University of San Diego Turns the Lights Off... And Begins "Running on Sunshine"

USD to run on 20% less energy; becomes one of the country’s largest university solar installations

On Tuesday, November 16, 2010, The University of San Diego is flipping the lights OFF on campus... and turning them back on with solar energy!

In partnership with AMSOLAR, the new solar system is expected to generate up to 15% of the university’s energy needs.  The completion of this project will establish the University of San Diego as the second largest solar energy producers of any private U.S. college and the tenth-largest solar facility on a university campus in the nation.
Nearly 5,000 photovoltaic solar panels have been installed on top of eleven buildings throughout the campus to generate 1.23-megawatts of renewable energy.  This work has been conducted as part of a 25-year power purchase agreement with AMSOLAR and is supported in part by federal stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

At 10:30 a.m., USD vice president of Business Services and Administration, Len Hering, will lead a roof-top tour of the solar panel installation atop the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice.  Immediately following, the campus will gather in Plaza Mayor for a press conference and celebration.

Two popular bands, Mayday Parade and Every Avenue will perform powered by solar energy.  A special event will commence after Mary E. Lyons, USD President, has spoken.
In addition, through a partnership with Siemens Industry, Inc., USD has embarked upon a comprehensive energy efficiency program to improve the sustainability of campus buildings. Over the last ten months, Siemens managed a multi-tiered project that encompasses nine prominent campus buildings. These improvements include upgrades to heating ventilation and air conditioning systems, new plumbing fixtures to reduce water consumption, lighting system upgrades and technologies that optimize fuel efficiency of USD’s central cooling and heating plant. These improvements will dramatically reduce USD's energy consumption and will reduce water usage 27 percent to levels not seen since 1991, when the campus was about half as large and had 2,600 fewer students. USD is working on an $8.2 million efficiency project to lighting, heating and water systems that will save the university more than $1 million annually.

USD is recognized as one of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges according to The Princeton Review’s “Guide to 286 Green Colleges” for 2010. USD also is ranked 103rd on list of the Sierra Club’s “Cool Schools” and received a B+ in the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI) College Sustainability Report Card released last month. The nationally-known education services company selected USD for inclusion in the “Guide to 286 Green Colleges,” which is the first, free comprehensive guidebook focused solely on institutions of higher education who have demonstrated an above average commitment to sustainability in terms of campus infrastructure, activities and initiatives.

Media, please RSVP to (619) 260-4681 if you’d like to attend the event or for more information on USD’s sustainability efforts.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.