February 16, 2015
Jeanette Grider

Saint Louis University Brings Solar Power to Campus

Sustainability Project is Expected to Save SLU $650K Over Next 25 Years

Solar panels like those pictured here are being installed on six SLU buildings in the coming weeks. Photo courtesy of Microgrid Solar.

Last week, Saint Louis University began installing on six campus buildings solar arrays capable of generating more than 180,000 kilowatt hours of clean energy annually.

That's enough clean energy to power a dozen homes for a year, while reducing the equivalent of 124 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Partially funded by Ameren Missouri's solar rebate program, the project is expected to save the University $650,000 in utility costs over the next 25 years.

The arrays – which consist of 600 individual panels – are being installed by the St. Louis-based Microgrid Solar, whose list of notable clients includes the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the St. Louis Cardinals and Anheuser-Busch.

"As a leading Jesuit university, we are charged with being good stewards of our planet's resources," said Kathleen Brady, vice president for facilities services and SLU's chief sustainability officer. "This solar initiative demonstrates our commitment to reducing our environmental footprint while fostering a more sustainable world."

The following SLU buildings are included in the solar project:

  • Center for Global Citizenship
  • Everest Education Union at the SLU Medical Center
  • Adorjan Hall, an academic building
  • The Allied Health Building, home to the University's Doisy College of Health Sciences
  • Casa de Salud, a facility SLU leases to the non-profit health care provider for $1 a year
  • Searls Hall, a climate-controlled library storage facility on Locust Street

The buildings were chosen for the amount of sun exposure they receive, as well as the condition and accessibility of their rooftops, among other factors.

"This was a coordinated effort, and I would like to thank everyone involved in making this possible, especially Microgrid Solar, Ameren Missouri, and our own Energy and Utilities Strategic Action Team in the Division of Facilities Services," Brady said.

Installation of the solar arrays began Feb. 13, and is scheduled to be completed in mid-May. The University is expecting to bring solar power to three more campus buildings later this year.

More About Sustainability at SLU

Sustainability is a priority for Saint Louis University. Recently, the University established goals to reduce energy and water use - institution wide - by 20 percent by 2020.

SLU's commitment to sustainability has garnered national recognition, including a Bronze Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and placement in the Princeton Review's Green Colleges Guide.

Sustainability is also a focus in SLU's classrooms. The University offers more than 260 undergraduate and graduate courses related to sustainability. SLU also was the first Jesuit university in the country to offer a master's degree in sustainability.

Beyond the classroom, the University's Center for Sustainability, the first of its kind in the Midwest, plays an important role in making the region greener through community education programs as well as conferences and fairs that are open to the public.

To learn more about this and other sustainability efforts at Saint Louis University, visit greenbilliken.slu.edu or http://www.youblisher.com/p/1057816-Campus-Sustainability-Report-2014/ to download SLU's latest campus sustainability report.

About Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of more than 13,500 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of nearly 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good. To learn more, visit www.slu.edu.

About Microgrid Solar

Microgrid Solar, a division of Microgrid Energy, is a turnkey Solar PV installation company, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, with a focus on commercial and industrial solar projects. Microgrid is a certified B Corporation, operating with a Triple Bottom Line approach to business. For more information, visit microgrid-solar.com.


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