PUEBLO — CSU Pueblo is the first campus in Colorado to achieve net-zero efficiency.
A 23-acre grid of solar panels now powers every academic building on campus.
“The solar project was probably one of the first tangible pieces of our new vision to be the people’s university of Colorado and the Southwest United States,” said Dr. Donna Souder Hodge, Vice President of Operations and Advancement for CSU Pueblo.
The project warranted a visit from Governor Jared Polis on Friday, who also visited Solar Roast Coffee on Main Street.
Solar Roast uses solar power to roast their coffee beans.
“One of the reasons Colorado is leading the way is, we have 300 days of sunshine a year and we’re a great place for solar, but the other reason is the technology that’s driving it,” said Gov. Polis.
Gov. Polis has a goal for Colorado to reach 100% renewable energy by 2040.
The solar array at CSU Pueblo used students, like Pedro Nival, to help construct it.
Nival went to college later in life and received his degree in engineering from CSU Pueblo in 2019.
“You know, when you do something that’s taken so long to get that once it’s done… complete elation,” said Nival.
Nival is now a full-time employee with the company who partners with CSU Pueblo to operate the solar project.
“I’m so happy to have been a part of that project and contribute back to CSUP like I’ve always wanted,” said Nival.
Earlier this week, EVRAZ Steel Mill in Pueblo became the only one in the world to be powered mostly by solar energy.