Not long ago, we reported that San Diego State University was breaking ground on a new student union building featuring solar power, a geothermal system and other green features, with the expectation of taking LEED Platinum status. Now the home of the Aztecs is at it again with a major solar power installation on its Aztec Recreation Center (ARC), a facility managed by the SDSU student government, at the behest of its students.
“This project represents the student-led initiative for sustainability on campus,” Morgan Chan, sustainability commissioner for the Associated Students, said in a statement. Chan noted that the size of this project (it has a generating capacity of 250,115 watts) and the savings it will provide to the Associated Students on the facility’s monthly utility bills make it a standout green project for the university community as a whole.
The funding for this new solar installation was provided via a student-introduced referendum passed by the student body in spring 2008 aimed at instituting sustainable upgrades to campus facilities (as well as other programming). The solar array on the ARC — consisting of American-made Sharp solar panels — is expected to avoid 11,314,002 pounds of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere over the course of the next 20 years. It was installed by Sullivan Solar Power, a local company, and marks the sixth solar installation by the company funded through the Associated Students group.
Daniel Sullivan, founder and president of Sullivan Solar Power noted that it was great to see such a strong commitment to solar on the part of SDSU’s student leadership. “During an era of budget cuts and furlough days in higher education,” he said, “it is reassuring that the Aztecs are setting a national example and doing their part to save students money.”