CSU rooftops are prime real estate for solar power

Braiden Hall has a little more spark this fall, with the recent installation of about 400 solar panels on its roof. Braiden is the first of six campus buildings rooftops – including the Student Recreation Center, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, the University Center for the Arts, and Edwards, Parmelee and Corbett residence halls — that will soon be adorned with solar panels that power the university and Fort Collins homes and businesses. The installation is part of a partnership among CSU, the City of Fort Collins and Namaste Solar.

The panels are part of a city program that purchases electricity from solar systems installed on business rooftops across the city through a 20-year contract. At CSU, panels will provide 1,100 kilowatts of power to Fort Collins, enough to produce about 1.65 million kilowatt hours a year, powering about 180 average homes.

Energy from the solar systems in the program goes directly into the Fort Collins Utilities electric grid. The city’s program also includes panels installed on other buildings in Fort Collins, and is expected to meet about 25 percent of the city’s renewable goal for 2015. The project also helps meet local climate action goals and state renewable energy standard commitments.

The pilot project, called the Solar Power Purchase program, or SP3, involves multiple partners including the City of Fort Collins Utilities, which will purchase the electricity generated by the panels from partner Atmosphere Conservancy, and Namaste Solar, which installed the panels. The university will receive lease payments for the panels.

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Solar Panels Installed on Colorado State University's Braiden HaCSU Facilities Engineer Carol Dollard, Namaste Solar Commercial System Designer Rick Coen and Housing & Dining Services Director of Communications Tonie Miyamoto talk about projects as Namaste Solar contractors install solar panels capable of powering 14 homes on Braiden Hall’s roof.

Solar Panels Installed on Colorado State University's Braiden Ha

Newly installed solar panels are visible on the roof of Braiden Hall, a residence hall on campus. The panels were installed Oct. 24 and are the first in a series of panels that will adorn CSU building rooftops.

Solar Panels Installed on Colorado State University's Braiden Ha

Namaste Solar installs solar panels on the roof of CSU’s Braiden Hall Oct. 24.