U of I Solar Energy Initiative
As a signatory of two climate agreements — the Talloires Declaration and the Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitment — the University of Idaho is prioritizing the reduction of greenhouse gases generated on campus, with a goal of carbon neutrality and energy independence.
The Integrated Research and Innovation Center (IRIC) on Moscow’s campus — the university’s first LEED GOLD building — also boasts the university’s first photovoltaic solar array. The IRIC has 368 panels purchased by 120 donors, including the ASUI and the Office of the President. These panels have the potential to produce a maximum of 132.2kW.
In 2022, another exciting project was started to advance on-site generation potential. Three electricity producing steam turbines were installed at the U of I District Energy Plant that have the capacity to offset the facility’s electrical demand, making the District Energy Plant the first carbon negative building on campus. Learn more about this project.
Why is solar the right decision for the University of Idaho?
- We are committed to sustainability. This was most recently affirmed in our 2016 strategic plan, where sustainability is identified as one of our five core values.
- We endeavor to achieve climate neutrality at U of I by 2030, in accordance with our Climate Action Plan.
- We are focused on reducing electricity consumption, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to our 2019 Greenhouse Gas Inventory.
- Electricity costs are increasing by 5% each year. When you purchase a solar array it’s like buying your energy “in bulk” for the next 30 years, at a fixed price.