UC San Diego Housing Dining Hospitality (HDH) will install solar panels on the Marshall College Upper Apartments in summer 2019 as part of campus’ continued efforts toward sustainability.
These thermal solar panels absorb energy from sunlight with the use of preheated water for conversion into usable, sustainable energy. In addition to the solar panels, HDH will install hot water storage tanks to facilitate the absorption of solar energy.
The project will also allow HDH to replace the existing roofs on the Marshall College Upper Apartments and replace existing lighting elements with LED lighting to become more energy efficient.
“I think it’s really exciting to see UC San Diego working toward further sustainability on campus,” Marshall College resident and second-year student Sara Blumin commented. “The presence of solar panels within the Marshall community will help to remind everyone to make more personally sustainable decisions as it’s a visible reminder that we will see everyday.”
The project will contribute to UCSD’s existing sustainability goals, which include initiatives toward carbon neutrality and zero waste. UCSD has committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions from on-campus buildings and UCSD vehicles by 2025, a goal that the installation of solar panels will help to achieve.
Among UCSD’s sustainability goals is reducing greenhouse gas emissions through more efficient transportation, such as the midcoast trolley system. Additionally, vehicles within UCSD’s fleet are phasing out traditional fossil fuels and are switching to natural gas.
UCSD is also dedicated to maintaining its own microgrid, and constructing buildings that meet the sustainability requirements of LEED-silver or better. LEED, a global rating system that evaluates buildings on their environmental efficiency and sustainability, has already certified over 30 buildings on the UCSD campus. This continued initiative is highlighted by the North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Neighborhood, slated to be completed in 2020 with Platinum LEED certification.
UCSD’s Current Carbon Neutrality Initiative Student Engagement Fellow Carmen Lopez commented, “I think that the changes that HDH plans on making are a great step forward to helping the campus become carbon neutral because these projects help to save energy that the campus can’t produce from its [own] microgrid.”
Joe and Christine Gatto donated the materials to Marshall College for the solar panel project.
Joseph Goulart is a Staff Writer for The Triton.