uses a readily available local, renewable resource. The biomass plant burns approximately 600 tons of wood chips from fire mitigation projects each year to heat water and displace natural gas use. The plant has a rating of 46 bhp. Biomass energy produces 96 percent fewer overall emissions than natural forest fires and 97 percent fewer than prescribed burning.