Campus Sustainability Projects | Spotlight

Cal State L.A. gains power, saves energy

Taking steps to reduce carbon footprint, cut tons of greenhouse gases

Photo of solar panels on E&T building.

Through a study and redesign of its Central Plant, Cal State L.A. has prevented the creation of more than 1,300 metric tons of greenhouse gases.

The burning of fossil fuels for electricity, heating and transportation produces so-called greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide. These gases are linked to global warming. To diminish its emission of carbon dioxide and decrease its reliance on fossil fuel-generated power, Cal State L.A. has also commenced or completed several other projects:

  • The replacement of window films and window coverings in King Hall, Fine Arts, Salazar Hall, Physical Education and Music buildings has helped reduce cooling demands.
  • To be completed by the end of next year, solar panels are being mounted on the rooftops of the Salazar Hall, Physical Education, and Fine Arts buildings as part of the CSU Statewide Photovoltaic (PV) Initiative. Helping to eliminate about 250 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the PV system will generate 300 kilowatts of solar-power energy, which is estimated to produce about 450,000 kWh of electricity annually (the equivalent of lighting up 750 average homes for a month).
  • More energy-efficient lights have replaced older fixtures at Reeder Field, giving baseball teams—and fans—a brighter view of the action.
  • Photo of a campus recycling bin.
  • Following the launch of a new recycling program last winter, 30 new recycling bins have been distributed throughout campus, which have diverted 243 tons of recyclable materials from local landfills.
  • Electric vehicles in use on campus enhance air quality by not emitting standard exhaust pollutants—such as volatile organic compounds, oxides of nitrogen and carbon monoxide. These clean vehicles include utility carts and two passenger cars. Easily charged in a standard 110v outlet, the cars transport people and equipment around campus; however, they are not driven off campus because they are only “street legal” to 25 mph.

CSULA student projects keep paving the way to a more energy efficient future…

Highlighting the University’s excellence in developing environmentally-friendly vehicles, Cal State L.A.’s 2009 Super Eagle won third place in the 30th annual Society of Automotive Engineers Supermileage Competition, held recently at the Eaton Corporation Marshall Proving Grounds, Marshall, Michigan. For the competition results, go to http://students.sae.org/competitions/supermileage/results/2009.pdf.

Other student projects contributing to sustainability, directed by Technology Professor David Blekhman, include solar panels recently mounted on the Engineering and Technology building; a hydrogen-safety experiment; and a database project to allow the campus to observe individual building power consumption.

Learn more about Cal State L.A.’s greening efforts:

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