Media Advisory/Photo Opportunity: Colorado State University to Offer Tours of 5.3-Megawatt Solar Plant, Other Energy-Saving Features April 19


Colorado State University will show off its 5.3 megawatt solar power system – one of the largest at a U.S. university – its biomass boiler and composter on Thursday, April 19, as part of Earth Week activities.

Guided public tours of the site are available from 1-3 p.m. A tour bus will depart from the Lory Student Center Transit Center at 1 p.m. The tours are free, but because of limited space, reservations are required by contacting Stacy Grant at The deadline for RSVPs is Friday, April 13.

The tour is sponsored by RamTracks, Facilities Management and Housing & Dining Services.


Solar plant – Covering 30 acres, the 5.3-megawatt solar power plant generates more than 8.5 million kilowatt hours of clean electricity annually and powers one-third of the university’s Foothills Campus. The plant, which consists of more than 23,000 solar panels, reduces greenhouse gas emissions by more than 6 million kilograms each year.

Earth Bin composter – This large-scale, in-vessel composter turns about 2,000 pounds of compostable material from dining center pulpers each day on the main CSU campus, as well as some organic material from the foothills campus, into soil amendments. The composted soil is targeted for use in campus landscaping projects.

Biomass boiler – The biomass boiler burns about 600 tons of wood chips from fire mitigation projects each year to heat water and displace natural gas use. Biomass energy produces 96 percent fewer overall emissions than natural forest fires and 97 percent fewer emissions than prescribed burning. The plant has a rating of 46 bhp.

Colorado State is one of the foremost universities in incorporating sustainable living on campus. From building a biomass boiler, composter 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.