Driving into Boulder on Highway 36, you may see a new structure welcoming you to the University of Colorado Boulder. CU-Boulder is currently installing a carport with 100 kW of solar PV panels on top. This installation is happening just west of the Bear Creek Apartment Complex, and will produce approximately 145,000 kWh/year electricity, or enough to power about 20 regular sized
Traditionally projects are paid for by grants, campus budgets, or gifts from donors. This project breaks these norms by taking advantage of all renewable energy rebates, tax credits and accelerated depreciation write off. The 3rd party financing, design and construction company is Eco Depot USA.
“ The university is not a tax entity, if we would have done this project on our own, we would have left a significant amount of tax credits and incentives on the table,” said Moe Tabrizi, director of sustainability. In addition to the incentives provided, CU-Boulder will have the opportunity to buy the solar installations at the end of seven years at a fraction of the cost. This renewable and green energy production is in conjunction with the development of a new 500 bed residence hall, which will likely be the campuses first LEED Platinum rated building. The new residence hall, Williams Village North, also boasts sustainable features such as, solar heated water, native landscaping, regional and recycled content building materials, and much more. Once the building is certified, it will also likely be the first LEED Platinum residence hall of its size in the nation.
CU-Boulder isn’t stopping here. Projects on main campus are under way to continue putting Solar PV on available rooftops and awnings. This unique location is the first time many visitors can actually see the solar PV and serves as a perfect welcome to the sustainability focused campus.
Photo @ Left: Boulder Daily Camera