Skip to content

Student Affairs Renewable Energy Project Featured in the News

Photo of UCSB Parking Lot 22

Photo Credit: Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk
Crews were working this week to install solar panels on the roof of UCSB’s 22 Parking Structure, a student fee-funded project that began taking shape this summer, and will begin producing energy by the end of 2014.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Michael Young, Chief Financial Officer Bill McTague, Sustainability Coordinator Andrew Riley and Assistant Director of Recreation Gary Jurich were all mentioned in articles featuring the Student Affairs Renewable Energy Initiative, a student funded project that will provide solar energy to student service buildings on the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) campus.

Excerpt from the article "Student-Funded Solar Panel Project Starts Taking Shape at UCSB," as featured on

"Six dollars per quarter didn’t seem like too much to ask from fellow UC Santa Barbara students, who in 2010 had front-row seats to slashes in state education funding. Clayton Carlson and Michael Hewitt, both Gauchos at the time, were looking at ways to supplement high utility costs so student services wouldn’t endure even more cuts. They came up with the renewable energy initiative and asked UCSB students to vote on whether they would pitch in extra student fees over a 10-year period to raise approximately $4 million for renewable energy resources on campus. Although both activists have since graduated, the legacy of their initiative lives on in a quite visible display that began taking shape this summer. Anyone who’s seen construction of solar panels atop the multi-level 22 Parking Structure can silently thank those UCSB alumni.

“The students voted overwhelmingly in favor of it,” said Andrew Riley, sustainability coordinator for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. “We plan to carry on with this.”

Student fees are funding the $2.6 million solar project, which will generate about 425 kilowatts — more than enough to power the nearby Student Resources Building. In optimal, sunny afternoon conditions, that energy output also equals about 3 percent of UCSB power demand. Riley said saved utility costs will be redirected to some 24 student services departments, including counseling, students workshops, organizations and others.

Construction of the 1,800 panels is slated to continue until late November, and officials could be ready to flip the literal switch to generate energy as early as December. The solar project is by far the largest on UCSB’s campus, which boasts five existing systems for a collective capacity of 220 kilowatts of DC power, according to Jordan Sager of the Department of Utility & Energy Services. The new system generates nearly two times that."

For the full article, visit:

More Articles Featuring the Student Affairs Renewable Energy Project:

"A Great Endowment" UCSB Current, Published September 15, 2014:

"The State of Solar Energy" Santa Barbara Independent, Published August 7, 2014:

"Renewable Energy Initiative Puts Photovoltaic Project to Work at UCSB" Noozhawk, Published September 15, 2014: