Stanford University Solar Panels On Campus!
Founded in 1891, Stanford University has a long and storied history of academic excellence in a variety of engineering fields, biomedical sciences, computer science, business and economics programs, and much more. With an extensive list of world renown alumni that includes business and industry leaders, athletic superstars. The presidents of the United States of America, the Stanford name carries a well earned level of respect across the country and all around the world.
Today, the Stanford campus includes an extensive network of buildings to support approximately 7,000 undergraduate students as well as over 9,000 graduate students. A campus of this size requires a tremendous amount of electricity to facilitate lab and classroom activities. To lessen the environmental load of this power draw, Stanford began rooftop solar panel installations in 2012.
This commitment to renewable energy sources has continued with 15 buildings receiving rooftop photovoltaic panels all within the last nine months. The campus now boasts 32 buildings that generate electricity via solar power.
Standford Solar Innovation
When Stanford’s first solar plant went online in 2016, the university increased its clean electricity portfolio to 65%, up from the state minimum of 27%, and has since further reduced university greenhouse gas emissions to 66% below peak levels.
This latest wave of solar installations was kicked off with a site survey of approximately 70 buildings on campus. One of the main criteria in this survey was the sunlight exposure of each rooftop. Rooftops that experience more direct sunlight on daily basis are able to produce significantly more solar power electricity than those that are partially shaded by trees or other buildings. The school also evaluated the aesthetics of the solar panels at each potential location to ensure the solar panels were a good fit for the design of the campus and promises to be 100% solar powered in the next three years.
Stanford University currently receives 53% of its power from solar energy produced off campus right now. With the inclusion of the 15 successful rooftop installations over the past 9 months, approximately 40% of the campus energy usage is now produced by on campus solar panels.
In total, 65% of Stanford’s power usage is being produced by solar panels as the university continues to stand out in renewable energy. Stanford even has more projects on the horizon to improve the campus energy network. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions to further lessen the school’s environmental footprint.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in May 18, 2017.