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University of Idaho Solar Initiative

Raised toward our $65,000 Goal
111 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 10, at 11:59 PM PST
Project Owners

University of Idaho Solar Initiative



Today, a new student-led University of Idaho (U of I) Sustainability Center project is bringing the first solar array to the U of I Campus!  With your help, this project will see the installation of 393 photovoltaic solar panels and yield 145kW of renewable energy! 

WHY SOLAR? There are three core reasons why we believe installing solar power is the right decision for the U of I, and why our team has spent the past two years working to make this goal a reality.  The first and most obvious reason is that we, as an institution, have made commitments to sustainability.  This was most recently affirmed in our 2016 strategic plan, where sustainability is identified as one of our five core values.  Another commitment we’ve made is the climate action plan which took a comprehensive look at our institution’s carbon footprint and committed us to trying to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.  Lastly, reducing our carbon footprint is one of the biggest moves we can make to become more sustainable.  Because most of our emissions come from electricity consumption, we need to start exploring ways to get the energy we need while still honoring our commitment to sustainability.

SCOPE OF WORK: Upon completion of a University of Idaho solar site assessment comparing 15 rooftop and ground mount locations, the Institutional Research and Innovation Center (IRIC), the university’s first LEED GOLD building, was  determined to be the most suitable location for the first photovoltaic solar array.  IRIC can support 393 panels, produce 145kW of energy, and meet 15% of this energy intensive building’s annual demand; however, during the summer months, the array will produce nearly 100% of IRIC’s energy needs. 

BENEFITS: The benefits to the university are numerous!  Rising energy costs are reduced and held stable for 25 years or more; the array is revenue neutral and repays the initial investment through energy generation; faculty and students gain access to  a working array for research and tours; the scalable design can be installed in one or two phases; and U of I attracts the 63% of prospective students who prefer universities that are tackling  the climate crisis, while simultaneously contributing to our institutional climate commitments!

SHARED FUNDING: The total project cost estimate is $365,000.  Together with Facilities, the Sustainability Center, and ASUI we have raised 56% of the capital needed.   Donations of $166 support the purchase of one solar panel or you can sponsor a portion of a panel at any giving level.  All donations are appreciated and will be acknowledged in a permanent Kiosk located near the array.  

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! On behalf of the students, engineers, architects, and administrators working to bring renewable solar energy to campus, we couldn't do this without you.  For more information contact Jeannie Matheison, Director, U of I Sustainability Center at or 208-885-0126, or Marc Compton, Mechanical Engineer, U of I Facilities at or 208-885-7350.

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$5 Donate a cup of coffee

Show your Vandal pride--donate $5!



A donation of $20 or more supports a portion of one solar panel.



$166 supports the purchase of 1-solar panel. We are seeking 393 donations of $166 to meet the $65,000 goal. An educational kiosk in IRIC will acknowledge all donors.



$500 supports the purchase of --3--photovoltaic solar panels. An educational kiosk in IRIC will acknowledge all donors.



$1000 supports the purchase of --6--photovoltaic solar panels. An educational kiosk in IRIC will acknowledge all donors.



$10,000 supports the purchase of --60--photovoltaic solar panels. An educational kiosk in IRIC will acknowledge all donors.

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