University of Northern Colorado and McKinstry Celebrate Energy Milestones during Earth Week 2019

Planned Solar PV array to be installed by McKinstry to deliver sustainable energy on campus

GREELEY, Colo. (April 9, 2019) — Students at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) are leaving their campus a little greener as the academic calendar transitions into summer break. April 15-19 is Earth Week on campus, featuring multiple energy and sustainability milestones.

McKinstry will work with UNC to highlight campus energy performance throughout Earth Week, including a 14-foot Carbon Cube that visually represents one-seventh of a metric ton of carbon emissions. Earth Week attendees will have an opportunity to guess how many Carbon Cubes of emissions will be avoided from a planned photovoltaic (PV) solar array that McKinstry will install on campus over summer break.

The UNC solar array is expected to produce 4.7 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity and will save the university an estimated $176,500 over the expected life of the system. That amount of energy is enough to offset emissions from roughly 400 U.S. homes for an entire year. The system will also provide hands-on student learning opportunities and an interactive educational dashboard that will track performance metrics. The solar array is being funded through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEP) Program. A public ribbon-cutting will be held on September 20, 2019, after students return to campus and to coincide with the fall equinox.

Xcel Energy recently recognized UNC as part of the utility’s 2018 Energy Efficiency Awards program. UNC was honored for achieving the highest energy savings for self-directed programs. In 2016, UNC and McKinstry partnered to implement $8.9 million in energy-savings measures and other upgrades, which will save the university more than $500,000 in annual utility costs and reduce carbon emissions by 5,790 metric tons. Energy savings were bolstered through a three-year awareness campaign administered through McKinstry’s powerED program. The program engaged more than 700 faculty, staff and students over the three-year campaign.

UNC Earth Week activities are open to the public and will include:

  • Monday, April 15: Campus Commons LEED Building Tour; Carbon Cube Unveiling and Contest; Spring Into Earth Week Fair
  • Tuesday, April 16: Sustainable Networking
  • Wednesday, April 17: Eco-Friendly Tie-Dye
  • Thursday, April 18: Up-Cycled Sustainable Art Exhibit
  • Friday, April 19: Tree Hugger Hunt

The full Earth Week schedule is available online at: 

About McKinstry

McKinstry is a national leader in designing, constructing, operating and maintaining high-performing buildings. From new construction and ongoing operations to adaptive reuse and energy retrofits, the company provides a single point of accountability across the entire building lifecycle. McKinstry focuses on people and outcomes to ensure the built environment serves owners, operators and occupants alike. McKinstry is your trusted partner for the life of your building.


Customers count on McKinstry to build and manage these critical environments better than anyone else. View projects >


McKinstry works with many government entities, always with the aim of protecting their budgets and helping them save resources for their communities. View projects >


McKinstry is a powerful partner in renewables, delivering turn-key energy source solutions. We implement long-term energy solutions for your community or organization. View projects >

Project Sectors

Explore the environments McKinstry helps bring to life.


Together, building a thriving planet.


To make every building we touch more efficient.