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USD, AMSOLAR Announce Major Solar Energy Partnership

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

usdamsol-photoThe University of San Diego on Tuesday announced a long-term partnership with San Diego-based AMSOLAR Corporation to create the eighth-largest solar energy facility on a U.S. college campus.

“This partnership represents a commitment to sustainability,” said USD President Mary E. Lyons outside the Student Life Pavilion at a news conference where she was joined by (pictured, left to right of Lyons) County Supervisor Ron Roberts, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and AMSOLAR Managing Partner Joshua Weinstein. “Creating a more sustainable campus environment is one of our strategic goals and consistent with Catholic Social Thought.”

Lyons said she hoped the new facility could serve an educational purpose across all disciplines while demonstrating USD’s commitment to creating a greener society. The solar power system is expected to reduce the university’s reliance on non-renewable energy by as much as 15 percent.

USD will pay nothing for the installation of 5,000 solar panels, to be placed throughout the campus, including academic and residential buildings, the West Parking Structure and Jenny Craig Pavilion. AMSOLAR is funding the installation of the 1.23-megawatt system through federal stimulus grant funds. AMSOLAR owns and operates the system through a 25-year power purchase agreement and will then sell the power back to USD at a reduced rate.

“The partnership between USD and AMSOLAR allows USD to embrace solar energy in a powerful way while looking forward to greater community sustainability,” Weinstein said.

USD is the first academic institution to partner with AMSOLAR, which has engineered 3,000 solar projects. Weinstein said this makes USD’s program the largest solar project nationally among private schools at any level.

Mayor Sanders called the announcement “a great statement for San Diego.” Sanders congratulated USD for “showing our region what’s possible.”

Roberts also praised USD’s partnership with AMSOLAR and its ability to produce new green jobs locally.

Construction is to begin in the next few months and completion is expected by spring 2010.

— Anthony Shallat ’10

To learn more about USD and its commitment to sustainability, check out the newest Sustainability Task Force newsletter.

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