Upon completion of phase one, rooftops boasting solar panelswill include the GIOS Building at 800 S. Cady Mall; Hayden Librarynear Orange Street and Union Drive; and the Student ServicesBuilding. The buildings for the second phase haven't been selected,but the panels will eventually take approximately 330,000 sf ofrooftop space.

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"We're limited to two megawatt installations in 2008 due to timeand availability of utility company rebates this year," commentsDavid Brixen, ASU's assistant vice president for capital facilitiesservices. Brixen, who is overseeing the implementation of solarenergy to all ASU campuses, says once the Tempe project is up andrunning, it should supply approximately 20% of the campus' energyconsumption.

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There are no up-front costs on the installations, as thecontractors are making that investment. The panels are anticipatedto generate approximately $425,000 worth of energy, while reducingthe university's carbon emissions by 2,825 tons per year. ASU iscontracting to purchase the power coming from its rooftops at a setprice from Arizona Public Service for the next 15 years. Plans callfor similar installations at other ASU campuses over the nextseveral years.

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Though costs savings on solar panels are high there is more togenerating the energy than simply slapping panels on roofs. Brixentells GlobeSt.com that the most desirable roofs for installationare those that are wide and relatively flat, and without a lot ofequipment. "Tall structures can create shade, which might causesome problems," he adds. Brixen says in addition to being good forthe environment, the solar panels will be a good long-term hedgeagainst rising utility costs.

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