University NM - Taos Celebrates Energy Independence Day
Image via: UNM-Taos
July 1, 2009 will forever be known as Energy Independence Day as the University of New Mexico - Taos is now officially 100% powered by the sun - the first community college in the United States to meet this goal.One of the largest solar generation plants in New Mexico is being constructed on the Taos campus and when it goes online this month, it will make the Klauer campus the first community college in the United States completely powered by solar. The array is a 500 kW facility and will more than cover electricity demands by the college and any unused electricity will go back on the grid. The array itself covers over 3.5 acres on the Klauer campus and uses trackers to follow the sun, generating up to 20% more electricity than flat-mounted panels would.
US Senator Jeff Bingaman and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan were both instrumental in getting the project the green light and were at the independence ceremony on the 1st. Kit Carson Electric Cooperative provided all of the materials and the installation work, working together with American Capital Energy, Erickson Construction and Paradise Power.If you couldn't make the event, you can still watch work and construction on the solar array via the campus webcam.
Thanks Tipster Keith! :UNM - TaosMore on Colleges Going Solar4 Megawatt Solar Power System Will Save L.A. Community College $280,000 on Electric BillsWhatever Happened to Jimmy Carter's Solar Panels?UC San Diego Installs Unique Solar Shade TreesCollege of the Atlantic: First Carbon-Neutral US College