University of California Santa Cruz

To continue advancing campus operational efficiency and sustainability, the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) partnered with ForeFront Power on the development of a 2 megawatt (MW) solar canopy system at its East Remote Parking Lot. The solar parking canopy will generate more than three million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity each year, the equivalent of powering more than 330 houses annually and enough energy to meet about 6% of the total campus electrical load.

The campus partnered with ForeFront Power to build the project through a streamlined procurement process offered by the School Project for Utility Rate Reduction (SPURR), part of the Utilities Joint Powers Authority of California Public Schools. The solar photovoltaic canopy will provide the campus with clean, reliable electricity for at least 20-years and save the campus an estimated $6 million on its energy bill.

“This is a major step towards directly reducing the campus’ carbon footprint. As climate change impacts become more of a reality in all of our day-to-day lives, I am also encouraged that the chancellor is committed to exploring more options for future renewable energy projects on campus to keep us moving in the right direction,” said Elida Erickson, director of the Office of Sustainability.

The UC Santa Cruz Energy Management division continues to prioritize renewable energy as it strives to help UCSC meet its goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2025. UCSC’s growing sustainability portfolio is part of the 2017–2022 Campus Sustainability Plan which incorporates green building, conservation programs, resource recovery and solar curriculum. This plan also calls on UCSC to add four megawatts of solar energy to the campus. With the East Remote Parking Lot solar array, live and operational, the campus is now halfway to its goal.


CustomerUniversity of California Santa CruzSegmentPublic SectorTypeCanopyCapacity2 MWYear2021LocationSanta Cruz, California


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