Loyola Marymount Goes Solar with SunPower

This is a big win for everyone. Loyola Marymount will have a cost-effective,reliable, non-polluting system that will save us more than $120,000 annually, and we will be contributing to the wellbeing of our planet, and in particular, the well-being of Southern California.”

– Lynne B. Scarboro, Vice President of Administration, Loyola Marymount University


With the city of Los Angeles as its backdrop, Loyola Marymount University offers rigorous and challenging academic alternatives in a highly supportive learning environment. In addition to realizing their full potential as scholars, athletes and leaders, students develop a keen sense of ethics, compassion, respect and social responsibility with a global perspective.


Loyola Marymount University, interested in deploying renewable resources and energy conservation techniques, needed a solution to reduce the operating costs associated with running the school’s facilities. A project of this magnitude required approval from the University’s executives and Board of Trustees. Multiple presentations were given to address issues or concerns with respect to the energy project. Without the support and cooperation of key business officers and facility managers at the University, implementing renewable measures would not have been possible.


Loyola Marymount’s overall renewable energy strategy is to work at the building level to reduce electrical load through energy efficiency, and invest in renewable energy to meet as much of the peak load as possible.

The 725 kW solar electric system commissioned by the University is in alignment with Loyola Marymount’s energy strategy. In April 2003, solar arrays were installed on the roofs of the Von der Ahe Library and the University Hall. A third system at the Gersten Pavillion was completed the following spring. These systems cover a combined 81,000 square feet of rooftop, and generate enough electricity during the daytime to power more than 750 homes.

In addition to on-site solar generation, Loyola Marymount has implemented a variety of energy efficient measures as part of their renewable energy strategy such as water conservation, lighting efficiency, spectrally selective heat rejecting window film, cool roofs and a comprehensive recycling program.

For demonstrating their leadership and environmental stewardship, Loyola Marymountwon the 2003 EPA Green Power Leadership Award, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Photovoltaic (PV) System Description

The solar electric system installed at Loyola Marymount University uses SunPower’s PowerGuard® Solar Roof Tile Technology, a lightweight building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) roofing assembly that is installed over an existing roof membrane. The tiles fit together with interlocking tongue-and-groove side surfaces that enable the assembly to resist wind uplift without roof penetrations. In addition to generating electrical power, SunPower’s PowerGuard installation provides R-20 value thermal insulation to decrease building energy consumption and reduce heating and air-conditioning costs. SunPower’s solar roofing tiles also extend the roof’s life by protecting the roof membrane from harsh UV rays and thermal degradation.

Project Overview

Von der Ahe Library     
Location:    Los Angeles, CA
Date Completed:    April 2003
System Peak Capacity:    124 kW
PV Surface Area:    13,540 squarefeet
Solar Electric Tiles:    832
Products:    SunPower® PowerGuard®

University Hall     
Location:    Los Angeles, CA
Date Completed:    April 2003
System Peak Capacity:    373 kW
PV Surface Area:    43,330 square feet
Solar Electric Tiles:    2,665
Products:    SunPower® PowerGuard®

Gersten Pavilion     
Location:    Los Angeles, CA
Date Completed:    Spring 2004
System Peak Capacity:    226 kW
PV Surface Area:    24,500 square feet
Solar Electric Tiles:    3,016
Products:    SunPower® PowerGuard®


Investing in solar generation enables Loyola Marymount to effectively integrate solarel ectricity into its energy mix, thereby lowering operating costs, reducing purchasesof expensive peak electricity and doing its part to aid California’s ongoing energyshortage.

By avoiding the purchase of fossil fuel-generated electricity, Loyola Marymount’s solarsystem spares the environment from thousands of tons of harmful emissions, such asnitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide, which are major contributors tosmog, acid rain and global warming. Over the 25-year operating life of the system,the solar generated electricity will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 5,200 tons.These emissions reductions are equivalent to planting 1,500 acres of trees, not driving13,000,000 miles or removing over 1,000 cars from the roadways of Los Angeles.