Education for a lifetime is a hallmark of our college and university system at the Catholic University of America (CUA), lifetime learning is being powered from the sun. CUA has deployed solar PV systems throughout their campus to generate clean renewable electricity.

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System Specs

409 kW

System Production

481 MWh annually

Environmental Benefits

Offsets 420 tons of CO2 annually

CUA recognized the value of managing energy and sought a plan to develop onsite renewable energy generation to supplement existing utility power. CUA decided solar would be one path for the university to save on energy costs while taking a leadership position in carbon reduction and sustainable energy production.

To achieve this without impacting capital budgets, they needed partners. Turning to Standard Solar for solar system development and Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES) for funding, CUA was able to complete the construction of on-campus solar in two phases.

A power purchase agreement (PPA) funded and operated by WGES was the funding vehicle enabling solar to be installed on four buildings. CUA pays only for the electricity produced. All capital costs, design, installation and maintenance are included.

CUA benefits from the solar arrays economically, educationally and environmentally. In addition to annual cost savings, CUA utilizes the solar array in the classroom and as a significant part of its campus wide environmental awareness. The School of Architecture has used the presence of solar for learning and design. It recently ran a series of solar design contests resulting in a competition for best solar picnic tables to be built on campus.

CUA’s leadership in energy management is on display and is expanding. The success of phase one has led to a recent phase two expansion. CUA is currently the largest solar generating facility in Washington, DC and continues to develop its vision for phase three.

By designing and developing a state-of-the-art solar PV system, Standard Solar has helped CUA reduce the university’s carbon footprint while contributing to national energy management goals. On campus in the busy student union lobby is a monitoring display screen that allows students, staff and visitors to see how efficiently the system is working in real time—and how the CUA and its partners Standard Solar and WGES are putting our country’s renewable energy future in action today.

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