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TU, PSO announce launch of solar power generation

The University of Tulsa’s Case Tennis Center is being powered by solar energy in partnership with Public Service Co. of Oklahoma. On Sept. 28, 2016, TU and PSO officials announced completion of the four-month project, one of the state’s largest rooftop solar installations.

The implementation of solar power supports TU’s ongoing efforts to promote a campus culture focused on increasing sustainability. PSO owns and maintains the 936 polycrystalline photovoltaic panels that are leased by TU. The 300-kilowatt system is estimated to generate the same amount of solar energy harvested by 75 residential structures.

In recent years, TU administrators gathered feedback from the university community to organize a Sustainability Committee and adopt more efficient practices such as expanding the use of LED lighting, installing occupancy sensors, optimizing climate controls in campus buildings, creating a single-stream recycling system, purchasing CNG-powered shuttles, reconfiguring golf carts to solar power and establishing TU’s free Yellow Bike program.

“These initiatives have helped reduce our carbon footprint and have opened the door for research opportunities for students and faculty here at the university,” said Susan Neal, TU vice president for public affairs, research and economic development.

TU has been named Oklahoma’s greenest college by The Princeton Review and earned a 2015 Henry Bellmon Sustainability Award for Quality of Life.

An energy source that is 100 percent renewable, clean and shared statewide, PSO officials said TU’s solar panel system is key to the company’s new involvement in solar power generation. PSO plans to add more than 200 megawatts of solar energy to its power grid by 2024 while TU continues to lead sustainability efforts among educational institutions in Oklahoma.