Santa Clara University is committed to being a leader in the practical application of sustainability. The Utilities Department works with the University to integrate sustainable practices into the daily administration and operation of SCU. By identifying opportunities, formulating strategies, and implementing initiatives, the Utilities Department can help Santa Clara move toward a more sustainable future.
Some sustainable practices that are already in use or which are planned for the future include solar panels, solar chimneys, ice storage, and energy conserving windows.
SCU's Future Microgrid
As of November 2021, Santa Clara University has positioned itself to create a true Microgrid for our campus. This Microgrid would be the “Island the Campus” type, which on this campus requires between 3 - 4 megawatts of solar. Currently, there is 1 Megawatt of existing solar, and the 1.5 megawatt Bloom Fuel Cell, for a total of 2.5 megawatts. Plans have been approved to install an additional 1.5 - 1.8 megawatts of new solar at three locations on the campus.
Once the total solar capacity combined with the Bloom Fuel Cell totals between 4 - 4.3 megawatts as planned, the University can island itself by turning the electricity off to a number of pre-identified buildings and isolating itself from the City/SVP’s 12kV supply power grid. Becoming a true Microgrid has multiple benefits; primarily being able to ride out any type of major disaster where the utility can’t supply the campus with electricity over an extended period of time.
President's Climate Commitment
Father Locatelli signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, joining 318 college and university presidents in a commitment to develop comprehensive plans for achieving campus climate neutrality. Our 3 step climate neutrality plan has us moving towards climate neutrality beginning now.
Presidents and chancellors who have signed the commitment believe colleges and universities must exercise leadership in their communities and throughout society by modeling ways to minimize global warming emissions, and by providing the knowledge and educated graduates to achieve climate neutrality.
As a Jesuit and Catholic University, we have the responsibility to provide leadership in developing a more sustainable way of living. By embracing sustainability, the University furthers its mission to act as a voice of reason, conscience, and service to society. The University's Sustainability Policy is framed through environmental stewardship, education, and service.
For more information, check out The Center for Sustainability.
Sustainability is a University strategic priority. "Justice and Sustainability" is one of 5 Strategic Priorities and Goals of the University's 2011 Strategic Plan. And more recently, the University as developed the 2020 Integrated Strategic Plan, of which "fashioning a more just, humane, and sustainable world is a major goal."