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Another Solar Array Please (ASAP)

ASAP allows UW community members offset their annual carbon emissions from things like air travel, hope heating, and/or commuting to and from work. Anyone who supports renewable energy at UW is encouraged to participate. The money raised through ASAP goes to Voluntary Offsets/Local Technologies (VOLT) Fund, which funds both solar and other renewable energy projects on campus. UW Solar’s role in ASAP is to identify and prioritize solar and other renewable energy projects on our UW campuses, as well as assist Campus Sustainability Fund with marketing the program. Although ASAP is not formal carbon offset programs, it helps balance the carbon emissions from activities such as one’s daily commute and air travel in a way that creates more local renewable energy use and keeps UW a leader in reducing our impact on the environment.

Campus Plan

UW Solar is developing a 30 year Solar Energy Plan for the UW Seattle campus which aims to maximize solar PV capacity on all viable buildings, reduce peak energy use, and provide grid resiliency while supporting opportunities for student research. UW Solar has assessed all buildings on campus for feasibility and will coordinate with appropriate departments, facilities, and capital planning and development to determine the criteria for selecting future solar PV projects. UW Solar is collaborating with the UW Sustainability Office and UW Transportation Services to integrate solar PV plus battery storage and EV charging stations into the first Comprehensive Campus Sustainability Plan. The Solar Energy Plan, as part of the Campus Sustainability Plan, will help the UW achieve its 2050 carbon neutrality goals of its Climate Action Plan by generating clean renewable energy and reducing our carbon footprint.

Collaboration with Puerto Rico:

UW Solar is collaborating with the Hurricane Maria Case Study Research Team under the direction Dr. Lilo Pozzo to quantify and qualify the health impacts of the hurricane on the people of Jayuya, Puerto Rico and propose resilient energy solutions to aid the community.

Life Sciences Building

UW Solar Team collaborated with Perkins+Will architecture team to develop the schematic plans for a 5 kW building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system of vertical shading fins on the southern facade of the building. The 5 kW BIPV system will provide enough energy to power the light systems in the main floors. UW Solar is currently working on securing the funding for a 100 kW solar array on the roof of the Life Sciences Building.

Life Sciences Building

Rendering courtesy of Perkins+Will

Mercer A Installation (Completed)

The Mercer A Installation was a student led initiative to bring more solar panels to the Campus. The project placed a solar array atop Mercer A was completed in Spring of 2014. The entire array has a power rating of 35 kW and helps provide power to the students living in the apartment complex. Upon completion of the project, the students working on it wanted to do similar projects and thus created UW Solar.

Clean Energy Institute (CEI) Testbed (Completed)

Daniel Kirschen, UW Electrical Engineering Close Professor and CEI Faculty Advisory Board Member, proposed building smart microinverter testbeds at UW for the CETC smart grid research in May of 2015. With the funding for smart microinverters from Washington Clean Energy Fund, Prof. Kirschen approached Jan Whittington, UW Urban Design and Planning Associate Professor and UW Solar Faculty Advisor, to discuss the possibility of building a PV system on campus to host those smart microinverters. Professor Whittington led students in UW Solar to develop a 100 KW PV project. Due to the successful collaboration between UW Solar and UW HFS, HFS generously agreed to use three HFS residence halls, Maple Hall, Alder Hall, and Elm Hall as the locations of the PV systems. UW Solar seeked further funding opportunities from the Department of Commerce Grant and Seattle City Light Greenup Grant to cover the cost of purchasing PV panels and building the system. Later on, Artisan Electric was selected as the contractor through Request for Proposal (RFP) process. The construction started in October of 2016 and the project was completed in its entirety in March of 2017.