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100% of DU's electricity will be generated from solar power

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Jeremy Haefner

News  •

Dear DU community members, 

I am excited to share some tremendous news. Within the next three years, 100% of the University of Denver’s electricity use will be powered by renewable energy, resulting in an additional 40% reduction of our current carbon footprint. Since 2008, when we joined the American Colleges and Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment, we had already reduced our carbon footprint by 27%, so our latest efforts represent our biggest and boldest leap forward. 

We will accomplish this through a 20-year partnership with Pivot Energy, a national leader in solar power. With Pivot, DU will build additional on-campus solar arrays, as well as six off-site solar projects in Colorado, which will provide 23 megawatts of clean energy to our campus.  

In 2019, DU was on track to be carbon neutral by 2050. We knew we could do better. We expanded our efforts and are well on track to reach our ambitious goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. How will we get there? Nearly our entire carbon footprint is created by three categories: 

1. Electricity 

Our electric usage comprises 40% of our current carbon footprint. By eliminating this through converting to solar power, we are massively reducing that footprint. We will expand our on-campus solar arrays to include a new array on the roof of the Ritchie Center, and we will develop 6 solar sites in Colorado, which will also serve as locations for learning and sources for an expanded clean energy workforce in Colorado. 

2. Travel 

Travel for athletic competitions, study abroad programs, business needs and other realities generate around 40% of our carbon footprint. And unlike other sources, it’s not functionally possible to eliminate these emissions directly. We will implement a carbon offset program that invests in projects such as reforestation, renewable energy and agriculture land management. This will eliminate equivalent carbon output elsewhere, resulting in the reduction of our carbon footprint. 

3. Natural Gas 

Between now and 2030, the University will work to eliminate natural gas emissions with conservation measures, efficiency upgrades and electrification of heating systems. 

I am so proud of the University of Denver for its commitment to ensuring we do our part to reduce carbon emissions and slow the advancement of climate change. By undertaking these projects, we are making a measurable difference not just for our community, but for the world.  

I look forward to celebrating even more with you when we join the ranks of only a small percentage of universities that can claim carbon neutrality.

2030—here we come.  


Jeremy Haefner