Media Advisory/Photo Opportunity: Colorado State University to Dedicate, Offer Public Tours of 5.3-Megawatt Solar Plant and New Composter on April 21


Colorado State University and its development partner, Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, will dedicate one of the largest solar power systems at a U.S. university – a 5.3-megawatt solar plant on the university’s Foothills Campus in Fort Collins, on Thursday, April 21, as part of Earth Week activities.

Guided public tours of the site are available from 1-4 p.m.; the dedication will take place immediately prior to the tours. Limited parking is available at the site.

A tour bus will depart from Ram’s Horn Dining Center at the Academic Village and include lunch and a tour of CSU’s solar plant, biomass boiler, and a new composter at the Foothills Campus. There is no cost to register for this tour, and space is still available. To reserve a spot, e-mail Stacy Grant at

Details on the solar plant:

Covering 30 acres, the 5.3-megawatt solar power plant will generate more than 8.5 million kilowatt hours of clean electricity annually and will power one-third of the university’s Foothill’s Campus.

The new plant consists of more than 23,000 solar panels and is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 6 million kilograms each year.

The CSU Foothills Campus solar power system is funded by a partnership that includes regional utility Xcel Energy and renewable energy developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures. The project, owned and operated by FRV, uses a Power Purchase Agreement structure that leverages tax credits and incentives.

Details on the composter:

The new composter will be featured between 2 and 3 p.m. as part of the bus tour. Highlights:

• The Earth Flow composting system from Green Mountain Technologies is an enclosed 30-yard capacity bin with a fully automated auger that will stir the compost.
• The Earth Flow will be the first commercial-sized composting project at CSU.
• The Earth Flow can accept up to 2,000 pounds of material per day.
• Material will be a mix of pulp from the Ram’s Horn and Braiden dining centers and organic materials from the Foothills Campus.
• Material composts between 14 and 21 days inside the composter.
• The compost generated will be used in campus landscaping projects.

Colorado State is one of the foremost universities in incorporating sustainable living on campus. From building a biomass boiler and solar plant on the Foothills Campus to conserving water and energy in residence halls on the main campus, the university strives to lessen energy consumption and provide students with green-living alternatives.