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May 12, 2022

Colorado School of Mines Creates Lasting, Positive Change with Solar Project

Continuing its partnership with McKinstry, Mines looks to transform its campus

GOLDEN, Colo. (May 12, 2022) – Dedicated to engineering a more sustainable future while engaging, inspiring and supporting its campus community, Colorado School of Mines is expanding its renewable energy efforts with a new solar project.

With design and construction led by McKinstry, work has begun on an infrastructure improvement project that adds solar installations to the campus, significantly increasing the school’s renewable energy output. By the end of the year, the campus’ solar portfolio will include six rooftop solar arrays and solar canopies in the main parking lot, adding to the two existing arrays on campus.

This $4.8 million project will generate 1.5 megawatts (MW) of power to offset the campus’ peak use of 7.5-8 MW. The project is anticipated to deliver $8.8 million in savings over the 30-year life of the system, providing funding that can be redirected toward other capital investments.

Mines’ Solar Achievement Started with Student-McKinstry Collaborative Study

Guided by a mission to prepare students for life beyond the classroom, Mines embraces an innovative approach to offering unparalleled, real-world experiences for its students. As part of its efforts to drive sustainability and resiliency on campus, Mines has engaged their students in its efforts to reduce energy consumption across campus.

Leading up to this significant solar power achievement, Mines partnered with McKinstry in early 2020 for a solar feasibility study, to gain an understanding of overall costs, benefits and the potential energy capacity. Guided by McKinstry’s powerED and development teams, students in the Capstone Design@Mines program served on the project team, gathering data, performing audits and analyses and modeling and designing potential systems. Through this connection, Mines and McKinstry provided a real-world project putting students on the front lines of innovation.

A Growing Partnership

Mines’ partnership with McKinstry began in 2009. Since then, we have collaborated with the school on multiple energy efficiency projects resulting in utility savings of over $540,000 a year.

In September 2019, McKinstry completed a 74kW solar array at the school’s McNeil Hall, which was part of a previous project-partnership with Mines encompassing various building system retrofits and a campus-wide operational improvement and energy efficiency effort.

Also in 2019, McKinstry began its partnership with Mines on powerED, McKinstry’s behavioral change and energy use awareness program. This program entails working with building occupants to increase awareness, engagement and participation in the efforts to transform the environment.

We are honored to partner with Colorado School of Mines students, staff and leaders to engage in collaborative pursuits to innovate waste and climate harm from the built environment. The school’s mission, vision and look ahead to Mines@150 is a source of inspiration and motivation for the McKinstry team and we look forward to our continued work together.

About Colorado School of Mines

Colorado School of Mines is a public university focused on science and engineering, dedicated to educating and inspiring students, advancing knowledge, and innovating to address the great challenges society faces today—particularly those related to the Earth, energy and the environment. Founded in 1874 with specialties in mining and metallurgy, Mines’ scope and mission have expanded to meet the needs of industry and society, producing distinctive graduates and revolutionary innovations, and becoming a world leader in advancing the sustainable use of the Earth’s resources.

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. Learn more at www.McKinstry.com.

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