Solar electricity arrays are among the latest forward-thinking innovations planned for two buildings at Houston, TX-area San Jacinto College. The college will save millions in utility costs while contributing to improved air quality in the region with the use of the two solar arrays designed and installed by Sunfinity Renewable Energy.
The larger system is planned for the Central Campus’ new Anderson-Ball Classroom Building, which is scheduled to open in January 2022. The Anderson-Ball building is already in the news as the largest instructional building in the U.S. constructed of mass timber, a building process that relies on prefabricated solid wood panels that provide a low-carbon emission alternative to steel and concrete. The 122,000 square foot building also made use of existing foundations from predecessor structures. It will have a 391 kW solar system with 990 solar panels.
The second system is slated for the Jones Building at South Campus. That project began construction late in 2020 and is scheduled to open in fall 2021. Originally built in 1983, the 53,000 square-foot Jones Building is currently undergoing a $13 million renovation designed to provide updated classrooms for peak period use. It will have a 263 kW system with 667 solar modules.
According to San Jacinto College Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer, “Solar generation is just one part of the college’s commitment to improving our energy efficiency. We have always been a trusted steward of the community’s resources. These solar arrays are simply a visible reminder of that on-going commitment.”
“Sunfinity has helped a wide range of businesses reap the benefits of solar energy,” said John Billingsley, Chairman and CEO for Sunfinity. “That includes non-profit and for-profit organizations, but bottom-line – it’s about the bottom-line. A ‘commercial’ solar system can return hundreds of thousands of dollars – even millions – that can go toward other priorities. We think San Jacinto College has made a wise decision in going solar, and we appreciate their confidence in us.”
— Solar Builder magazine