Students at San Diego State University (SDSU) have captured gold – gold as in the sun. The students have helped to install a solar array on one of its busiest student facilities on campus. The Aztec Recreation Center (ARC), managed by the SDSU student government, Associated Students, is the home of the second largest solar array on campus. When students now enter the ARC, they can watch, real-time- a monitor tracking the solar energy output.
“This project represents the student led initiative for sustainability on campus,” said Morgan Chan, Sustainability Commissioner of Associated Students, “Sustainability is important to the students, the size of this project and the great savings we will have because of the new solar array really stands out to people within the Associated Students and the larger University community as well.”
In the Spring of 2008, a student-introduced referendum was passed to raise funds for the solar project, along with other sustainable upgrades and programming. Sullivan Solar Power designed and installed 250, 115-Watt solar photovoltaic panels using Sharp solar panels manufactured in the U.S. It is estimated the solar system prevents 11,314,002 pounds of CO2 from being emitted over the next 20 years. The solar power system will reduce costs, keep student membership fees low and help achieve the students’ and University’s sustainability goals.
Daniel Sullivan, founder and president of Sullivan Solar Power said of the SDSU student project, “This is the sixth solar project we have done for Associated Students and it is great to see that there is such a strong commitment coming from SDSU’s student leadership. During an era of budget cuts and furlough days in higher education, it is reassuring that the Aztecs are setting a national example and doing their part to save students money.”