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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.02
Liaison Sara McKinstry
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, San Diego
OP-6: Clean and Renewable Energy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.21 / 4.00 John Dilliott
Campus Energy Manager
Facilities Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total energy consumption (all sources, excluding transportation fuels), performance year :
3,151,533 MMBtu

Total clean and renewable electricity generated on site during the performance year and for which the institution retains or has retired the associated environmental attributes:
9,348 MMBtu

A brief description of on-site renewable electricity generating devices :

UC San Diego has 3.1 megawatts of solar photovoltaic generating capacity installed at a combination of on-campus and off-campus sites, including the Hillcrest Medical Center, Nimitz Marine Facility, Elliott Field Station and the Trade St. Shipping & Receiving Center. Approximately 2 MWs are directly owned by the University, while 1 MW is owned by a third party with both the electricity and the associated renewable energy credits (RECs) being purchased by the University through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The existing arrays include a combination of roof mount, parking canopy and ground mount systems.

The planned renewable energy strategy builds on the existing deployment of PV arrays and sets realistic targets for future campus deployment of renewable energy resources, including:

- Roof mounted PV arrays: Install an additional 3.4 MWs of rooftop solar on existing and new construction projects.

- Covered parking PV arrays: Install an additional 2.6 MWs of carport PV canopies on existing and new parking structures.

- Solar thermal hot water: Where appropriate utilize solar thermal to assist in generating high temperature hot water for domestic hot water needs.

In addition to the above, the campus will consider the following for possible inclusion in the renewable energy strategy:

- Anaerobic digestion: Construction of a plant to process all organic food waste and generate biogas for on-campus use or direct energy generation. The potential to bring in food waste from the surrounding area to supplement campus supply will also be investigated.

- Ground mount photovoltaic arrays: Expansion of the existing ground mount solar array at Elliott Field Station. Initial estimates are that up to a 4 MW system could be constructed, which would allow for lower costs achieved through the economies of scale from building a single large system. The renewable power generated could be credited to the campus either through the RES-BCT tariff or the UC Energy Service Unit's Direct Access program.

- Satellite power generation: Investment in small-scale power provision, in the form of biomass CHP and a new biogas-powered fuel cell, which would not only increase the campus renewable energy generation but would also improve campus resilience through diversity of fuel and method of power provision. It also allows the university to become acquainted with developing technology, especially in the area of biomass energy generation.


Non-electric renewable energy generated on-site, performance year:
9,603 MMBtu

A brief description of on-site renewable non-electric energy devices:

A 300 kW solar water-heating system installed at the North Campus Housing Phase II project is one of the largest solar-thermal projects at a university in North America. In addition, two outdoor Olympic-sized swimming pools are heated by solar thermal systems. UCSD also has on-roof solar.


Total clean and renewable electricity generated by off-site projects that the institution catalyzed and for which the institution retains or has retired the associated environmental attributes, performance year:
145,845 MMBtu

A brief description of off-site, institution-catalyzed, renewable electricity generating devices:

UCSD owns off-site solar and directed biogas through its microgrid fuel cell in partnership with the Point Loma Wastewater treatment plant.


Total third-party certified RECs, GOs and/or similar renewable energy products (including renewable electricity purchased through a utility-provided certified green power option) purchased during the performance year:
3,907 MMBtu

A brief description of the RECs, GOs and/or similar renewable energy products, including contract timeframes:

Green-e certified RECs were purchased in 2014 for 20% of the campus’s total purchased electricity. The RECs are composed primarily of biomass, wind, and solar PV.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Electricity use, by source (percentage of total, 0-100):
Percentage of total electricity use (0-100)
Biomass 0
Coal 0
Geothermal 0
Hydro 3
Natural gas 0
Nuclear 0
Solar photovoltaic 38
Wind 6
Other (please specify and explain below) 53

A brief description of other sources of electricity not specified above:

"Other" is landfill gas, digestor gas, or unspecified by our power supplier.


Energy used for heating buildings, by source::
Percentage of total energy used to heat buildings (0-100)
Biomass 0
Coal 0
Electricity 0
Fuel oil 0
Geothermal 0
Natural gas 100
Other (please specify and explain below) 0

A brief description of other sources of building heating not specified above:
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Percentage of total energy consumption from clean and renewable sources:
5.35

For total energy consumption performance year: note that this includes the Main Campus in La Jolla (including East Campus), but NOT the Hillcrest campus or other off-site facilities. This sum includes gas input for the onsite cogeneration plant (since UC San Diego owns the plant), electricity output of the fuel cell (since UC San Diego purchases the electricity from a third party through a power purchase agreement), electricity purchased from the UC Office of the President and San Diego Gas & Electric, electricity generated by onsite solar panels, and gas purchased from the utility.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.