Renewable Energy at UCSB

fuel cellThe main UCSB campus is home to five solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays that currently generate 220 kilowatts of clean power from the sun. The largest solar array at UCSB is located at the Multi Activity Center; this 155 kilowatt array often generates power in excess of the MAC building's power load, and sends power back to the UCSB electrical grid to supply the needs of other buildings on campus. Additional opportunities for solar power on or near campus are continually being evaluated for generation potential and cost effectiveness.

fuel cell UCSB’s student body has been the driving force behind the installation of large-scale renewable energy on campus. By gathering 3,000 signatures and overwhelmingly voting to pass the Renewable Energy Initiative quarterly fee, Gauchos have created a funding mechanism for clean energy at facilities where student fees are used to pay for utility costs. As fossil fuel energy prices increase, this investment will translate to savings for the students and increased funding for other important programs. The first project to be funded by the Renewable Energy Initiative is a solar PV array planned for construction atop campus parking structure 22 in late 2013, and will generate over 500 kilowatts of clean power, enough to run 160 Santa Barbara homes or several student fee-funded facilities on campus.

fuel cellThree of UCSB's six natural reserves are powered by electricity generated using solar PV modules: Sedgwick Reserve, Santa Cruz Island and the Sierra Nevada Aquatics Research Laboratory. The LEED Platinum certified Tipton Meeting House at UCSB’s Sedgwick Reserve in Santa Ynez is UCSB’s first Zero Net Energy building, using less energy over the course of the year than the onsite solar arrays generate. Additionally, UCSB’s Sierra Nevada Aquatics Research Laboratory campus in the Eastern Sierra Mountains is currently completing design of a new classroom facility to become the third building at the site powered by solar PV and heated and cooled by a ground source (geothermal) heat exchanger.

For additional information about renewable energy projects and initiatives at UCSB, please contact Utility & Energy Services .