Officials switched on a new set of solar panels at the University of Utah on Friday. The panels canvas the top of a new parking structure next to the S.J. Quinney College of Law.
Energy captured by the solar panels is projected to reduce the University’s power bills by more than 10,000 dollars annually.
“This is going to generate 100 kilowatts of power and we think it’s just a start in terms of the potential to make our campus more energy self-sustainable,” says Bob Adler, Dead of the law school.
Funding for the project was provided by the College of Law, the Alternative Visions Fund of the Chicago Community Trust, and the Sustainable Campus Initiative Fund.
Myron Willson heads the sustainability office at the University of Utah. He says solar production on campus now contributes enough energy to power nearly 250 homes for a year.
“We have about a megawatt and a half on campus on about ten different buildings,” Willson says. “Some of them are very small systems and other ones are quite large—like the one on the Museum of Natural History. So we have a variety.”
Willson estimates about 2% of the U’s energy use comes from solar sources on campus. The school has a goal to be energy neutral by 2050.