Katie Robinson, ERS, for Zondits
The facilities management division of California State University, Fresno, understands that sustainable practices can start right on their own campus. In order to inspire their students and set an example for the community, Fresno State practices what they preach with their major efficiency renovations throughout the campus.
Most notably, their photovoltaic (PV) solar parking structure provides an estimated 20% of their core campus power, offsetting approximately 950 metric tons of carbon monoxide emissions. This PV solar structure covers 5.5 acres of land and provides 722 parking spaces with lighting and a covered roof. The 1.1 megawatt solar system was completed in 2007, and it is the largest PV paneled parking installation at a U.S. university.
[bctt tweet=”A solar PV structure at @Fresno_State provides an estimated 20% of their core campus power.” username=”ZonditsEE”]
The campus’s other energy-saving projects, mostly consisting of upgrades to their lighting and HVAC systems, have saved over 16,000,000 kWh and $2,560,000 in utility costs since the efforts began. And they don’t stop there. The Fresno State facilities management team is Thinking Green and Thinking WaterSMART through programs that focus on water conservation on campus. They have made their landscaping practices more efficient and added low-water-use plants to cut irrigation by 30%. This is a bold step for a university that receives thousands of campus visitors each year, especially at a time when the visual aesthetics of a campus seem to be scrutinized just as thoroughly during campus tours as the school’s academic programs. Fresno State’s commitment to sustainability is a big step in the right direction, as it helps to conserve the resources that its students – and future generations – will inherit.